Saturday, February 1, 2014

Where Have All the Children Gone?

Life in an Empty Nest

The nest is more tidy, but it took about 2 weeks to get it that way after the last little birdie flew off. The refrigerator seems a little empty and I miss my youngest son's cooking adventures. I miss our conversations even more. It's a strange new reality after so many years with kids around.

The Pet Takeover

Last night at a party my friend told me his dogs have gained weight since his sons went off to college. Hmmm... "perhaps you should stop giving them table scraps and take them for more walks", I said. Come to think of it, my cats seem to be hanging around the kitchen a lot more these days, and one of them has taken to sleeping at our feet at night. The guinea pig follows us around the house if we leave her by herself for too long and we've resorted to food bribery to get her back in her cage.

They're all clearly lonely and wondering where the action is. Finally, the 2 cats and guinea pig have resorted to playing chase with each other, when they're not following us around and begging for food. It's entertaining, but also a subtle reminder that we are missing our 3 significant other members of the family.

Life doesn't stop...

We're always busy; working, planning, socializing and everything that's involved with daily life. But it's a very different space, this empty nest, full of memories and longing for the familiar presence of the ones I've poured my heart into for the past 25 years.

What will you do when your children leave home?

Will you have more time and money for all those things you've wanted to do? Or will you be too busy trying to make money to pay off all the bills of raising a family and sending kids to college? Will you spend more time with friends, do creative projects, or volunteer? Or will you spend endless hours on Facebook?

I love my children and my memories, but I also like to keep living life to the fullest in the present! That may mean different things to different people, but for me it means enjoying what I have and where I am and making the best of each moment. Even though I don't have the money to do all the things I'd love to be doing, there are a lot of things I can do that don't require money.

  • Visit a friend or neighbor on my days off
  • Volunteer at a local charity
  • Do yoga at home
  • Dance around the house to my favorite songs (even naked!)
  • Clean and organize the attic
  • Be creative (so many projects, so little time!)
  • Meditate
  • Clean and fix stuff around the house
Do what you enjoy! 

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