The nothingness is a period of waiting for something to happen but nothing does. It is disappointment, frustration, wanting, and longing. It consumes your every thought and every action with a numbing sensation accompanied by a blankness and a bleakness to your existence. It is the middle of things, the fart before the shit, the pre before the party, the unknown. You are ready to move forward but for whatever absurd reason, the universe has its own perverse plans. It likes to watch you, squirming in a holding pattern hoping to put one foot forward and move out of the nothing. You think maybe I’ll walk backwards for a while but that thought is so exhausting. To retrace steps already taken and to live a life already lived is redundant at best and masochistic at worst. And you want to live like your dog, in the moment, but there’s a reason you’re not a dog so you trudge forward not knowing and trying to be ok with just being. And you realize, this is truly at the heart of middle life and parenthood: patience, understanding, and love of your yourself and all those around you.