Over 50 & Thriving Series

Empty Nester & Thriving

May 8, 2019
Empty Nester & Thriving

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?

Meet Theresa

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

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Ageing Well, Living Well with Sue

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26 Comments

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan May 9, 2019 at 05:55

    Hello darling Teresa and Sue,
    Welcome to the world of blogging and the life of an empty nester. I was very much a hands-on (and for a long while single) mom. And having my chicks fly from my home to lives of their own was difficult. But I am enjoying rediscovering who I am underneath the hats of mom, wife, grandmother, librarian that I have worn for sometime. I am peeling back the layers and finding that I kinda like myself!! The 50s were great but so are the 60s. Proud of you to have begun a new chapter in your professional life. Wishing you much success and continued happiness.

    • Reply Theresa Muth May 9, 2019 at 11:00

      Hello Leslie & thanks for the warm welcome. I am enjoying this time which is so surprising because I loved having my children at home. But I agree-it’s definitely a time of self-discovery. Glad to hear the 60’s are great as well! And I am loving the blogging life as well!

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle May 9, 2019 at 10:42

    How lovely to meet you Theresa. I’m so glad you’ve found happiness and a new career post empty nest! That’s wonderful and well done to you! I still have two at home (both adults now though) with one flown from the nest – my daughter. She’s lived within 20 minutes from us all this time but very soon is moving far away to live for work (about 20 hrs drive north away!). Looks like some flights north in my future. Thanks for introducing us to Theresa Sue! #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Theresa Muth May 9, 2019 at 11:02

      Hello! I have a daughter who lives 7 hours away and it’s so difficult…I especially miss my grandchildren. It’s never easy when they move away, no matter their age.
      Thank you for the warm welcome!

  • Reply Nikki May 9, 2019 at 13:02

    So many wonderful things to look forward to at each stage. Life is good.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 9, 2019 at 16:45

      Life is good, Nikki and it gets better! Every stage of life has it’s positives which we should focus on rather than worrying about aging. Life is there to be lived. 🙂

    • Reply Theresa Muth May 10, 2019 at 08:37

      It really is! And you’re right-it’s good at each stage!

  • Reply Joanne Tracey May 9, 2019 at 14:09

    I love how Theresa has grabbed the opportunities of her new normal and is not only thriving but succeeding at her new (ish) career. Thanks for introducing us to yet another inspirational woman.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 9, 2019 at 16:44

      Hi Jo, yes another inspirational women and Theresa certainly has shown that we can start again at any age. x

    • Reply Theresa Muth May 10, 2019 at 08:39

      Hello Joanne
      Thank you! I guess it’s making lemonade from lemons. You just never know what life has in store for you!

  • Reply Denyse Whelan May 9, 2019 at 19:08

    How lovely to read Theresa’s story – thank you for sharing here Sue. I think connecting around the world and sharing our stories is so helpful in our midlife (and beyond for me) years.

    Denyse x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2019 at 07:17

      I agree Denyse about connecting around the world. I’ve formed some strong friendships through blogging and I am constantly learning from other women in Midlife and Beyond. That is the part I really enjoy – getting ideas and learning how other women live their lives. It can be inspiring and motivating. x

    • Reply Theresa Muth May 10, 2019 at 08:46

      Thank you, Denyse! Yes, the world is so much smaller than you think! I love reading these stories and connecting as well. Thanks again!

  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 10, 2019 at 02:36

    HI, Theresa – It’s a pleasure to meet you here. I love your positive attitude, how you fully embrace the present moment. I join you in eagerly anticipating “what’s next?” The possibilities are endless.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2019 at 07:19

      Hi Donna, another inspirational lady and Theresa has certainly overcome her fears of the Empty Nest, hasn’t she? x

    • Reply Theresa Muth May 10, 2019 at 08:49

      Hello! I’m thrilled to be here. And I really am embracing this period in my life and that’s why I started my blog! I believe a lot of “aging well” has to do with attitude. Life is good!

  • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2019 at 06:33

    Hi Theresa thank you so much for sharing you story with us in the Over 50 & Thriving Series. You are full of enthusiasm and prove that there is definitely life after the Empty Nest. x

    • Reply Theresa Muth May 10, 2019 at 08:51

      Sue, I can’t thank you enough for inviting me to post. I was so lucky to have found you, your blog and this fantastic tribe of women. I eagerly await reading these posts and getting inspired!

  • Reply Miriam May 10, 2019 at 11:54

    How fabulous to meet yet another inspiring woman, thanks Sue for the introduction. Hi Theresa, your post is full of life and I can sense the excitement that your new career and path has given you. Way to go! It’s never too late is it? Enjoy it all and whatever is coming next. xx

  • Reply Debbie May 10, 2019 at 17:55

    Welcome Theresa, it’s been great reading your post and I can so relate to this! Will be following you now 🙂 Thanks Sue for another fab midlifer to follow.

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au May 11, 2019 at 11:31

    Hi Theresa! I see Sue snapped you up for a guest post – that’s what’s so special about Midlife blogging, the encouragement and interaction. I’m so glad we connected and you’ve found your tribe with us. Sue is an absolute joy and I’m proud to be her friend and MLSTL co-host. I can’t believe you managed to fit blogging in around such a full on career, but I guess it’s a nice alternative when you have a little bit of spare time on your hands – and the empty nest is great for that!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 14, 2019 at 04:20

      Thank you BBB for your beautiful words and I’m proud to have you as my ‘sister from another life’. Theresa is lovely and great to see her overcoming the Empty Nest struggles and finding her own way in life. x

  • Reply Nancy W Dobbins May 11, 2019 at 22:46

    Hi Theresa,
    Lovely to meet you here on Sue’s blog.
    I’ve been an empty nester for a while now…and I actually enjoyed the transition. It was nice to have no one’s schedule to consider but ours (Dan’s and mine) and be able to have a little more discretionary $$$ to do some things we had been putting off.
    I think everyone’s journey is different. My kids are very independent and don’t need me or want my advice very much. Sometimes that leaves me feeling a little neglected and ignored, but I also think that this is part of the process and how they forge their own paths.
    Have a great week!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 14, 2019 at 04:22

      Hi Nancy, like you I’ve been an Empty Nester for quite some time. I do help out with my grandsons because I want to rather than have to. It is a lovely way to spend time with them and it is only one day a week. Children do get busy especially with working and family but as you say that is all part of the process as they ‘forge their own paths’. Enjoy your freedom! xx

  • Reply Candi Randolph May 14, 2019 at 20:36

    Isn’t life exciting when you can explore your own interests? I love the approach you took, Theresa, seeking out opportunities for growth and development (as well as income) rather than feeling sad and lonely that your home had only two occupants. Good for you! Thanks, Sue for another great post.

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