The discussion in the ladies locker room today after Masters swim practice was centered around what competitions, events and open water swims everyone is planning to do next year. I am gearing up to lobby our coach, Sue, hard for one long – 2.25-2.5 hour- swim a month, probably on a Friday, January through April. A lot of our swimmers participate in longer distance open water events and have to train to do those distances on their own outside of our regular Masters practices. I really don't like to swim on my own. I like having people around to push me and keep me motivated to work hard. And, I know others would appreciate training together, so hopefully we can make this plan of mine work. We have a big swim (4.4 mi) called the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim that is practically local for us. There is also a mile Bay challenge swim. While none of my swimmer friends from today's practice are planning to do either of those, a few other interesting ideas for other swims came up during the discussion. There is apparently a beautiful swim -both a 1 or a 2 mile – in Lake Placid, NY, which sounded good. It is in August, so, of course, my first thought was, “Oh, Alyssa will be done with school, so maybe I can…” Another mom with three adult kids in their mid- to late 20's looked at me and said, “You might just have the mental space to do it!” And, I knew exactly what she meant. Our kids take up space in our heads even as they get older and even when they are not living in our homes full time anymore. I do feel a definite difference in my “brain space” now that I have been an empty nester for awhile. I am moving into spending more time in my day not always thinking of them, or missing them or worrying about what is going on in their lives. So, if I can do some long swim training and get a little more time in the “my children are out of the house and don't need my constant care and supervision” stage of life, I just might travel somewhere to swim next year.