All the connotations of an empty nest appear to be negative and come with a huge dose of sadness. Our babies have flown the nest, left the coop, moved on to grow as adults and leave us holding … memories! Memories of the most beautiful, challenging, emotional, happy, special, life-changing moments ever. I love being a mommy, feeling needed, wanted, nurturing, care-taking while constantly being in awe of these amazing little people that turn into grown up human beings – that WE created!!! It never ceases to amaze me and give me such incredible joy and fills my heart.
For some this is a time of celebration – to have the house back to yourself, to do what you want when you want, to have no day-to-day care-taking responsibilities. No more late-night trips to the market to make sure there’s basic necessities in the fridge to feed your kids…and god forbid you have to make cookies for that bake-sale fundraiser at midnight while you’re on a business deadline!
Now those hugs and face-to-face conversations have transformed into texts, calls and expensive plane tickets, but that’s ok as this is the new “norm.”
But I’ve got news for you! This is also the greatest time to consider Reinventing Your Life! It doesn’t have to be HUGE but as you know, Reinventions come in ALL shapes and sizes so just consider this for a moment…
What are you going to do with all those extra hours and the lack of responsibilities that you used to have day in and day out that were your excuse for not doing all those things you “said” you wanted to do?
Guess what? No excuses!
So, put on those running shoes, download that language app, go buy that garden shovel, pick up your old guitar, go tell your boss how you feel about your job so you can get that promotion, clean out and redo one of the rooms, do that volunteer work that your subconscious mind has been urging you to do, call up some friends you’ve been pushing aside for years, pick up that tennis racket, take back your weekends and do, something fun, make those travel plans with your friends and loved ones, visit some remote part of the city, be a tourist in your own hometown…
Getting the picture?
This is YOUR time, again! Use it wisely, love your children, make sure they’re doing great and support them growing into great people but also, show them how it’s done and what is possible in life!
It’s actually an amazing way for your kids to see that we should NEVER stop exploring the world, our interests, our passions and that their years in college are just the beginning of them testing out life as adults, finding their interests and passions, learning about things they never even knew existed.
I remember taking courses in college (I was a Communications major) such as Astronomy, Archaeology, Sociology of Deviant Behavior, Middle Eastern Studies, Public Speaking, Film Studies, Philosophy – these are the courses that I constantly recall, as I got exposure to things I might not ever experience or learn again. Those made an impression on me.
That was my time to explore and guess what? It is again…right now! I may not be in college but there’s an entire world full of hobbies, interests, destinations and people to discover.
Perhaps our journey is just beginning again so rethink those tough moments, don’t be sad or anxious that your kids aren’t around – cease the moment and dig deep – what are your passions and how are you going to live this one incredible life?