The empty nest – you know it’s coming but when it happens it can be devastating. My two sons went to college a mile away from my house. I was still crushed. My daily life changed drastically. Nobody walking through the door at 3:30 saying “hey mom”, no-one to drive anywhere and have great conversations, no basketball games or karate classes to watch. I felt empty and purposeless.
Who was I if I wasn’t a mother? Of course, I was still a mother but in a new phase where I was not needed in the same way and not as often. So, I spent 3 months being miserable, crying, and depressed. Then, I decided to look at this new chapter of life as an opportunity. My husband and I could spend more time together doing fun things. We started playing disc golf. It was a blast. We were terrible in the beginning, discs ending up in the trees, or in a creek. But as we played more and got better, we wanted to try new courses. We now look to incorporate disc golf into any vacation or long drive.
But I still longed for more purpose and meaning. Because of my experience with anxiety and depression, access to mental health resources had become a very important issue to me. I joined the board of Mental Health America in Lancaster County PA. Working to support people with mental illness has become a passion for me and fills a deep need to be useful.
If you are an empty nester, how are you doing? Have you added something to your life that brings you joy? Are you volunteering? How do you spend your free time? Who are spending time with? How would you like your life to change?
I can help you architect the next chapter of your life using questions, exercises, visualizations, and deep listening. We can work together to identify your values, areas of your life that are working well and others that need attention, your dreams, and desires for the future.
Let’s make that nest cozy, nurturing and exciting for you.