Whether it’s your first kid heading to college or your last kid finally leaving home to strike out on her own, you may feel a sense of sadness and loneliness. This is known as the empty nest syndrome. Don’t worry, it’s not a clinical diagnosis. Rather it’s a set of perfectly expected feelings. For years, you’ve been taking care of your children and actively helping them to become independent. Now that they’re gone, what do you do with all the emotion and time you used to invest in them?
Certainly, you need to process and accept these new feelings, perhaps with support from others going through it. This represents a major change in your life. But you can also view your chicks leaving the nest as a goal that you’ve finally achieved. And you can celebrate this milestone by rewarding yourself with some updates to your life.
Rekindle the Romance
For years, you’ve been parents, rightfully putting the needs of your kids above yours. But now it’s time to put each other center stage. Remember what it was like before your first one was born? The spontaneous romantic weekends, the walks in the park in the middle of the day, or staying up late at night at your local jazz club.
Volunteer for Your Causes
You’re no stranger to community involvement. You organized bake sales to finance your daughter’s theater group, coached your son’s basketball team, and chaperoned countless field trips and proms. You can still volunteer, but this time, you can focus on the things you care about. The environment, pets, the homeless, and even politics, there’s no shortage of causes that need your time. If you need help finding one, check out HandsOn Central California.
Remember the bucket list you used to have? The one where you trek across Nepal, take a cooking class in Paris, explore the Amazon, or go wild at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. These were not exactly practical vacation choices with a family in tow.
So for years, your trips consisted of cruises on ships with lots of children’s activities, resorts where you could keep an eye on the little ones, or staycations with a lot of crafts around the dining room table. With the kids gone, you can now fulfill your travel dreams. And with a retirement looming, you’ll finally have the time to do those trips right. Hook up with a member of the American Society of Travel Agents to get started.
Pursue Your Passions
Before the kids were born, you and your spouse were good enough ballroom dancers to place in local competitions. Or your record at the city marathon kept improving every year. Or you had the fanciest radio-controlled airplanes in the neighborhood but had to sell them all to finance your kid’s braces. With an empty nest, you have the time, money, and space to resurrect your passions.
Buy Your Perfect Home
The large yard, multiple bedrooms, and expansive family room were great when you had kids running around. But you’re tired of spending so much time, money, and effort maintaining a tired old home with rooms you never enter. It’s time to downsize to something newer, smaller, and, more importantly, tailor-made just for you and your spouse.
Go ahead and make space for the home theater, hobby room, or outdoor entertainment bar that you’ve always wanted. When the kids come back to visit, put them up in your fabulous new guest room.
Want to see what homes you can enjoy as an empty nester? Contact us and we’ll be happy to arrange a tour of our homes.