Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Discovering the Beauty of the Empty Nest


It may seem ridiculous that I would give any energy to worrying about the empty nest, when technically, we aren't exactly to that stage yet. As a matter of fact, when this post goes live, Chuck and I will be on our way to Utah, and all of our kids there will be on their way to the cozy cottage. We will be experiencing the bulging nest, if only temporarily. I cannot wait.
The Utah family in Saint George, Utah (2015)

We will spend a glorious ten days of vacation, and every possible moment with as many of the kids as are available at any given time. And then it's back to Illinois, where we hope to have visits with our Illinois boys, and from a couple of the Utah kids in Chicagoland. 

And then...and then...well, all of the older kids will be working, and the youngest will be off to college. Then what do we have to look forward to? 

Just like the bird's nest we found a couple of days ago in the back yard, that question requires some closer examination. The day I was taking pictures of the nest, I noticed the delicate details that had been woven into the beautiful elliptical shape. There were strips of bark, strands of hair, slender grasses, tender reeds, and dried flowers. Each side of the nest was a thing of beauty. I loved the shadows the nest cast, and the way all of the pieces had been woven to create a safe nest for the eggs, and later, the baby birds. It was lightweight, but surprisingly sturdy.


My husband and I realized as we talked that we most certainly have some things we will enjoy during this empty nest phase. Chuck and I started making a list. We came up with some definite perks of having adult children, and things we are happily anticipating. Focusing on the positives seems like a much healthier thing to do  than worry about the unknowns.

The Beauty of the Empty Nest




  • We have the house to ourselves. The whole place. Every room. 
  • We have the freedom to travel when we want, where we want, at our own leisurely pace, without worrying about entertaining the younger crowd.
  • We can live without worrying about conflicts in scheduling in day-to-day living. (Holidays are another story.)
  • While we live in Illinois, we will get to travel to vacation destinations visiting our kids in Florida and Utah.
  • Through our kids, we meet new people, and add new people to our family: fianc├ęs, spouses, grandchildren.
  • And thanks to our kids, we are exposed to new experiences: hiking national parks, shooting ranges, photography in new locations, new television series, music, dance, restaurants, and foods. 
  • I think Chuck and I let out a huge sigh of relief when Bridger was awarded full tuition to school, and qualified for federal grant money to cover expenses. There will be more of our budget allotted to us, and the things we want to do. 
  • That being said, it's time to fix up the house: a coat of fresh paint and new flooring will be a great start. 
  • We still look forward to any time we get to spend with the kids: going out to dinner, phone calls, visits, and Skype video chats.
There are many opportunities available to us. We look forward to discovering more of the possibilities as time goes on. This empty nest may not be so bad after all. 



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