THE EMPTY NEST: admidst covid

I always thought I’d be a career woman. There was NO doubt about it. What it would be? That was in flux. A laywer? An actress? An accountant? (my high school guidance counselor told me to becoma an accountant because I was good in math.

I was totally confused. I WANTED to be an actress or dancer BUT really wasn’t all that good. Hence, the accountant suggestion. After trying college for one year, I fled back to New York to give “show biz” a real try. I waitressed tables at a cool restaurant, and took professional acting and dance classes in Manhattan. 

So exciting…AND….

I wasn’t discovered. 😳😮 

As an unnoticed player in my New York City acting classes with a  teacher who had once taught Barbara Streisand, I waited agape in the wings. Also, as a new dance student, I was singled out as the “what not to do” example by my esteemed jazz dance teacher who had taught and choreographed for Liza Minelli!🥺

I was impressed by these people who mingled with the stars but they were not extremely impressed with me.

After a year of classes, I realized I didn’t have a natural talent or the will to give it my all. I don’t regret it.

I returned to college to complete my bachelors degree and selected the generic degree of Communications. While I’m sure some people choose this major with commendable goals and passions, I chose it because it offered a lot of wiggle room for electives. Also it allowed ample time to be social and go out dancing with friends.

I forgot to tell you. I got an F on my very first college assignment. It was for writing 😱😱😱 I had done very well academically in high school. When I handed in my first college paper, I was quite proud of my whimsical piece.  The professor handed the papers back saying how pleased he was with us; “A few E’s (Excellents) and the rest basically G+’s and G’s (Goods).”  I was sure I was one of the few E’s. He handed me mine and gave me a subtle pitying shrug. I looked down and saw it was a U. That’s U for Unsatisfactory.

E   
G+   
G   
G-          
S+

S-    
N+ 
N  
N- 
and U.

It seems I WAS willing to put the work into writing – to give it my all, mostly because it was a REQUIREMENT to get through college. I struggled with each of my early papers but there were so many required essays, that I eventually got the hang of it. And then somehow it became “natural”. Weird how that is.

Scrunching together a lot of details, I worked in video production for several years (see 19th & M: hi, hello, what’s up?), did some freelance writing, and eventually, after making some Deaf friends and falling in love with the people and the language, I got my interpreting masters at Gallaudet University and became an ASL interpreter.

I enjoyed interpreting immensely; my work ranged from interpreting for dignitaries, to interpreting in business and government settings, to interpreting for music. The music started with local rock n roll shows at Washington, D.C. clubs and later for shows at Gallaudet. That was beyond fun operating like a member of the band and connecting with Deaf audiences. It led to interpreting for large concerts – including my then dreams shows which were Bruce Springstein, Garth Brooks, and Wynonna Judd.

As I said, work was VERY important to me, and I always thought career would be front and center in my life. I didn’t even want to have children, as least not YET, because there was so much more to do with my exciting career.  My then husband supported me to follow my dreams…I did.

And then, well, we had our first son. 

Work was 

DONE. 🙃

I, who my whole life was certain I would be a professional (fill-in the blank) working woman, knew suddenly, this was my heart’s desire.

Now willing to move anywhere, cut back all expenses, live frugally…I felt called. (How do I refer to my ex-husband in this context who was still my husband then?…I’ll just say here for simplicity, “my husband”.)

My husband completely supported me once again to follow my (new) dream…to be a Mom and stay home with my son. That’s what I did. He worked, and to his great talent, became quite successful. He had taken an unusual path working as a waiter until his thirties, going to college part time, and then becoming a big talent in technical sales.

I stayed home with my son and left the professional world.

That’s what I did for 23 years with my first, and then a second son three years later. Full time Mom.

No regrets. THANK YOU to my ex-husband who supported me in my dreams whatever they were!

Now 23 years later my children have become adults and thank G0D are good and on their way. Being their mom is beyond words of gratitude for having the treasure of watching them grow and contributing to who they have become. My ex-husband and I made co-parenting a priority and have worked together all these years to give them a solid positive framework amidst the conditions of a divorced home.

I won’t brag about them, Lol, but I will say I am over the moon with my two sons, who they are and who they continue to become.

And……

empty nest. 

For those who’ve gone through it…you know what I mean. For those who haven’t, you probably know that looking-into-the future-thing, knowing they won’t be our “babies” forever. Of course, thank G0D, we want them to be happy, independent, and good responsible people out on their own.

And……

empty nest. 

It’s quiet. I began working about four years ago, prepping personally and financially for the time they would leave. Building for life after kids, I resumed sign language classes and then began interpreting professionally again. I picked up martial arts, singing, and tried a myriad of other things in the process. Now of course I have this blog for which I am TOTALLY gaga.

Also, as you probably remember I have fallen in love with Judaism, 🥰 and I am learning Hebrew, growing, and exploring nooks and crannies of my wonderful religion and people.

Still…I began this story feeling a little sad tonight. It’s quiet as I said. Of course it’s COVID too so empty nest hit as my martial arts classes, choir, synagogue attendance, AND in person interpreting work all stopped at the same time. I am grateful because we are all healthy, and I have it easy, I know…and…

I am glad I had this little story to write tonight as I felt the quiet.

Life will get noisy again. There are exciting things on the horizon…some I know about, and then the really exciting things that I don’t yet know. The surprises from G-d,

Good night for now. Shalom Chaverim.  (Peace friends…Until we meet again).  ©

I love you my readers,
Vivi 💜

If you think your friends might enjoy this, I’d love you to share! And please feel free to add your comments below.💖 Come back and visit any time!

Cover Birds Photo by Hiva Sarif, Broadway Photo by Andreas H. from Pixabay, Monkey Photo by Jamie Haughton, Nest Photo by Jurate Cesnaite, Star Photo by Aziz Acharki, Family Photos and Newspaper clippings from scrapbooks & home computers

4 thoughts on “THE EMPTY NEST: admidst covid

  1. Linda says:

    This is your most “real” piece and I love it! While I never was a stay at home mom, I did sacrifice my career for my kids, and can relate to the empty nester aspect which I experienced as I retired.

    • Vivi says:

      Wow Linda, Thank you so much for your positive feedback. ❤️ The empty nest, of course we want our kids to go off and be independent …and still it’s one of life’s biggest changes. They’re born ( that one’s an even bigger change right?!)…they are here in our little “snug” families, and then (thank G0D), they go build their lives. Bless our kids. 🥰❤️

  2. Susan Bodley says:

    Hey another great post. I really like the pictures of your lads. hearing about the journey you took to translating was also interesting.

    Empty nests during covid — almost empty nests (Sam visits for a few days at a time) — it’s so hard not having the social parts of our lives.

    I’m glad you are blogging and connecting to others in this way. Keep up the good work, young lady (that’s one of the things my father-in-law used to say to me frequently. Miss him.)

    Take good care,
    Susan

    • Vivi says:

      Awww love that…”young lady”! So sweet to remember and carry on the traditions of our loved ones. Your father-in-law sounded like a Wonderful man!Thank you as always for your comments. 🙂

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