By Debbie Kaufman
Life’s transitions sometimes come when they’re not expected. For my dear husband and I, it was when the last little chick fled the coop and made us empty nesters a year ahead of schedule. To be honest, I’ve never feared this phase of life, probably because I’ve always considered my husband as my best friend. But, I had relegated thoughts of the last child leaving away for another year, when I expected my youngest to transition from community college to an away school. She, it seems, had other plans.
One of my goals in life has always been to raise my children to be independent adults, so it surprised me to be so emotional after the first few days of her moving out. I felt a little like I’d been cut adrift from the mother ship. At first I found myself obsessively trying to plan changes in the house. How should I repurpose rooms? Should I repaint walls? Wait, maybe I could create our own exercise room where my darling could practice his Zumba to his heart’s content! (For a look at my darling leading the way in Zumba, go HERE)
And yes, there’s that sideboard, the one with the damaged door, I could fix it and do that cool chalk paint effect that I saw on Pinterest. (OH, Pinterest, how you kept me company for those early days.) Apparently, an empty nest is a signal to begin nesting in new ways. However, no sideboards, walls, or décor were actually harmed in this fit of mental planning. (For more info on empty nest syndrome see HERE)
Week two was a different story. I began to focus on work. But then, it seemed like every time I turned around, one of my four chicks or their little chicks, walked through the door. I seriously wondered at one point if they had all consulted their calendars and scheduled it so I wouldn’t be alone. They swear theydidn’t. I think that it just felt that way after a week of dinners for two and a house with just me and the dogs all day long.
But finally, life settled into its new routines for me and is finding a balance. Oh, I’m still thinking about the repurposing rooms, learning how to cook and shop for two, and I love my kids like crazy, I’m just not mourning their growth to independence.
Life transitions are often difficult whether you’re the one moving out, or the one left with the empty nest. Transitions present challenges whether you’re joyously welcoming a new child as a first time parent, or sadly burying the last relative of the generation above you. No matter what type of transition we go through, change has its good and bad sides.
As for me, I’m trying to make the most of this life transition. We’re well into week three now, and I can tell you that it is still strange not defining myself as a mom who is raising children. But, I’m adjusting. And, if this wasn’t a PG-rated blog, I’d tell you all about some of the more fun benefits of being empty-nesters. But it is. PG, that is. So, use your imaginations.
What about you? Any life transitions looming? Stories of how you adjusted to being an empty nester or faced the last child’s graduation? Maybe you have a transition story that doesn’t relate to children. Please share.
Debbie Kaufman is a card-carrying member of the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog group. She writes inspirational historical romance for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line. The fact that some of her books contain cannibals should be understood as an element of adventurous romance stories and should never misconstrued as a sign of a warped mind. Debbie insists she is as normal as everyone else. To decide for yourself, connect with Debbie on her WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, and TWITTER.