still life, eat, drink

Empty Nester – Joy or Sorrow?

As I write this blog, I am enjoying dinner and a glass of red wine (my fav Pinot Noir) while sitting on my humble, but albeit cozy back patio which is now surrounded by mature bushes and trees. My 2 children are now out of the house. My youngest, my daughter, is at a college 2 hours away, and the oldest is my son who recently graduated from college and is now happily married to a wonderful young lady. I am truly blessed by all three of them.

I am currently single and have not pets. My precious bulldog, Winston, passed just before my daughter started college and a couple of weeks after my son got married. These three events happened literally within 3 weeks of each other.  My Facebook friends were apparently noticing the chain of events I had posted and started to reach out privately making sure I was Ok. How sweet of them… I would’ve done the same for my friends.

The funny thing was that I WAS doing Ok. Throughout my daughter’s senior year of high school, I believe God was preparing me for her exit out of my home. There were a few times I caught myself looking at her empty room and just bursting into tears, which came from out of nowhere. Yes, of course this usually happened before leaving for work which made the time I worked on my makeup a total waste!  The strange thing was… and why I’m writing this…was once it finally became a reality I realized it was now MY time to find out who Lori is again!  After doing some soul searching, I decided to take classes I wanted to take to help me further my nutrition coaching skills, volunteer again, date, relax, exercise and hang out with friends and family. I could give my parents more time to visit them also. I spruced up my place a bit and traveled more. I could also leave work and go straight to dinner or happy hour without feeling guilty or having to be home to feed someone first. Also, drumroll please…my house stayed CLEAN unless I was the one who messed it up! Oh joy of joys!!  Who else can relate??

Are you in a similar position or are seeing that you may be an empty nester soon? If so, are you almost paranoid about how you’ll feel?  Have you already shed so many tears in anticipation that you’re all dried up?  Oh my, how I understand!!

Now don’t get me wrong, I cherish my children and would do anything for them. I miss them like crazy at times but thank God for FaceTime, texts, Snapchat and of course phone calls to keep my mommy heart full. It’s just that I realized that I have a life and purpose to fulfill just as they and all of us do. I can now pursue my dreams, grow and explore the world again more on my terms than ever. If you’re married, you and your husband can now date again, have fun and possible travel or go for that dream you’ve had together! Hopefully you had both kept in touch with each other over the years so you still have a deep bond. If not, I encourage you to make it a point to do it now.  Life is too short and love is a gift. It takes effort on both sides, but that’s a blog for another day :).

My challenge to you is to look at this time in your life, or the time coming up soon, to be one of anticipation of Joy and exploration. Not one of gloom and the end of the world. It’s actually a new beginning!! If you have a few years yet, start now thinking about what you may want to accomplish. Dream and write down your dreams! For those of you that pray, ask God to prepare your heart for the new chapter in your life and for him to show you his vision for you if you’re not sure. Look into your heart & you’ll find your passions. It’s amazing what you may discover about yourself in this new beginning!

Love & blessings to you!


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