I have been dreading this moment for a long time –the day when my birdies flew out of the nest to make lives of their own. But as all things will, it happened–and it hurt.
Don’t get me wrong–I am so very proud of them and I had no doubt they would be fine on their own. But I was not ready for them to go and ultimately that is what hurt me the most–I did not prepare well for the separation anxiety!
I did my fair share of crying and feeling sorry for myself and then I decided: I could worry or I could move on just like the kids were doing and enjoy my life by putting into action all the dreams and plans I had been holding back until….
…Until the kids get older
…Until we had more money
…Until we had more time
Until…until! Well the timing will never be perfect, but time does not stop for us to catch our breath, so I might as well put one foot in front of the other and as the shoe company says: “Just Do It!”
In the 6 months my nest became bare I must admit that I have seen my kids quite a bit. They both live in 2 separate cities than the one I live in but not so far away that they are not accessible for a quick weekend trip.
And I have really enjoyed those trips! I found that although I had worked up all my fears into thinking they could not survive without me–they can! And very well!
So this is the beginning of the rest of my life–LITERALLY!
I am embracing the empty nest! Who knew I had so much closet space? And so much stuff! (all over the house!) and is my retirement plan in order? Have we saved enough? When can I retire? Is tomorrow too soon? When can I start reaching for all those dreams that I have been mooning over for– oh my gosh– decades! And do I really need to color my hair anymore?
Ok yes, I will keep coloring my hair! Let’s not get crazy here!
An enormous amount of stuff was going through my mind! So much, that there were nights I could not sleep. I just thought and thought. And I found myself smiling, in the dark, all to myself.
This is going to be great! I mean, I miss the kids but we’ve done a pretty good job of raising them, they are making good choices and our “responsibilities” on that front are over! Even though I will continue to support them while in school and when I see them I feed them a lot because, well, isn’t that what you are supposed to do?
Supposed to do. What am I supposed to do? Is there a “suppose” about it? I’m an adult! I can do whatever I want, go wherever I want, work, play or not, if I want to!
But then…reality check: I still do have responsibilities, and promises to keep, and things to do that must be done and being there for the other people in my life that expect me to be there, including the birdies that have left the nest.
But I do not want to take 20 years to create this new exciting life!?
I want the life I want-quick! And I want it to be good! And I want to do it with the least amount of mistakes (and let’s be real–with the least amount of wasted money!) that I can create it in.
And so confession of confessions: I’m terrified! I’m excited! And so terrified!
If you are a new empty-nester, soon to be an empty-nester or just at a crossroads in your life and need some direction, I hope you will follow me on my journey as we discover how to build the life we want: faster, better and smarter!
Tell me what you think: What goals should an empty nester have for their future? And what steps should we take to get there? Please comment below….
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