I remember thinking years ago as I drove my sons to Little League practices or games every day of the week, “When I am an empty nester, I will move to France for a month or two and see what it’s like to live there.”
“Empty Nester” defined by the dictionary is “a parent whose children have grown and left home”. Translation: now you have lots of time to do all those things you have been meaning to do.
Am I the only one that finds that being an empty nester is nothing like I expected? I love my parents and as they age (and I feel blessed that they are still here so I am not complaining), I want and need to return the love and care that they gave me as a child. That takes time and is sometimes mentally exhausting, both because of the actual job and because it reminds me that life is short.
Then, there are the kids that went off. They went off, but they still have issues that I am sure I worry about unnecessarily.
So, what am I getting to? It’s difficult. It’s not what I thought it would be. I love many people around me and, many times, I can support and love them, but I can’t always fix things for them.
I am trying to make a special effort to do nice things for myself and not run myself down. I know that isn’t good for anyone.
I guess I never really thought that much about this time of my life. I was so busy up until now following the path that I knew, that is, raising children, getting them off to college, out of college and then on to the next step.
I don’t think I really had much of an idea what this time would be like. So, the good news is that I am learning day by day how to make the most of each moment that is mine and to appreciate all that I have.
I just don’t think I will be moving to France anytime soon.
Maybe this time of life is meant to teach us how important life’s little blessings are and remind us to slow down and pause. Fixing, controlling and worrying have yet to be helpful actions for me. What does help is making sure that I find my way to the beach to enjoy the beauty of the ocean, sip a cup of coffee slowly in the morning, or make sure that I am really present with the family and friends I love.
And, maybe, it helps feeling that I am not the only one going through it.
Hoping that you are finding time to relax and take care of yourself...