Marissa is working on a series of short stories that are completely relatable and hopefully thought provoking to our audience.  Her first entry… Autumn.


boudoir, boudoir photogaphy, mens jersey, knee high socks, empty nest, blog, short story, self love, north georgia, atlanta, gainesville, buford, cumming, alpharetta[BEEP, BEEP, BEEP].  Why does everything have to have an alarm nowadays, as though my attention deviating for one minute would somehow veer me off course. [BEEP, BEEP, BEEP]. I mean seriously, does the dishwasher, stove, microwave, and my phone all work together to remind me times up? I am 54 years old. I know what time it is.   I’ve waited 30+ years to finally not have to reply to a morning alarm and now days before my retirement party, my microwave is going to send me over the edge.

Microwave dinners have been the way of life since our youngest went off to college. It just doesn’t seem to make sense to make large family meals with no family around to eat them.  Sure, he’s around, somewhere in this too large house, doing God knows what with his time. Most of the time, I don’t see him, but his presence is marked by the occasional relocated item, or a toilet seat left open so I can fall in during the middle of the night. Otherwise, it’s like living with a ghost. Unexplained sounds echoing around the house, without a soul to speak to.

This was the dream, the big house, the land, the space. Now, it’s just a reminder that they are gone. I am proud of our success with both our girls, but when it comes to my marriage? That’s something else entirely.

I tried for a while. I mean, for years we’ve talked about what we would do when the kids were gone, and we had the house to ourselves. Yet, now, all those plans seem to have packed their bags and left along with our kids.  I’ve tried to make plans for date nights, trips, game nights with our friends – but he’s always doing his own thing.

For a while, I’ve been jealous of him. His ability to occupy his time without me. He doesn’t seem to need me to feel complete or to fill the seemingly endless hours in the day.  Maybe it’s because I made it my job, because it was my job, to manage our home and the kids. He has always been around but has never been present. I am not sure if he failed to step up enough or if I just took on too much myself.  Either way, now I feel like I’ve been laid off from one job and about to retire from another. What am I going to do with all this time?

My friends are all in a similar pattern of rediscovery. All our children are a phone call, rather than a room away and don’t need us in the same way. Now that I must return to my previous role, the “me” before I was mom, I worry I’ve forgotten my lines.  I struggle to find things to say to him daily and the silence is deafening.  Something has got to change. I am too young to be wasting away in this big house like it’s a mausoleum.

My mother couldn’t be any more different than I am. She normally makes basic suggestions: get a hobby or cut my hair, but recently she suggested I step out of the box entirely and take some boudoir photos. “If that doesn’t get his attention nothing will” she says. I can’t believe I’m even considering it, but I need to find a way to remember who WE were before it’s lost entirely.  Yet every time I visit the website I chicken out.  Am I ready to immortalize my naked body? What if he doesn’t like it.

Closing the website (yet again) I wander out the backyard door and I find myself transfixed watching a team of strangers buzzing around my yard preparing for the weekend’s events. My mind drifts to a time not so long ago when he and I were just starting out and we all loved being under the same roof. Now I can’t seem to get my kids to even RSVP for my retirement party. It’s amazing how some new beginnings start at the very point other roads may be coming to an end.

It’s the autumn of my life and the irony of my name is not lost on me.  For years I’ve placed other plans, dreams, and goals on hold while I made our house a home and now what? What dreams do I have left? Do my plans include the life I built? Is the road I chose to take over 20 years ago leading me in the right direction?  Standing in the now I do not have any of these answers, but I am going to do my best to find out.