And exhale

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life19 Comments

She competed (and won) at Nationals.

He had a major tournament.

He secured a teaching job for 2018/19.

She graduated from St. Olaf college.

He competed at the state championships.

He graduated from high school.

We threw a party.

And this morning, as I write this, I feel like I can finally exhale.

It’s like that scene in Jerry McGuire, right after their wedding, when Renee Zellweger looks at Tom Cruise and says, “We did it.”

True, they were destined for a bumpy 20 minutes in that movie, but in the end, she completed him.

And here I sit, having completed one of the most exciting six weeks of my life to date.


This summer will be the start of the next transition.

Aidan is moving out in August for law school at the University of Minnesota. Cole is moving out on September 1 to begin his next phase as a St. Olaf College student. Dan will begin to prepare for the switch to teaching a Grades 3 and 4 split. And me? I guess the main for me is simply to remember that no two days are really alike and I continue to marvel at how lucky I am to have this air in my lungs and how lucky I am to have this experience of life.

My summer will be full of work, and hopefully a bit more play, too. I have many projects in my brain and in process. I have an e-course coming. I have a 5K race I’m training for. And I plan to soak in as much time with my family as possible.

I’d like to write more this summer, possibly. I feel like more should be said about this middle place of life. I’m not sure if I’m the one to write it, but who knows, maybe I can do my part.


Cathy ZielskeAnd exhale

19 Comments on “And exhale”

  1. #1

    It’s an amazing season of life isn’t it? My youngest also heads off to college in August. Time flies and I am also trying to savor every moment with the fam right now.

  2. #2

    Who better than you to write it? Each of us has a unique experience and sharing those experiences helps us all understand the world and each other just a little bit better. And if one can infuse one’s story with as much humor as you do…BONUS! I’ll be here reading.

  3. #3
    Tammy Davis

    Congrats on all of your (and your family’s) accomplishments. You write so beautifully – definitely an inspiration to me!

  4. #4

    What a wonderful season of life you and your family are in! Certainly no shortage of things to scrapbook about. So happy for you and so much for you and your family to look forward to in the next year 🙂
    Best, Tracy

  5. #6

    Congrats to all! So happy to hear that Dan confirmed a teaching position. And I’m so proud of your kids (since it feels like I know them from reading your blog since the beginning). This is a transition time for everyone, but it’s a really good time in your lives, too. Soak it all in, Cathy. It’s a fun road to follow.

    I want to hear what you have to say so definitely keep writing this summer. You ARE the person to talk to us about this middle place in life. I’m right there with you!!!

  6. #7
    Betsy Cruickshank

    Congratulations! That is a ton of change that has happened and is happening. I feel like I am in a similar place as both of my children are headed across the country for graduate school. Please keep writing this summer (and beyond) listening to how you are experiencing these wonderful changes is inspiring! When my first child went off to college I restarted my knitting and that helped me have something to focus on-maybe a few of those knitting projects that I didn’t finish need to be attended to (not a grammatically correct sentence, I know.)

  7. #8
    Donna Griffin

    Yes a new season. A new “normal”. I know when we first had our children and everyone said time flies, I really didn’t believe them. Now here I am with my son going into 8th grade and my daughter, 6th. Seems like yesterday they were in kindergarten. I feel like I can’t breathe in enough of this time I have! Congratulations and I know you will rock this next chapter in your life! Thanks for all the inspiration and the happy moments you deliver!!

  8. #9

    Congratulations Cathy! Those are great achievements and plan for this year and the up coming year! You did it and it’s time for you to relaz!

  9. #10

    I’m looking forward to reading your words and enjoying your newest e-course whatever it might be. We’re at the exact same stage with my youngest off to Uni in September. I’m taking the summer to catch my breath! Enjoy. xoL

  10. #11
    Louise Thomas

    Love reading about this stage of your family’s life. My family is too going through a huge transition, well it feels that way to me. My babygirl graduates from senior school here in the UK next week, so she’s a bit younger than your son. She will be going to college for 2 years and then to university, so she will be at home for 2 more years, but I don’t know where the time has gone!!! I’m in such a weird place emotionally. Thanks for sharing your journey xx

  11. #12

    Life just keeps moving along no matter how we wish we could freeze time for just a moment to savor it. Congratulations on all that your family has accomplished. Why does it always seem to come in these huge clumps? Life in this middle place is definitely not boring, but it is full of sweetness and nostalgic sadness and huge adjustments. Take care, enjoy the summer, and please, write more.

  12. #15

    Amazing season you are in. So full of transition, but also full of joy and new possibilities. Soak it all in. Congrats to everyone.

  13. #16
    Jeanne W

    What a wonderful time! And yes to more writing about the middle place. I so appreciate your voice!

  14. #17
    Lowell Elaine

    Congratulations to the whole clan. Exciting times ahead as you transition to this new place. I have 2 high school graduates this year. One graduates next week and one graduated yesterday. Her mom’s post on FB included this quote by Gretchen Rubin “The days are long but the years are short.” You said a number of times in class “Don’t blink!” – so true!

  15. #18

    Exciting times for sure. Congrats to Dan and Aidan and Cole! So glad Dan was able to secure a new position so quickly. And now the kids are off to new chapters in their lives. Yes, Cathy, you need to write about these times because—take my word—time only goes faster from here on. We’re having an extremely busy early summer, also. And this weekend we have 2 families of sons and their young sons with us this weekend from out-of-state to celebrate my husband’s mother’s 90th birthday milestone. So tomorrow there will be several generations together, many for the first time ever. Definitely photo ops!

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