The hardest part so far of trying to determine what lies ahead for us in this empty nest chapter of our lives has been the slowing down.
I am coming to realize that I am having a hard time slowing down because I am having a hard time letting go of old limitations I have placed on my life.
Based on our values and expectations of life we have worked hard and we have done things “right”–at least the right we thought were right at the time. And for the most part we were right the majority of the time and we did well for ourselves and are in a good place. However, the world has changed and changed drastically–and if we don’t change with it–by letting go of old limitations–we are going to stagnate.
First let me explain what a good place is. My husband and I are in a good place because we do and have certain things that we feel are not negotiable not to do or have.
These are the things we do:
1) We acknowledge that God exists and is very important in our lives. We both have always believed in God, but now, more importantly, we understand that God is first in our lives.
2) We work hard.
3) We are grateful for everything that comes into our lives.
These are all the things we have:
1) We, thankfully, have our health.
2) We are intelligent and honor knowledge, education, and drive to learn more-not just book smarts–but experience knowledge.
3) we have a family that we love and respect and that loves and respects us back.
So what am I talking about when I say old limitations?
Up until the empty nest time, our lives included raising kids, buying a home, acquiring dogs, cars, and numerous traveling experiences. It included going to kids birthday parties, hosting parties, attending school functions, parent teacher conferences and all the other functions and places that kept us going from place to place.
It also included working hard and long hours, having successes and failures at work but being rewarded with reasonable salaries, retirement plans, insurance protection and the things that our society deems important.
Before we knew it the children were grown and graduations were attended. Smiles and tears were shed, cars were packed, schools were chosen, dorms and apartments moved into and then we drove away with more tears and a whole lot of quiet.
And for a little while–about 6 months–we were adjusting to the the Empty Nest. Part of my adjustment is allowing myself to express my creativity through this blog and discovering what we want to do as we plan for the rest of our lives.
But although we are consciously seeking to slow down and create this life, we have not stopped doing everything the way in which we have always done it. The old limitations that I am not letting go of or am reluctant to let go of are the fears, anxieties, worry and other habits that are holding us back from living the fullest life we are meant to have.
Without knowing it, in search of “the plan” for the rest of our lives we have come face to face with many vulnerabilities. We are getting close to figuring this out–or we think we are getting close–who knows? we could be years from figuring it out!
We will not get close to figuring it out though if we don’t let go of old limitations.
All of our limitations are psychological–and what is holding me back only means something to me. What is holding you back only means something to you. Since the world has changed so much and is changing rapidly still we have to find the way to let go of the fears, anxieties, bad habits or even good habits that are not serving you.
These are a few things I am going to try to begin letting go, and I encourage you to try these steps or to define your own:
- Stop living our present lives by the limitations we placed on ourselves in the past. I have to leave the past in the past.
- No matter what is happening let go of imagined fears and find something to be grateful for, after all life is good!
- Remember that we all have a purpose and we owe it to ourselves to find that purpose and live it to the fullest!
So in letting go of old limitations I plan to learn to relax, after all what is going to happen is going to happen anyway and there is no way to control the unknown. I am going to take more pictures of sunrises and sunsets and everything in between! I am going to enjoy the scenery of life. And I am going to keep searching for my purpose and continue planning the plan.
Life is a journey–not a destination so I don’t have to worry about getting to any particular place at a particular time! It’s impossible to be late!
Are you holding yourself back from being the best you, you can be? Are there any limitations you have placed on yourself or your life that is taking away from fully experiencing everything life has to offer? Comment below and share with me one thing you would change in order to live a fuller life!
As always, remember we only have one life! Have fun with it!