Self Worth

Don’t anyone think I’m needing help . . I’m not sad or upset . . maybe a little frazzled.  This morning I thinking about life.  So many big changes are happening at once with the move and leaving Chad behind but even worse is this transition period.  It makes me think differently about the things people go through and how they cope.

When we knew that Vince would be leaving a couple of months before I moved, my first thoughts were:  Fantastic!  Less cleaning, less cooking . . more sewing!  But once reality set in, less cooking means less good food to eat and cooking is also a hobby for me.  I look at recipes and yearn to cook but don’t want to make a mess in the kitchen, don’t want to have to eat the same thing for a week and since I’m the only one here most of the time who would eat it, that’s what would happen.  For a couple of weeks, I ate cereal.  Then we ran out of cereal and I’ve had enough Hardee’s chicken wraps that I expect I’ll barf if I even see another one.  There are so few places to eat around here.  I want to cook.  I want my whole family to sit down at the table and enjoy a home cooked meal with me!

Cleaning kept me busy for several hours each morning.  Since I’m only cleaning up after myself and occasionally Chad, cleaning takes no time at all and I kinda wander aimlessly through the house . . feeling like I’m slacking because there’s not much to do around here.

This is the time of year when I should be harvesting my produce and canning.  That’s not happening.

I go downstairs to sew and the basement seems lonely.  Boxes are stacked everywhere.  The vision of starting over in a new sewing room is both stimulating and frightening.  I love my sewing room here and it’s hard leaving it.

Working alone in my sewing area has always been fun but that’s when I knew Vince would be home for lunch and then dinner and Vince and sometimes Chad too would be home all evening.  Now . . it’s mostly just me . . morning, noon  and night.  Even sewing has lost some of its appeal.

I think of myself as a well balanced, fairly sane person and I wonder how those who struggle with depression or other mental issues get through such times as these.  It isn’t easy.  It isn’t fun.  But, it’s temporary.  Chad will probably never live with us again but seeing him grow up, and graduate from college and hopefully get a good job some day soon . . that’s what every parent has worked toward so him living on his own is kinda like a reward for a job well done . . I suppose!  Vince and I will either get the house we’re hoping to get or we will continue to look til we find what we want and then we’ll get all set up again and . . if ever he mentions moving again, that’s when I will totally lose my sanity.


  1. 1


    this transition period is strange isn’t it. You will be just fine once the move is made. In the meantime cut some of those recipes down in half and freeze your leftovers in several containers so you don’t need to eat the same thing every day! If you do this several times a week you can still have your joy of cooking.

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    Debbie says

    I hate the period of limbo–the between time. I hope you are able to have a house soon so you can start planning with your destination in mind.

  3. 3


    Wish we could meet and chew this over along with some good food. These times when doors close and we wait for others to open are hard, but look back in your history…it has always turned out better. We learn from each change and it helps us be understanding of others.
    Believe me, I took ‘early retirement’ and am really wondering about that now! So many need a job; I had one and gave it up…doesn’t make good sense to me sometimes but had spent many years working (38+) and want to sew and quilt more. So far that isn’t happening! Everyone is trying to fill my time with their agenda and it is wearing me out to try and stay strong with the NO!
    So what shall we do now, Judy? Let’s go sew!!
    All the best to you…

    • 3.1

      Linda in NE says

      That’s what I’ve heard from others who retire. They tell me they don’t know how they ever had time to work!! I could retire in three years if the S.S. check will be big enough and I’d really like to have time for more quilting and genealogy too.

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    Strange how we long for some time on our own but then miss hubby as soon as he’s out the door! My husband is in Scotland for three days, and I had great plans.. bought instant food so I didn’t need to cook.. lined up a load of projects, and what have I been doing all afternoon.. watching the Tour de France Cycle race as I couldn’t settle to anything. Being alone for a couple of months must be really hard so I feel for you.
    Let’s hope you are soon together again.

  5. 5

    Kathy Alden says

    My husband has been gone since mid April working tornado claims in Indiana. He is done now and waiting at Oshkosh for the air show to start, then he will come home. I am at the same point as you. I hate cooking for 1, so I cook like he will be home, then I eat the same thing for 4 days. I really want to go sew, but can’t seem to motivate myself. I look outside and there are weeds that need picking, grass that needs cutting and a pathetic vegetable garden that may only be producing radishes. I just want life to get back to normal. I know once he is home, things will be better, but hurricane season is here. He will be leaving again. I just may go with this next time though! Sewing machine too!!

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    Clare says

    Judy, I feel your pain in some respects. I’ve been traveling between 2 states (IL and AZ) for almost 5 years now. My family has been split between the 2 states since my husband lost his job in IL back in 2005. I have half my furniture in IL and half in AZ because I couldnt sell my house in IL and the house we settled for in AZ doesnt have a basement to move all the stuff I really want from my IL house. I am the one who travels for months at a time to the other house to take care of maintenance and such. I never traveled via plane ever before by myself. When in IL I am very lonely wishing to be with Hubby in AZ. You get use to it after awhile. I hope you’ll be reunited soon with Vince and start your new life in TX.

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    Life is a series of transitions. Some good, some not so good. It’s all about how we adapt I suppose. And it takes a while for sure. I think you are in one of the most difficult transition periods of your life. A child leaving home. Then add to that your husband living someplace far away, and to heap more onto it all is the prospect of moving to a new town, and a different house.
    All very stressful. Maybe not at the beginning when it was a new concept, but now you have had time to mull it over, and actually realize what is happening realistically. It’s difficult any way you look at it. I’m amazed at how much you get done in one day considering your situation.
    I do want to assure you though, that while it will be different in the coming years, it will still be happy and good, and yes, you will miss Chad, your life and your house their in MO. You will adapt, and things will settle down once you have purchased a new home….I think not knowing exactly where you are going to be living is also very difficult. Cooking? eating? I get periods of missing it, but as we have aged it is not so much of a priority in our lives. We eat very simply now that we are older, and even when our children left home we started eating differently. Not so focused on food and food preparation. It’s gradual. Lets talk 10 yrs. from now—and you will know then what I’m saying—and I’ve been where you are, so I somewhat understand what you are saying—just breathe, and keep up with what you are doing….this too shall pass.

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    lw says

    I had a tough year, like yours, in 1998. One thing that I did that really helped– I planned and cooked really nice dinners for myself. This is an opportunity, like my year was, to figure out who you are when you’re alone– what you like to do, what you like to eat. The year was tough, but at the end of it, I really felt a lot of gratitude for everything in my life, no matter how small, that made it better.

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    Linda says

    Just to let you know, chances are your son will probably move back in with you at least once! Not sure if that is good or bad – maybe just different! Both my kids have been back at least once and I don’t think they realize that once we are empty nesters our lives change as well and we also have to adapt – not that I would stop them coming, it is their home after all…just different.
    In the big picture this is just a blip – I’m sure you will look back at this and wonder what on earth you were moaning about! LOL

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    Debbie R. says

    I would assume your weather is like mine here in Central Kansas and I think that is probably adding to your sadness. But I am not canning like I have for years. My garden is not doing well in this weather. I haven’t picked a tomato yet. and my green beans aren’t producing enough to can… My squash plants wilted from bugs… not a good year for garden.

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    QuilterB says

    All of us single (for whatever reason) women have the food and cooking problem. So many recipes have to be made in large batches to get the right flavors. I make them, freeze some, and give the rest away. Working women with families especially appreciate them. As do women who have the same cooking problem. And some reciprocate.

    • 11.1


      Oh, I love this idea. Judy, you can come and cook for me! I’m stuck in a rut. We have spaghetti three times a week because I just can’t think of anything else to make. Hamburgers and hot dogs fill out the rest of the week. Talk about boring! You can package up the extra food and send it my way 🙂

  12. 12

    Karla says

    Judy I have suffered from life long depression and transitions really throw me for a loop. This move I just made was difficult but I managed. My meals consisted of peanut butter and jelly. I finally have to make myself cook something beside the sandwich. I do feel your pain.

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    There are hidden, or maybe not so hidden, benefits to blogging. And one of them is to be able to look at feelings, express them, and examine them. All the things that therapy does, without the cost. And then there are all kinds of people listening, just like a therapist would, validating you, and all for free.

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    You’re a “do-er”, and it’s tough not busying yourself with your normal routine. I wish I could be a mouse in the corner when you do get to move and unpack and settle into your new home. You’re going to have all that pent-up energy at your disposal, make everything wonderful, and then enjoy the fruits of your labor. Waiting is the worst.

    • 14.1


      Sue, that’s what I was going to say! Time sits heaviest on those that normally do the most with it. (I say this from observation, not experience, I’m one of life’s slugs!)

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    Toni in TN says

    Judy, I so feel your pain. I totally lost it after ten weeks in a new location [move #20] when my husband called long distance to let me that the Dept. of Defense had decided to eliminate his position and they wanted us gone in three weeks! I survived and to this day can not get myself to think that this house is permament even after 13 years here.

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    Kathy N says

    Lots of great advise so really I don’t have any to add other than to say I know how it is to not be able to settle and then to complain when there is no time for sewing or reading or just being alone. I think it’s life in general and I hope when you are with Vince you will be able to look back at this time and laugh. hugs

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    Lisa W. says


    Long ago, I found myself living alone for a time. I remember vividly the first home cooked meal that I lovingly made for myself. It was more than 20 years ago, and I remember what I had, where I sat, and how it tasted. I got sick of frozen meals and fast food, and discovered that I am worth cooking for – just me! Look at your recipe collection for things you can make and freeze in individual portions. Once you have a couple options in the freezer, you can have home made food without a lot of mess or effort, and it WILL help you feel like you are WORTH IT.

    Hope some of these ideas to get you started.

    -stuffed peppers


    -chili or soup

    -steam more fresh veggies than you can eat at one meal; marinate the rest to make a salad

    Sometimes, it works to freeze prepped components that you can easily turn into a meal

    -freeze individual portions of rice and cooked chopped meat for quick fried rice. Just add a few fresh vegetables!

    -deluxe ramen/ bring about 2 cups broth to a boil and add fresh or frozen veggies you like/add ramen noodles (throw away the seasoning packet)/season with soy, sesame oil, etc.

    -against all logic, cook a huge roast. Freeze leftover meat in small potions that you can turn into burritos/fajitas/fried rice or a quick soup

    -If you enjoy dishes based on ground beef, cook a big batch of ground beef, perhaps with onions and peppers if that is typical for you, and freeze in small portions as the beginning of a quick easy meal for one.

    I also recommend making plans with people. This would be a good time to “date” your son! Plan a meal out or in or a movie outing at least once a week. Plan to meet a friend for lunch or to take a walk. You need people and hugs right now!

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    Judy I feel your frustration and understand your feelings. I do not have a child that will be launching his own life, but have had both parents move out of the house into a nursing home. When my husband was going to be gone for three days I had great plans and ended up watching TV, working on items I had no idea before he left I would need to get done while he was gone. Even cooking for two instead of three or four is difficult. Just remember that everything will fall into place when it should and not a minute early. Limbo is difficult and I like you hope once this move is made it will be the last move.

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    I am so sorry you are having to leave our town (and chickens)but this will make it easier for you to visit your family. It was nice to get to meet you and visit a couple times…..who would have thought it several years ago when I started following your blog.
    I am so glad I got to go to your trunk show up in Rich Hill.

    I am now fighting a depression and having my husband driving for the Nevada Griffons makes it a challenge but I just hang in there and look for the light at the other end of the tunnel. With God’s help I’ll get there…

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    Cindy in NC says

    Why is it that these big upheavals in life often come in bunches? In the space of one week back in August of 2009 my youngest went off to college, I started a new job, and my mother died. You’re probably feeling what Mother Teresa felt when she said “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle — I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

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    Linda in NE says

    It’s normal to feel a little down once in a while…..and with all the upheaval in your life lately it’s to be expected. Change happens whether we want it to or not. You feel like you’ve even lost some interest in sewing, but I’ll bet some of that is because you’re afraid you’ll make a mess in your sewing room and the realtor will call saying someone wants to look at the house in half an hour. Really, I think you should kit up some projects so when you get to Texas you’ll just need those kits, sewing machine, etc. to work on them without having a whole bunch of stuff strewn all over. Maybe just something simple. Don’t know about you, but sitting and sewing for a while always soothes me when I’m feeling antsy.

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    Judy, I knew right away that you didn’t need help! I have been in your shoes and actually, you’ve probably been in your shoes before, too. It is a strange limbo to be in right now. I think the cool thing is that you have this blog and you can come here and put your feelings right out there. Someone will or will not read them. Obviously, all of us who comment read them!!! 🙂 It turns into its own form of therapy. It is sort of perfect. Don’t ya think?

    When I moved across the country in 2001, it was the scariest damn thing I’d ever done. My mother was unhappy that I was leaving and she blamed my husband. Foolish, I know. It left me no place to share my thoughts and fears. I did not have a blog back then – what was a blog back then? hehehe Our son was 21 and we left him behind as well. Very difficult and he wasn’t even living in the same state with us at the time.

    I think the cooking, canning and all that stuff you love to do must be particularly difficult right now. Got any good books on your Kindle? Just asking, as I don’t right now. 🙂

    We’re all here for you through the good and the rough patches. Just talking (or typing) it through is sure to bring us out to help you. Cuz…..we just love you.

  23. 24


    You can do it!

    We have had our house on the market for almost a year now, and it’s been a killer… do I pack that up to keep the house tidy for showings, or do I use it, or… ak!

    You can do it!

  24. 25


    It’s a hard time of life. I homeschooled my children for 24 years. It filled my days and of course there was the cooking and cleaning too. But when my last son finished school and started college last fall, wow, I sure missed them. It’s especially hard when my hubby travels. I too thought it would be great to have more time to sew and enjoy less stress, but I’ve not been terribly motivated to start any big new projects. None of my children are married, so no grands to dote over either. So hang in there Judy, I hope this is just a season, and we will once again fill our days with the hobbies we enjoy.

  25. 26

    Trina says

    boy I understand about not wanting to cook for just one. My husband was in the militry and would be gone alot. There was just me and the baby. finally I ended up inviting someone over just so I could have a decent meal. I mean how many times can one eat canned ravioli?:).

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    Perry says

    Well, if you lose your sanity and go looking for it, will you look for mine too? It seems to have disappeared in a big way, lol. Cheer up, it will eventually get better I am thinking.

  27. 28

    Kathleen says

    My dh is usually home and I really look forward to an evening alone or if he visits his folks for a few days. BUT I would not want it to be long term. Even with all his quirks and how he can drive me crazy, I’m glad to have him around.

  28. 29


    judy, i can empathize; empty nest is the most awful part of parenting. if you do your mom job right, then it happens. it’s an adjustment period, no doubt the move will keep you quite busy but even so, it’s tough. i had an only child too, she’s 500 miles away, i miss her; i sometimes think she moved so far away because she needed to be on her own but that doesn’t change how i feel about it. it’s just part of life like root canals…

  29. 30

    EvaLyn says

    Oh, Judy, what a stirring message. Maybe it would help you to stop, pet Speck and think about why you’re depressed. You miss your husband because of the love between you. You are beginning to miss your son because of the love and closeness between the three of you. A lot of families do not have that. You’re starting to miss Missouri because, well, because it’s a beautiful state (I live in Kansas City) and you have had the opportunity to live here. You have so much to be thankful for. Transition is hard and it seems to get harder as we get older. BTW, a doctor told me once that there is such a thing as “healthy” or “normal” depression. We all know that you are feeling a normal depression and somehow we always make it through. Just smile because of the love in your family; smile because of the support you have from your quilty friends; smile because you have new challenges ahead of you and you strike me as the type of person who loves a challenge. If I start feeling depressed, I have to start thinking positive thoughts or I will spiral down real fast. But it doesn’t take much looking around to find something positive to think about. Sometimes I go for walks and look at the sky or the flowers and all of the beautiful creation. As hot as it has been, I might wait on the walk. LOL! All of your friends are here even if you can’t see us. Hopefully, through your blog, you can feel us.

  30. 31

    Sandy says

    Judy, we are all here for you and have been thru similar things. Pour out your feelings, girl! It won’t be long before you are with Vince again and that is going to help alot. It is hard to let the kids go and fly on their own but you know, Chad will find time to see his mom. Think of this chapter in your life as a new adventure. You are going to be fine.

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    Gloria says

    The only thing worse than having too much to do,is to have not enough to do. Right now, I am thinking of a friend whose husband of 50 + years died recently. He had had a stroke some 10 years ago, and she took care of him at home. I know she must feel as if her world has turned upside down. She would have the problems of food,etc along with her grief. Don’t know where in texas you are moving, but I live in North East Texas -east of Dallas. I hope you like Texas, it may be different, but you will find the people nice. West Texas is very different from East Texas. we lived in West Texas until we retired.

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    Ray J says

    Judy, I think you are doing amazingly well. You are always such an inspiration to me. I hope that the move into your new home comes soon! Hugs to you!!!

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    I know what you mean. I am going through a rough spot, where everything seems to be wrong and I can change it. But I know it will pass.

    And think about it, in the end of this you will have a beautiful house you love again. Getting there may be a bumpy road, but keep your eyes on the light at the end of that tunnel!

    If it weren’t for that light, I don’t know where we would be!

    glen: hope it is an energy effecient bulb……… might be burning for a loooooong time!

  34. 35

    Mary says

    Each move brings changes and I think the worse part is the limbo before the “new” life, when everything has to be put on hold. You’ll be settled in your new life soon and we’re all looking forward to following your adventures.

    For me, it looks like we won’t be moving now which means I need to decide want to do about my half sorted, partially packed up sewing room. Since I know a move will come sometime fairly soon (I’m betting 1-3 years), I’m tempted to just stack the boxes on top of my shelf and leave them for now.

  35. 36


    I know just how you feel. Although I found that when showing the house, it was never clean enough. I hope, though, that after you move and your family unit is no longer intact–Chad moves on–that you are able to move on more quickly than I was after we moved.