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Boxed In

Empty Nest, Stage 1

I spend a lot of time alone in my grown up world. Partly because I like to. But also because I have to.

I have come to a crossroads in my life. One where soon I will have even more time alone.

My oldest is reaching high school and my youngest is entering grade school for the first time. All three will be gone from home for at least seven hours a day. You would think I would be happy for this... but I am sad. I always wanted to homeschool our kids. Now I fear it's too late.

Even more alarming; “What will you do with all this free time?” people have asked me and I have asked myself as well.

And my answer is whatever I want.

I am a homemaker. A housewife. It was what I was taught to be by my grandparents. It is what I will always be.

What do housewives do all day once all the children reach school age?

I could clean and organize my home, but that will only last for so long.

Maybe take some free online courses. But that requires an internet connection. Something of a luxury around here. I suppose I could go to libraries or coffee shops. But I do not drive... by choice. Transportation is not the best where I live. Buses only run on first shift time. The bus stops are a mile away, east or west. They only pick up once an hour, with very few trips on Saturday and no service on Sunday. I could walk or bike. But boy, oh boy do those Minnesota winters get cold. So that limits my reach of the online services.

I was thinking I would dust off the sewing skills and pull out some old projects. Yet I am not exactly running to the sewing machine. My middle child has taken an interest in sewing.

The idea of work does not sound enticing at all. When I think about having to get up at 4:00 AM to leave my home to punch a clock, it makes me sick.

I don’t understand it anymore. I ask people why they go to work every day?

Other than to pay your basic bills... that should be free anyway.

The answers I get from others are very tiring, exhausting and unsatisfying.

I no longer want to be a slave and work for anyone else.

I have entertained the idea of running a home business. Most have failed or just never made it past the first stage.

But recently a new law has passed. Minnesota has passed a cottage food law. It states that you can cook, jar, sell treats and bread from your home kitchen.

There are limits, of course, and cost that comes along with it. You must take a food safety course... pay $50 bucks to the AG and register with them. Have to go get a business license, can't make more than $18 grand a year and your house must be in the right zone.

On top of all, that you need start-up funds.

This is where it ends for me.

No matter where I look or what I think up, whether it's a good idea or not, there are limits to how far I can go.

There really is no box, but yet I am stuck in one.

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