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!
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!
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!