December 29, 2013

You know you are an Empty Nester when....

If you follow my blog and twitter you will know I try to write from the heart and share my journey as I move through my next 50 years as a Boomer.  It changes daily and sadly I have not been keeping up with my writing as I admit my priorities are off with focusing too much time at work and not enough time on me but come 2014 I am realigning. My balance is off and I acknowledge that and commit to making change.  Just another part of the journey. That will be a later post....

The Empty Nest....

Lots of changes for me this past year as you know when both my kids flew the coop and I became an "empty nester".  Off to university across the country.  Now many will say they looked forward to this day when they would have the freedom without the ties that bind.  I had no idea what I would feel until reality hit me head on in August 2013.  

I don't love it but I am adjusting.  

I try to write about it and speak openly to others about the realities and the emotions one might experience.  This is for the minority of us who dig deep and fight repressing their true feelings allowing their vulnerability to be exposed.  I cried many days after my kids left, after sharing skype chats and phone calls but nobody ever talked about similar experiences.  I felt alone, like I had to pretend all was ok and I was happy to be into my next phase of life.  I especially feared when others would push my feeling under the carpet and say "oh you will be fine".  I knew I wasn't alone when others would want to hear my tales at parties and stop me on the street corner eager to ask me questions about their pending situation.  I was encouraged to speak honestly without filters, something that comes naturally.

My kids are blossoming, engaged and participating fully in the opportunities they have at school. I keep reminding myself that we raise them to become authentic contributing adults living their passion.  I give credit to both my husband and I as we did a great job setting them up with the foundation they needed to venture into this world.  I wouldn't have it any other way and they both know it. 

I had this list posted on the fridge, which I wrote shortly after they left in September and it recently made them laugh.  I hope it makes others laugh too....

You know you are an Empty Nester when.....
  • you only buy 1 litre of milk
  • don't search for a dry/clean towel after a shower
  • your laundry takes 15min and one dryer cycle
  • can't figure out how to get on Netflix (apparently it's on kids PS3)
  • your semi unpacked suitcase from Spain (trip 2 weeks ago) still on kids bed 
  • the dog sleeps on you and greets you at the door like a long lost friend every day
  • couple cans of PBR in the fridge and your beer fridge remains full
  • 1/2 finished stale cheerios in the cupboard
  • the cleaning lady looks for things to do
  • kids rooms are bare and empty and exactly the way they left them
  • your shoes/boots left all over the house suddenly stand out
  • you start a family WhatsApp group with intent to facilitate family conversations 
  • you are the first one at the airport, often early waiting their arrival home 

Be happy, hug your kids.