My month is up.
I gave myself the month of June to “wallow” a bit. Empty nesting isn’t any more fun. Not a bit. But I am getting better at coming up with clever or useful ways to fill the time.
Now that my self-imposed deadline has arrived, what next?
For the better part of 26 years, my schedule and my choices have had to revolve around the fact that I was a mom. Their schedules, their needs, their activities . . . they came first as they should have. But that’s not the case any longer.
My leisure time is now mine. Completely mine. I got married at 20 and had my first child before I was 23 so it’s been a few years since I’ve owned my leisure time.
So I’ll make a list of creative ways to spend my times and plan some “purging” of various rooms and cupboards. I’ll repaint the room that is now mine and get my stuff all settled in.
I used to say that one of the advantages of having my kids when I was young was the fact that I would still be young enough to REALLY enjoy the empty nest phase of life. Well, that phase has started, so it’s time to go prove myself right.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. ~Ecc. 3:1
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~Lam 3:21-23
As a part of adjusting to my “new normal”, I’ve found these verses to be a powerful comfort and reminder.
And I’ve begun to focus on finding the positives and possibilities in this new phase . . .
- more free time to pursue creative endeavors – write a new song, learn a new piano piece, cross-stitch, direct a show, be in a show, write . . . so many possibilities!
- a smaller grocery bill (although it is a bit of a struggle learning to cook for only two!)
- my own craft room! Two empty bedrooms in the house and I get to take over one. A space all my own!
- being a grandmother. Been at this new role for a month and I love it!
- less guilt about taking time for me whether it’s reading a book or getting a manicure.
Priority number one is to find some gal pals to hang out with. When you spend a couple decades as a mom to four AND you move to a new town with three of those kiddos in the midst of the busy teen years, finding friends to hang out with takes a backseat to being at concerts, musicals, plays, games, etc. Now that my free time is ALL mine, I can give myself the freedom to get to know some other fabulous women and build some supportive friendships.
There is still some adjusting that needs to take place, but I’ve taken the first few steps. I’m confident that I’ll find a way to make empty nesting fabulous!