Friday, January 10, 2014

The Upside of Emptiness...












Our nest is empty.

I'm cool with it.
No, I really am.  I think it's good because the kids are all doing very well...being successful...reaching for the stars and dreaming big dreams...they're good...it's good.

There are several things I really like so far...they are as follows in no particular order:

1.  Less laundry.  If you're one of those people who love to do laundry, you won't appreciate this, but since I have never finished the laundry in one day, nor put it away the same day it was folded, this is one of my favorite empty nest benefits!  A related benefit is the ability to run half-naked to the dryer to find that pair of jeans I haven't pulled out of the dryer and folded yet...without fear of the kids seeing the stretch marks they so generously donated to my physique.
2.  Fewer dishes to wash.  I run the dishwasher every other day....every. other. day.  Let that sink in. (pun intended)
3.  Cleanliness.  The only messes that are made are mine or my husband's...which was eye opening.  Seems I'm messier than I thought.  BUT, I don't mind cleaning up the messes we own.  Also, as the years have passed, I have learned to care less and less what people think when they drop by unexpectedly and see my house in it's messiest form...it no longer bothers me and I haven't shimmied around trying to distract the wandering eyes of a visitor for quite some time.  Go ahead, look around...I'm willing to bet we have a similar number of dust bunnies...yours may be more creatively hidden...
4.  Freedom.  Do we want to go to the movies?  Sure, why not?  No one has a game or a concert or a meet to go to.  No one has to be driven to this or that practice.  What about a little trip?  Dinner?  What dinner?  I'm not cooking dinner!
5.  Food in the pantry.  It's amazing.  When I go to the store, I put the food in the pantry.  The food is still in the pantry the next morning!!!  I had no idea some items had such a long shelf life!  Now if I can only train myself to buy for two people instead of 5...
6.  I'm married!  I knew it!  He's been here the whole time!  It's true that when you have kids your whole life changes.  For 23 years I was in kid-raising mode...my husband and I tried to keep our marriage front and center, but life is a roller coaster and sometimes, honestly, we'd get a little nauseated.  We muddled through and raised our children and now we are alone with each other again.  Marriage is like a sandwich, lots of fun interesting stuff sandwiched between what holds it all together...bread...er...two people who love each other...and it's nice to get to enjoy him without so much distraction again!
7.  Money.  Even with one kid still in college, there's more money in the bank.  Less mouths to feed and fewer people forgetting to turn off lights does wonders for the budget. (another eye opener, I leave a lot of lights on...working on that!)   
8.  Appreciation.  When kids move away, they appreciate the things you used to do for them...the meals you cooked...the family fun...the immediate support in life's many situations.  When the parents are left, they appreciate the little things about their kids' every day presence...the hugs, the talks, the the constant whirl of activity, sarcastic comments, missing curfews, dishes and wrappers all over the house.....wait a minute....yeah, I really do miss those hugs!

The empty nest is a keeper.  I'm sure I'll add to this list as time goes by and we settle in and adapt fully to this new phase.  I encourage everyone to embrace it...to shed a few tears as the door hits those precious offspring in the bum on the way out and then dry those tears and enjoy the wide open spaces of the empty nest!  

3 comments:

Michele Littlefield said...

I love it!

Shelly said...

Sweet post! We are a long (very long) way off from an empty nest, so instead we are reveling in the fact that our kid made her own bagel with cream cheese the other day. It's the little things.

Wish we lived closer so we could visit each other's dust bunnies!

HA! Designs said...

Thanks Michele!
Shelly, that's a monumental turning point...being able to make and stuff food into one's own mouth! :)