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Confessions From an Empty Nest

I have loved being a mother to my children and stepchildren.  I loved the chaotic schedules of ball practice, selling magazines, homework, science projects and the arguments over what is right and what is wrong.

I miss my children, who are now adults.

The nest feathered so dearly with porcelain dolls, colorful areas rugs, for the girls and sailboats of blue, with maps of adventures yet to be for the boys, sit quietly now echoing memories of young children.

To be honest, when the youngest child left home last year I think I went into a little depression.

No longer was breakfast a joy, nor was dinner.  Cooking had lost its appeal.  Once I had been so orderly with schedules, and neat clean closets, and always looking for new recipes that would appeal to picky teenage tastes.

Finally I knew that I need to do something or I was going to slip too deeply into a black pit of despair, that medication and much counseling would be the only way out.

Have you experienced any difficulty with a quiet uncluttered life of an empty nest?

Well, here is what I finally came up with as a plan to combat the sad that first showed up when the nest emptied.

See this as an opportunity for personal growth, not an opening to a pit.

This was the time I began writing almost everyday.  I began a blog and started looking for other blogs that I enjoyed reading.  I soon found a small online community that I could identify with and interact with, much like Empty Nests ~ Full Lives.

Rearrange the feathers from your nest.

Now is the time to pull out all of the things you may have pack up because you didn’t want the children to break them.

Or maybe it is time to go and buy that new couch that was too nice for messy teens to sit on.

Maybe its time to clean out one of the rooms and have a project room for you.

Fill up your refrigerator with all of the things you like.

Get the mushrooms, onions.  Get the chocolate that you quit buying because they would eat it all and you never got even one piece!

Volunteer 

It is my very humble opinion that the reason we become depressed is because we are only thinking inwardly.  When I feel any depression coming on, I get myself up and go and help others.

Sunday School classes for the children always need help.  I volunteer at an inner city ministry, teaching elementary school girls how to embroidery.  When I show up they all yell, “hey Mrs. Diane”, then they say  “oreo!” and they all run up surrounding me with a hug, and I am the white center surrounded by the beautiful chocolate.

They think I am there to teach them, if they only knew I am there because I need the love they give.  They help fill the void of my empty nest.

If you are reading this from the Empty Nest ~Full Lives Facebook page, would you please click here and leave your comments?

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. 10/4/2012

    This is beautiful writing Diane. I wish my empty nest was empty sometimes, but I am so thankful I can keep my grandson while his mom teaches. Her contribution to the special needs community is so important and I feel like I help by letting her be worry free about her three year old.

    Reply
    • 10/4/2012

      Thank you Sweet Cousin! I am with you, my nest is empty, but I would love to have the grands around more often! BTW Megan Got a teaching Job!!!!

      Reply
  2. 10/4/2012

    This is so great! I find this to be a season which began with a giant shift in my purposefulness. In the beginning, I enjoyed getting to know myself, as an individual, again…not just Mom. But as time marched on, I found myself missing all the activity and people! Loneliness sets in and I got entrenched in that pit. It became my default zone.. and feeling sorry for myself became the norm. As time goes on , I am discovering a new purpose to this time. Serving others, especially younger women. Women at our age can see the “Big Picture”. We don’t get drowned with all the details that used to confuse us. Young women need us to encourage them that they are doing a good job. They are so critical of themselves. With all the info on the internet it is no wonder!

    Reply
    • 10/4/2012

      Barbara, You are Absolutely right! Wow, I can tell you have a lot of love and wisdom to give to the younger women. I read an article about women struggling with depression when the nest empties, and It made me remember my own struggle. So glad you have found the way to bless others! ~Di

      Reply
  3. 10/5/2012

    This is my first visit here, coming through a string of links from inCourage. I’ve been an empty nester for 4 years now. I absolutely loved a houseful of children (6 in all!), and didn’t want those years to ever end. But I am also finding that I absolutely love these empty nest years, as well. It helps that four of our six live nearby (plus 5 of our 10 grandkids), so life is still filled with family. But I also am loving the quieter days of empty nest, together with my sweet hubby – and also the time to pursue other interests that there was no time for earlier … like blogging (which I have come to love), and other things, as well. Looking forward to connecting with other empty nesters here …

    Reply
    • 10/5/2012

      Welcome Cherry!! I’m so glad you made your way here! Susan and I are posting twice a week and we look forward to active participation from our new friends! If you haven’t already go to the Empty Nest ~ Full Lives Facebook page and introduce yourself, letting everyone meet you! I look forward to getting to know you better.

      Reply

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