I have not hesitated to write about the number of changes that have occurred in my life since August of this year. Normally, when I am experiencing a noticeable amount of change, I whine a bit then move on. Some of the changes I have had have been “whine inducing,” like the half hour change to my swim practice time. Others, however, have been borderline devastating, like the death of our dog in the days leading up to both kids leaving home for college. There is some level of grief with each change. Grief is at best annoying and at worst all encompassing. One minute it feels like a fall down a bottomless pit and the next it feels like the start of a new beginning. It holds dread and possibility, like a prize you can't collect when you want to. There are stages of grief, meaning blocks of time in which one is to some extent not OK. I struggle to know which stage I might be experiencing because I'm not grieving one loss. I'm grieving at least several changes simultaneously. Was I ever even over the one/s before these? I can't tell. Is missing someone or something one of the stages? Or is it simply the new normal? There have been so many changes, big and small, in such a short period of time. I find myself wondering if I'll ever get back to being able to just whine a bit and move on. And that may be exactly what I am doing here, whining a bit so I can move on. And even while I am grieving some of the changes, I am still somewhat excited about what this Empty Nest stage of my life has to offer.