Empty Nest Getting You Down?
Enjoy It Instead.
There is so much to enjoy and appreciate about being an empty nester.
My daughters come and go right now. One finished college a year ago and is now pursuing her dream of being a massage therapist attending school in Sedona, AZ which is 2,000 miles away. She wanted to be a massage therapist before college but she did college to please me and was four hours away then.
My other daughter is away at college in her 1st senior year. She changed majors this Autumn so she will have more than one senior year.
When they first went away I soothed myself with the knowledge that I did my best to raise them to make good decisions and be good people (according to my definition of good). I had to trust that the work I had done was enough. I knew that I had not always been perfect (far from it many times) but that even that prepared them to go forth and thrive.
I also find that I enjoy them and their blossoming so much more because I do not hold up an idea of who I want them to be and compare who they are to that idea. Instead I look at them and look at their positive attributes. In this way I see so much potential and am sometimes overwhelmed at how well they do when I let go. In fact, I have seen that they do better than I would have encouraged them to do – by following their own dreams and passions.
Trust. Trust that you have done your job. Trust that they know you are always there and will always love them – even after you depart your body that love will be there to strengthen and uplift them.
As my daughters became young ladies I began giving myself the freedom to pursue my own passions so by the time they left I was absorbed in my own pursuit of understanding how to help humans thrive. This had a double benefit. I know my children have benefited from the knowledge I gained along this path and the example I have set. It also gave me an entire world to love, appreciate and uplift.
I look forward to the unfolding of the future. I hope for grandchildren but not too soon but also know that I can find “grand babies to love, spoil and return” anywhere so I do not feel a need to pressure my daughters into having children. Their choices are theirs to make. There is no need to please or satisfy Mom.
There are things you can do, such as keep a journal where you express your love of them. You can give them these or keep them for them to find eventually and what a gift that would be.
You have 24 hours every day. In those 24 you sleep about 8. In the 16 remaining you have choices about what to focus upon. When you think of your children you can think about their absence or about their thriving. You get to decide. One feels better and the other not so good. Why would you choose to feel less than you could?
Be kind to yourself. Read books you have wanted to read. Eat what you want to eat instead of catering to varied desires of children with vastly different food tastes (mine were born to be opposites). Take long walks. Take bubble baths. Nurture friendships with others who are positively focused.
Although dogs and cats are wonderful unless you have no desire to travel or a readily available pet sitter I do not recommend getting a pet at this stage.
Since my girls left for college I have been to Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Alaska, a Panama Canal cruise, Barcelona, Venice, a Mediterranean cruise, several Caribbean cruises, Cabo San Lucas and many other trips. I love to travel and have developed friendships around the world since my children went to college. My youngest has her dog at home with me and arranging care of her when I travel keeps me home more than I would be if she was not a consideration.
You can be a great Mom or Dad and not suffer at their doing the natural thing – growing up and being on their own.
I look forward to a future when they come for visits with their partners and their children and think about how I want those times to be. In fact, I make decisions based on maintaining the great relationships I have with them to facilitate that future vision. The new home I am planning considers their comfort on visits – not only theirs – but sufficient privacy so that a partner will feel comfortable having a nice long visit and so that grandchildren will have enough freedom in Grandma’s house to feel welcome and comfortable yet allow me to have a home with adult treasures.
Make a list of things that feel good when you think about them. If you find yourself dwelling on the absence of your children pull out the list and re-direct your thoughts to something that feels better. In time this will develop a new habit of thought and you will no longer have to consciously make that effort. If you are consistent three months should be more than adequate. But, you will feel better in minutes – as soon as you re-direct your thoughts. It is the habit that takes time – don’t worry about the long-term – just take steps to feel better in the short-term and the long-term will take care of itself. One day you will realize it has been ages since you had unhappy-feeling thoughts about your children growing up.
If you are finding this transition less than enjoyable contact us. The same journey can be heaven for one and hell for another – their perspective makes the difference. Our programs are designed to make the journey not only more enjoyable but understandable. The journey to a better-feeling outlook can be easier than you’ve ever imagined and its very nature will strengthen your relationships.
Contact us for information on upcoming programs or to be the first to learn the details of our new portable CD programs coming soon.
You can enjoy your life at any stage.
Please consider sharing this with your friends and family. You never know who you may help by passing it on. It is a random act of kindness that can ripple outward and bring humanity one step closer to peace.
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