I find this empty nest stage of life rather amusing. For so many years our lives revolved around our kids’ needs and schedules, but now that they’ve both grown up, my husband and I are like a ship without an anchor. There are many options available to us, but we’re drifting in the Doldrums waiting for the winds of change to send us in a new direction.
Should we buy a boat…or an RV?
Should we remodel or downsize?
Should we stay put or take advantage of this time and move somewhere new and exotic?
I have to laugh as I hear similar thoughts from friends who are shopping for campers or smaller homes. Maybe this is what is meant by “midlife crisis.” I always thought of people who went out and bought a new sports car or divorced their spouse of 20 years for a younger model, but I guess it can come in other forms, too. After raising children for so long, having so much freedom can be perplexing.
It’s also funny how the tables turn. For the past 25 years, my husband and I have made the decisions about where to live. Now we find ourselves saying things like “wait and see where the kids end up.” Our parents and their needs are also on our minds.
This feeling also pervades my blogging. I have so many half-written posts that I’ve been unable to finish. Sometimes I lack confidence, and sometimes they seem too self-indulgent. Over the winter, I really wasn’t doing anything worth writing about, and lately, we’ve had other things that needed tending to. Or is God redirecting me and I’m waiting on Him? It feels like a combination of all of the above, so while waiting, I’ve been putting my energy towards other areas.
My husband and I entertain ourselves with these discussions, but for now, we’ve decided to try to relax and enjoy the quietness of this period.
Come to think of it, maybe we do need a boat after all.
We’re not quite there yet, but soon it will be just one at home. Not that I’m rushing my son out the door, but I’m looking forward to it being just me and my girl for a few years before my husband retires.
I enjoyed that time with our daughter, too. After all, our son got a few years to his self before she came along.
I love this post, Michelle! I’m only a few years away from where you are. Having homeschooled my children for 18 years, I can’t imagine what I will do with myself. And we have a boat. 🙂
Well, at least you already have the boat!! I’ll be interested to hear how your transition goes.
I enjoyed reading your post, Michelle. My husband and I have been empty nesters for the past 10 years. Perhaps because I’ve been working from home for all of those years, I rarely seem to have enough time for all the things I want to do. Most of all self-care. My husband worked up until 2014 full-time when he retired, and keeps himself occupied with planting vegetables etc. in our backyard. He’s even thinking of going back to work on a part-time basis.
We also are engaged in a lot of volunteer Bible education work. My goal though is to automate my business more so I spend less time in my home office and more time with self-care, friends and family.
Thank you for reading, and for sharing! It’s interesting to hear where life takes others at this time. I’m a gardener, too. I hope you’re able to accomplish your goals!
I can totally relate! We ended up buying a summer home where the family could gather, our carrot so to speak, we provide the food, house, wine, and they come. Now we have grandchildren enjoying summers at the lake. I’ve decided I like this time of my life but it was a minor adjustment.
Thank you for sharing! I love it!!
So true! Where do we go? Last weekend was so hard on me!
It’s so nice to know we aren’t alone in this. We’re still occupied by repairing our business, almost nine months after Harvey. If it weren’t for that, we’d be doing more going.
Boy, you hit on every pain point I went through as my kids left home. Our deciding what to do when revolved around declining parents (hubby is an only child) plus one kid was local and another in Idaho. Since they both now live in Idaho and parents are deceased, well his are…we decided to move to our kids/grandkids. Best decision we ever made on so many levels. But, getting to this point was a journey all on it’s own.
Thank you, Carla!! It will be interesting to see where life takes us. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my gardening and LimeLife.
This is exactly where we are too, Michelle. Drifting along… hubby retired due to his health, and without the rigid work hours and the children’s activities, I find myself rather lost. I had to laugh at your thoughts on waiting to see where the kids end up before deciding if/where to move. We’ve talked about that very thing.
It’s kind of a funny feeling, isn’t it?! Thank you for sharing, Kathi!
Enjoyed your post! Tom retired last June and we always knew we wanted to live on a lake in Missouri – only one option (Lake St. Louis), and it’s only 25 min’s from our farm in Central MO. Our kids are in ATL & KC so now they will have somewhere fun to visit. We have not yet had a day where we don’t have anything to do. #LoveLakeLife (and with a pontoon).
I’m glad you’ve found your happy place! I’m actually very happy where I am, but just feel a weird unsettled feeling.