We were thrust into the “Empty Nester” phase abruptly several years back but embraced it. Our daughter married young, our son headed off to Africa via the Peace Corps; both of them pigeonholed away in their lives largely out of our site and thus our worrying eyes. We reveled in doing whatever we wanted whenever it suited us.
At first this seemed like bliss, but I grappled with the prospect of becoming closed to taking chances living in fear of losing the quiet easier life, a settled existence.
Then the economy sank, we were job shifting, planning an altered future, building a business, going back to school, rethinking ourselves and what it means to be successful.
From there our daughter’s marriage ended (thankfully), our son and our South African daughter-in-law came to the states and are now building their savings and planning for their future. Remarkably all our adult children are back in the nest and it is just fine. They are doing what they need to and we help as we can. Our expectations have shifted and we're grateful in the present.
It’s cramped, we have to share and we live on a shoestring budget but when I ponder it all I feel fulfilled and happy to have these people around me. It is messy and intrusive for everyone, but it is also vibrant, busy and alive here. I am thankful we are together.
These days I see the less controlled life as shiny to the eye. When things are good I have learned to rejoice more. When they’re difficult I’ve altered my view to see adventure rather than adversity.