To celebrate becoming an empty nester may not be in your vision as you help your last child pack up to move out — either to a school dorm room or to an apartment of their own — but, many have found that within a few months, that’s exactly what they are doing.
This time of life can be filled with a variety of emotions, of which celebration is generally not thought of as one of them.. Worry, sadness, fear, etc. are generally the top emotions that most parents feel when sending this children off into the world on their own.
You have spent years trying to prepare your kid(s) for the world out there, so it is understandable to feel some trepidation as they leave. In the first weeks and months, there may be support still needed, as they find their ‘sea legs’.
But, over time, those feelings of fear and concern start to subside. And then you begin to realize that you have just gained a whole new life for yourself and your spouse. What does that mean for you?!?
It’s time to celebrate!!
More and more parents are finding the urge to celebrate this new lifestyle. And some of them are event creating memorable occasions — not unlike a graduation ceremony, wedding, or anniversary. It is, in fact, a new chapter in the empty nesters life.
The following are 5 ideas for celebrating becoming an empty nester.
1. Run away!
How many years have you been confined to a daily schedule of car pooling, and soccer matches, and family dinners!?! Oh yes, they were all wonderful parts of raising your children. But, now that they have ‘flown away from the nest’, it might be time for you parents to spread your wings and fly away too.
Now that we are seeing some COVID travel restrictions lifting, it might be that time to plan a getaway trip to the Greek Isles, or a mountain ski resort, or a secluded Caribbean beach with a tropical drink!
This IS a new phase of your life, so it calls for a real change of pace. So, start by googling ‘paradise’, and see what adventure awaits.
2. Immortalize it in pictures!
It’s a BIG change for you – so capture it in pictures! Contact your local wedding photographer and find out when they have time to schedule your special shoot. It’s a fun way to reconnect with the spouse… and possibly remind both of you of a simpler time, when you first made a promise to each to stick together through the ‘BETTER’ and worse. Now’s the time for the better!
3. Have an ‘affair’ with your spouse!
The last idea might naturally lead to this idea — rekindle the romance in your personal life. Get to know your spouse again — plan a weekly dinner date. Schedule a weekend at a nearby B&B. Expand your activity to include a game night with another empty nest couple. The best part of being an empty nester is SPONTANEITY!
4. Create that project room you always wanted!
Looking ahead, how do you fill those evening and weekend hours that used to be filled with preparing dinner, coordinating school activities, and being an unpaid UBER driver?
The best way is to take up a hobby… but, not just any hobby. It should be your passion project.
Have you always wanted to write that great American novel?! Well, create a writing desk area in one of the empty bedrooms to inspire you to type away.
Perhaps, there is a visual artist in you, waiting to come out. Then, set up your artist studio… but make sure you have a good northern light source.
Maybe you have wanted to get more creative with your cooking than the larger family was comfortable with. Take that cooking class and become more experimental in the kitchen.
There are many passion projects that you could pursue. It just might take a while to reconnect with your passion after years of ignoring it. But, its there, just waiting for you.
‘The world’s mine oyster’
As Shakespeare’s character, Pistol from the play “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, said – “the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.” This should be your creed at this point in your life.
There are many great ways to celebrate and enjoy your new ’empty nest’ life. The ideas listed here are just a kick starter for many ways to create your new life.
All of the possibilities await you!