Well, my youngest is now settled into life as a Harding freshman, my oldest (of 4) just finished a week-long visit, and my wife and I are now officially empty nesters. I have one at Harding, one at Auburn, one in the Miami graduate law school for taxation, and one who is actually working for living and entirely on his own. It’s a very strange (and quiet) feeling.
What does it mean for the blog? Well, I doubt that it means more posts per day. I tried that a while back. Not a good idea. In fact, I’m glad GraceConversation is over so I only have to write for one blog. It was fun, but all the fun I could stand.
It could mean that I have less time to post. I mean, you should see my wife’s honey-do list! The kids had kept her pretty distracted, but that’s pretty much over I think.
For years, my church has offered the occasional class for empty nesters. I was always in the parenting class. Or teaching in the teen program (I think I’ve had a kid in the teen program for each of the last 13 years. What else do people do in church?) So I thought I’d see what the great Google Oracle of all Human Knowledge would advise.
Either way, there are many ways to lessen the feelings of loss when the nest is emptied.
- Establish date nights with your spouse or spend more time with friends. [Check. Just came back from an Olive Garden date.]
- Host an exchange student. It can be very gratifying to know you are helping a young person into a new experience. [Not ready for that one. Still enjoying the quiet, you know.]
- Become involved in your church youth group or a volunteer position in your community. Youth are wonderful beings, full of life, energy, and most are willing to share it with adults who take an interest in them. [Not sure I want another round with the teens. Maybe we could adopt a college student or two?]
- This is a great time to get more involved in your church. Many churches have groups of empty nesters just like you who get together for outings, sharing commonalities, and hobby groups. [Really couldn’t be more involved: elder, Bible class teacher and teacher of teachers, legal advisor. It’s enough. Not ready to go with the retiree group to a meat-and-three 150 miles away just because.]
- Travel or renew hobbies. [Maybe we’ll take in a lectureship or two. Or start another blog … ]
Hmmm. Not that much help. Maybe I’ll put a hot tub in one of the kid’s rooms! and turn another one into a gym! Ahh … that’ll work!
[I can’t wait until they read this. 🙂 ]