Most of us have been there – the Empty Nest and some of us have survived this time better than others. I was always encouraging my children to fly and be independent plus being a full-time working Mum, I never really felt the loss. For others it can be quite a traumatic experience which should not be diminshed.
My next guest in the Over 50 & Thriving series experienced the Empty Nest three years ago. Although she had never looked forward to this time, she discovered that there is life after the Empty Nest and has a new career to prove it.
I recently met Theresa Muth from Fab in Your Fifties through our Midlife Share the Love Party link up and although she is very new to the blogging world, Theresa is a great example of living life as an Empty Nester and Thriving. Be sure to connect with Theresa at the end of the article.
EMPTY NESTER & THRIVING
If you would have asked me when my kids were younger if I was looking forward to being an empty nester , I would have told you emphatically “NO”.
My world revolved around my kids and I loved every minute of it. (Well, most of the minutes.) My girls loved school and did well. They were in sports, enjoyed music, did their homework and gave me little trouble.
I loved being a mom and I was very involved with their schools, their friends, and their social lives. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but we had fun. I enjoyed being the mom that everyone knew.
I loved having the home where their friends congregated. I welcomed cooking spontaneous meals for their friends and hosting slumber parties.
Yes, I was THAT mom.
So as the time grew closer to their graduations, I clung to those precious days before they, one by one, headed off to college. I have four daughters, so it made it easier when one left and I still had others at home.
Until I didn’t.
One day we dropped our youngest daughter off at college and the reality of it hit immediately: it was the two of us now, and life as we knew it was forever changed. I had so completely immersed myself into my children’s lives that the man who sat next to me in the car had been put on the back burner. And now it was he and I at home. Just the two of us. It was a tearful day for us both.
So today, three years later I write a post titled “Empty Nester and Thriving’? How can that be?
Well, first off, I started a new career.
I always loved real estate but knew I couldn’t commit to it because of my busy schedule with my girls. But now? Weekends, evenings, ten hours days-bring it on!
Starting a new career at fifty-one was difficult, I’m not going to lie, but after a few months I started to feel more comfortable and find my groove. I nurtured my buyers and sellers like I did my girls.
For the first time I didn’t have to make any sacrifices for my career, I threw myself into my work and began to thrive.
I’m three years into it and my income affords us many of the things in life we could never dream of when we had the girls at home. I love being a career woman! Who knew?
Secondly, my friendships have deepened.
When my girls were younger, I always put my wants and needs on the back burner; what mother doesn’t? But now, my close group of friends are all empty nesters. We meet for coffee and cocktails. We enroll in classes together. We go on trips together and recently went on a three day backpacking trip. None of us have to leave a conversation mid-sentence to go check on a screaming child (or a too quiet one). We don’t have to rush through a lunch date so we can carpool the kids to dance class. Throughout this decade our friendships have deepened. We cheer each other on and are there for each other for life’s inevitable hard knocks.
And that “stranger” who sat next to me in the car three years ago? I’ve discovered he can be quite fun. And funny! We can be spontaneous and outrageous. We can go away for the weekend, or spend an entire afternoon in companionable silence reading. It’s like discovering a long-lost friend.
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with this:
Yes, we may be at that “invisible” age. We may be going through menopause, have creaky joints and pee a little when we laugh. But fifty is wonderful. Fifty is fabulous!
My fifties have been full of self-discovery and time to find out who I really am, what I really want and desire, and time to be with the love of my life.
I feel honored to be counted in this Tribe of Thrivers and thrilled to be living life in the front row.
My only question is: what’s next?
Hello I’m Theresa Muth and I live in Oregon, in the northwest of the US. I’m a wife, mom of four daughters and Mimi to five beautiful grandchildren.
My hobbies include all things outdoors: hiking, biking, kayaking, backpacking-you name it! I love to travel and am excited about my family’s upcoming trip to Costa Rica.
Connect with Theresa