01 Aug Empty Nesters – Now What?
Our last little chick took flight last month, making Jeff and I empty nesters. Our son is off for two years to serve a mission for our church. We went from watching him play multiple volleyball games per week, to high school graduation, to a family vacation with him, to a full house with our other daughter and her husband coming to say goodbye to JUST US in a matter of eight weeks.
We can still have daily contact with our daughter, who’s been off on her own for five years now, but with Cooper, we’ll be limited to a weekly email contact and biannual Skype visits for the next two years. This has not been something I’ve been looking forward to. In fact, it feels like who I am and who I always aspired to be is now different. Being a mom was my number one goal and my number one job for the past 23 ½ years, and now they’ve grown up and gone away and I’m left wondering if life will ever be the same.
IT WON’T! But that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be sweet anymore. It doesn’t mean that life is over and that I don’t have purpose anymore. It just means that what was normal before isn’t my normal anymore. In fact, there are a lot of things I’ve found out that are great about being an empty nester. I don’t have to worry about where my children are at any given time of the day. I purchase food that I know will be eaten. My kitchen stays clean, and my laundry room doesn’t look like a bomb went off. I look down the hallway to a clean room and a neatly made bed. I’m also getting lots of great one on one time with Jeff. We’re re-learning about each other and our relationship is getting even stronger.
I know this seems like a personal journal entry, but it really does relate to the lifestyle changes we coach our clients to make. If clients go through our program with the idea in mind that they won’t be happy until they can go back to their normal eating- the weight will most likely come back. But, if they can find joy in this new normal way of life, the changes they have made will become sweet to them. Different doesn’t mean bad!