The Best Is Yet To Come: Becoming An Empty Nester

empty nest

On the fourth Friday of every month, the women of a local organization I belong to get together for a very informal Happy Hour…or hours as the case may be…hey don’t judge! It’s an awesome way for us to connect with each other in a very non-business setting. The guys meet up as well on the fourth Thursday, but I’m guessing they talk a lot of business with a little sports thrown in for good measure.  Us ladies, well, you just never know where the conversations will go.

While our motto has always been “what happens at ladies night, stays at ladies night”, the discussion a few months ago got into my head so that meant only one thing…write a blog about it. The question of the night…we always have one, you know, as an ice breaker kind of thing…not that we really need it but still…

If you could stay at a certain age forever,

what age would it be and why?

Not surprisingly, no one picked an age under 25. Let’s face it, no one wants to relive the teenage years. And anything that happened between 18 and 25 was just preparation for becoming a real adult.  I think only one person said an age in her late twenties, a few in their early thirties but the vast majority were 40 and beyond.

Yep, mixed in with our quest for the fountain of youth, it does seem most of us are quite content with mid-life and the inevitable move into our golden years.

If you asked me before I sat in traffic for over an hour on the way home from a soccer tournament a little over a week ago, I definitely would have said 39. It was the age at which I…

  • got divorced, not that I’m advocating getting one but for me it did turn out to be for the best
  • went back to work after being a SAHM for 7 years at what was probably the best job I ever had (and for those not up on your internet slang SAHM means stay at home mom
  • met my current husband
  • and, last but certainly not least, felt like I had control over my life for the first time in over a dozen years which kind of explains the divorce 

So what changed my mind about the age I would like to forever be while sitting in a ridiculous amount of traffic after a very long weekend? Well, my son had his last soccer game in April. It is one of the many “lasts” I experienced with him before he graduated from high school at the end of May and headed off to college in June (yes, June…lucky guy gets to start in the summer).  And that means my husband and I have officially become empty

nesters. Sure our kids will always be our kids, but for the most part we’re done with all of the child rearing years.

Can you say happy dance?

Look, I could sit here and tell you I’m sad over how quickly the years have gone by and I want to turn back the hands of time, do some things over again, blah blah blah.

The truth is, though, I really am ok with being 52 and I’m sure I’ll be ok when I’m 62, 72, 82 and 92. I have longevity on both sides of my family so I intend to live that long…sorry kids, there probably won’t be an inheritance.

My husband and I have spent a lot of time lately talking about our plans for the indefinite future. Some of the conversations have been filled with dreams of extended travel while others have dealt with the not so fun estate planning stuff. We are getting ready to downsize (in fact, I’m in the midst of the #GreatPurge2015 but that will have to be a topic for another blog) and I can’t wait! The plan is to move to a different area of  town which we have yet to agree on where that will actually be, but it will definitely be as maintenance free as possible.

I actually asked the same “pick an age” question the night after the ladies get together to a group of friends and everyone responded pretty much the same as my revised age or should I say symbolic time in our lives. Our kids are moving on, we feel financially secure by our own individual definitions and we are definitely going to embrace growing old.

Seriously, what’s the alternative?

blacker

That’s it for now…#BlackerOut

Beth-220x220Beth Blacker is a wife to a man that makes her laugh a lot…even when he is driving her crazy, the mother to a son who just entered college and a daughter on her way out that are a source of great pride…even when they are driving her crazy and the caretaker of a fabulous Beagle named Gavin who is so stinking cute…even though he pees on the carpet and, yes, that drives her crazy. She is the Director of Strategic Relationships for OJ Mortgage in Clearwater, FL but in her spare time (hahahaha) she writes for her blog, Beth Blacker…Call Me Crazy. You can find her there as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest but apparently she has a love/hate relationship with all social media. She loves it when people are really nice so if you are one of those people feel free to connect with her.

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10 thoughts on “The Best Is Yet To Come: Becoming An Empty Nester

  1. Pingback: Day Nine: Get Inspired By the Neighbors – Blogging 101 | Advocate for Invisible Illness!

  2. I would probably say age 25 because that is about the age I started losing my body joints to arthritis and it just got worse from there. Maybe I could have done something different.I am 58 now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think some people are just build differently than others. I am not sure that you could have prevented it. Karen at Sunbeams and Heartstrings is 28 and faces the same issues with arthritis, tendonitis, and a broken back. She has always been active, and there aren’t many things you can do except continue to exercise and eat properly. Both are easier said than done when you are in pain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I couldn’t have prevented it. It ran in my family and is now affecting my young daughter. She is following in my footsteps. I am working on eating properly, but now with Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Disc Disease throughout almost half my spine movement is difficult if not downright painful. I am trying to get past my feelings of being sorry for myself and launching myself into helping others with invisible illnesses.

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      • Sorry to hear about your spinal problems as well. I go to a chiropractor and he says he is helping me, but the pain when he presses on those spots is tremendous because they are the Fibro trigger points. I am trying to trust he is doing me some good, but the treatments are so painful and I recently had a car accident and my shoulder is now being treated as well. About 4 weeks ago for that, but I didn’t realize I was hurt right away.

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    • I agree that there really isn’t anything you could have done Tessa to prevent the arthritis. And while it is easy for me to say “don’t let it define you”, I would hate to think that you are not able to see getting older as a great opportunity to find joy in different ways. So sorry for your pain…truly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your concern and empathy. Getting older has other connotations for me. I have grandchildren. As for the empty nesting, I have lived with my dad for 12 years and now my mom is gone my son is living here too. He is 28. So I guess we really aren’t empty nesters and my dad is 83. Though my being here isn’t just for me. He needs looking after to a point. A kind of exchange in helping each other. I need a home and he needs companionship and looking after now that mom is gone and he is starting to forget things.

        Liked by 1 person

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