Redefining Life With An Empty Nest

I was told early on that kids grow up fast and to enjoy every moment. Still, when I approached an empty nest, it took me by surprise. How did that happen so fast? Being a stay at home mom for 25 years meant my life happily revolved around my three kids and husband. I had quit my accounting job when my oldest was born and never had a single regret.

Now, being over fifty with two daughters married and a son on his own, I had to figure out what to do with my life. I had plenty of time to explore my interests while my kids were in school. However, this new found freedom opened up some more opportunities.

Going Back To College

I am all for learning new things to stay young and keep a healthy mind. The idea of going back to college was a little intimidating though. I can remember when I was a young college student seeing “old people” in class. At that time I wondered why they would bother or even want homework at that age. Of course, I had been looking forward to being done and starting my life. So, at the age of 50, I wondered if I would look like an oddball in class.

I thought about taking some accounting refresher classes but then decided I wasn’t really interested in accounting anymore. I had been blogging for a number of years and really enjoyed that. Since I was always googling how to make coding adjustments to my blog, I thought it was time to actually learn computer code. So, I bit the bullet and went back to school to earn a certificate in web design and development. I have always been detail oriented and looked forward to learning code. What surprised me was how much I actually enjoyed the design classes. I never would have known this if I hadn’t gone back to college.

The other surprise was the amount of “old people” in my classes! I met some new friends with like interests. When my certificate program was over, I was actually sad to leave.

Fun Things To Do

For my 53rd birthday, my husband surprised me with an indy car racing experience. Although I do like to drive fast, I never would have thought to drive a race car. When I found out, I was scared and excited at the same time. I had a couple of months to get used to the idea since the cat was let out of the bag when I saw the credit card bill. My husband had originally planned for it to be a total surprise on race day. He must have forgotten that I pay the bills when he made the charge to his card! It’s probably a good thing I had time to prepare or I might have run screaming when he brought me there.

As a coping mechanism, I kept pushing away the thoughts that I could surly die or at least crash. I would tell myself that it would all be over soon and tried to imagine the drive back home with a feeling of relief.

To my surprise, not only did I love racing that indy car but I also felt calm after one time around the track. It was an amazing experience. I had three 8 minute sessions and reached a top speed of 156.

Trying new things that might take you out of your comfort zone is another great way to stay young at heart!

race car driving experience

 

Travel

My husband had a new job opportunity that would involve quite a bit of travel. Since we did not want to be apart so much, we decided that I would go with him. Our arrangement is perfect. I drive……fast…..and he works while we are on the road. This allows him to get so much more done and allows us more time together in the evenings. I happen to love driving, even through mountains, and the new sights are always interesting. The times my husband is in meetings, I enjoy blogging from a new location!

Grandparenting

Up next for me is grandparenting! It seems that parenting is really never done and I’ve heard that grandparenting is even more fun – all the enjoyment without the responsibility! On January 9 we are expecting our first grand daughter. I am so excited for yet another phase in life!

 

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