My younger son is in college, so here we go with the dreaded Empty Nest Syndrome. After twenty-five years of diapers, Legos, birthday parties, soccer games, band concerts, family vacations then proms, suddenly all that activity grinds to a halt. No more last-minute cookie requests. No more hearing the night before an assignment is due, “Mom, I need a poster board.” And no more sweaty, soccer socks and cleats taken off in the car making my eyes water.
My alma mater, Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA.
I admit, I was the typical mother dropping off the child at college then crying all the way home. I cried whenever I walked past their empty rooms and waited every day for their call or text to make sure they were eating and getting their sleep. But by the time they were home for Christmas and I could see they were healthy, getting good grades and making mature decisions – I forced myself to relax. My husband and I raised two wonderful sons who are confident and will make good lives for themselves.
I don’t have to ‘hover’ over them constantly anymore. I can sit back and enjoy hearing their news and accomplishments and be there whenever they have questions or need a pep talk after a bad day or disappointment.
I’m so proud of them that I can enjoy this time for myself without guilt.
Here are 6 things I would recommend:
- Get a pet or two – If you are feeling unneeded, the best thing to do is to get yourself a pet buddy. Be sure to select the best pet for your lifestyle and that you can commit yourself to the life of that pet.
A couple of weeks ago we adopted these two adorable kitten sisters.
- Take up a hobby – usually with work and all the activities that come with children prevent you from too many hobbies. We’ve all said, ‘That’s something I’d like to try when I have more time.’ Well, now is the time. I have my puzzles, books to write and creating miniatures. I may even get out my cross stitch projects again.
This is my mini beach house I’m currently working on.
- Rediscover your love life – Use this time to rekindle or increase your love life. Weekend trips can feel like mini-honeymoons without all the kids jumping on the beds and demanding supper.
Our romantic weekend home.
- Volunteer or get involved with a charity – find a worthy cause that interests you and then get involved. Volunteer hours at a thrift store, use your accounting talents to help children organizations or serve on the board of a nonprofit cause. Being involved with people and/or children can fill some lonely hours.
- Read more books – With an empty nest, you will have some extra time to read more books. Read in the bathtub without kids yelling outside the door, read in the evening since there is no more homework to do and read on a rainy afternoon before taking a snooze on the couch.
- Go naked whenever you want 🙂 – That’s right, you can now lounge around and do housework totally nude, if you want. As long as you don’t answer the door or dance in front of a large living room window no one will know but you. Revel in your new-found freedom.
So, let’s hear from other empty nesters. What keeps you sane during this adjustment period?
This Valentine’s Day my husband and I gave each other two warm hearts – nestled inside two soft, furry bodies with twitchy ears and little noses. That’s right, we gave each other the wonderful gift of adopting two sweet kittens.
This is Quinn…she’s a bundle of energy with a loving purr and the most beautiful soft, gray and white coat.
This is Harley…she is the less brave of the two, with white feet and a more tortoiseshell coat. You have to wait for her to come to you but once she does she will shower you with love.
Their names are separated parts of the word Harlequin. Harley and Quinn. Cute, huh?
Have you rescued/adopted any pets?
Wishing everyone a love-filled Valentine’s Day!
This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is all about solitude, enjoying time alone. I not only enjoy my times of solitude, I need solitude to stay sane. To me, everyday life responsibilities are like riding a roller coaster and sometimes you just want a break from it all and get off to recharge your batteries. My times of solitude let me do just that.
I love being in the woods, the more remote the better. It’s like you’ve stepped into a different world. Time slows, you breath deeper and you treasure every minute.
We love to go camping at the state parks. They tend to be more wooded, with more spacious sites than the private campgrounds. Some of our best camping trips were when the park was less crowded. You could pretend all the woods belonged to you and civilization was miles away.
Any other camping-lovers out there? Campers are some of the nicest people we’ve ever met.
Miss my last weekly photo challenge? Click Photo Challenge: Graceful
Chinese New Year is coming up on Saturday, January 28th. Get out your chopsticks and green tea to celebrate a tradition centuries old.
Chinese Lion Dance
Some facts about the Chinese New Year Festival:
- The date of the celebration (which could last up to a week) changes each year but it always falls between January 21st and February 20th. The date is determined by the Chinese Lunar calendar.
- Chinese New Year is celebrated in many countries besides China, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines, Macau, Malaysia, etc.
- Chinese New Year has the world’s biggest annual fireworks display to scare away evil spirits. China invented fireworks in the 7th Century and now produces about 90% of the world’s fireworks.
- Some no-no’s of the festival include washing your hair or clothes, in the fear that you will wash away good luck, and sweeping your house because you might sweep away wealth. Any washing, sweeping, cooking and cleaning are done before the festival to start the new year out at your best.
So decorate with red and yellow lanterns, eat some Chinese food and watch a Jackie Chan martial arts movie to entice a little good luck and wealth your way for 2017.
Happy Chinese New Year everyone! (Be sure to let me know which martial arts movie you watch)
If you are interested in Feng Shui, check out these posts: Feng Shui Intuitive Collage and Ten Feng Shui Tips for Love and Romance
This week’s Daily Post photo challenge involves what we see as graceful. To me, one of the most graceful forms is water. Water that laps at the shore from lakes and oceans. Water that trips over the stones in a creek bed. Water that flows over cliffs as a waterfall.
Ohiopyle State Park, PA
My sons climbing up under the falls at Ohiopyle State Park, PA
Letchworth State Park, NY
Lake Erie, PA
Niagara Falls, NY
There is so much in nature that is graceful. Be sure to take time to enjoy it.
Happy New Year everyone!
Use the new year as a clean slate, the possibilities are endless. One of my plans is to update, freshen and spruce up my websites and blogs.
I’m the type to move furniture around every couple of months and change my desktop designs more often than I change my socks (just kidding). So sprucing up your online presence keeps things fresh and professional.
You can take this updating and sprucing concept into all facets of your life.
- Changing your wardrobe does not require spending oodles of money. Just deciding to add a rainbow of scarfs to your outfits or accessorizing with colorful jewelry will give you a fresh look.
- A simple can of paint can transform a room, even if you only paint an accent wall. Can’t paint? Changing your curtains, throw pillows or bed linens can work just as well. *Remember: Recycle and Reuse! Check out thrift and resale stores for cheaper options and reduce your carbon footprint.*
- Change the direction you drive to work.
- Change your hairstyle, hair color or highlights. Are you a closet red-head or willing to add purple highlights? Go as daring as you want. Even lightening your hair a few shades could give you a lift.
- Spruce up your love life with fresh, new lingerie; lace, leather, white, black, see-thru…whatever you feel sexy in.
So what will you change in 2017?
To see what I’m doing on my other websites: (be sure to let me know what you think!)
Here’s to a wonderful, fresh 2017!