It’s August. Are you dreading the upcoming quiet of your empty nest?
For some of you, it’s that far-off month that you knew would come 18 years ago when you welcomed that baby into your family.
Then you blinked.
And now you’re busy strategizing about how to fit a dorm fridge in your car among all the other dorm and apartment essentials that go with your launching child.
You’re trying to keep it together.
I’m here to tell you, mama, that while you may think your life feels like it’s ending – IT IS NOT.
Your worth as a mom and caregiver and nurturer is FAR from over. It’s only shifting a little. Your launching young adult needs you both now and later on, but perhaps in a different way. You’ve probably heard all the accolades.
Still, I know I dreaded walking back into the house after the long teary drive home, knowing that my world would never be the same.
That was 7 years ago. Since then I’ve launched two more and while it’s true that the world shifts a bit………IT ALSO GETS BETTER!!!
So today, I’m here to offer a hug and a practical path for you to prepare for that unnerving quiet those first few weeks when your kid (or kids) is gone.
I’d love to send you my free printable Empty * Nest – Practical Ways to Embrace the Quiet. Just shoot me your email at the end of this post.
Schedule your days
Grab your calendar NOW and flip to the first couple of weeks after your kids have flown the coop. Make plans! Lots of them!
Make your hair appointment, or nail appointment, or even better, a MASSAGE!! <sigh> Sounds like heaven doesn’t it? YESSSSSS. Do this NOW so that there will be openings toward the end of August when you need them.
Call your girlfriends that you haven’t seen in forever and make lunch dates. Lots of them!
Schedule neglected medical or dental appointments. It’s time to get back on track of taking care of your own health. Been meaning to schedule that mammogram or dermatologist? Get them scheduled now.
Thinking about taking a college class yourself? Or maybe a flower arranging class at the local community college? Sign up now.
Schedule a weekend getaway with your husband. Make a reservation and book the pet’s care. It’s also time to reintroduce yourself to that man you’ve been living with forever!
After you’ve got your days scheduled with fun and necessary appointments, now it’s time to think about you what you’d like to get done.
I’m a list girl. I LOOOOOOVVEE the feeling of crossing things off. It helps me with my self-confidence and sense of accomplishment. And now that we have more hours to fill, lists provide a roadmap of what my life may look like in the near future.
Are there home projects you’d like to take on? Perhaps a new guest room?
Have you been thinking about decluttering for months or years? Pick a room and go.
Make a list of books you’d like to finish. Throw some self-improvement titles in with amazing fiction.
Are there some TV series on Netflix that you’ve been meaning to catch? You’ve earned some downtime mama!!!!
Are there friends that would love to hear from you either with a phone call or a letter? (I know I’d love to receive a letter or a card in the mail.)
Are their DIY projects that you’d like to do? Painting a room or piece of furniture? Building some shelves for your new guest room?
How about getting a jump start on Christmas shopping? Get your list going now.
Ok. So you’ve got some projects in mind, now’s the time to find some inspiration.
I always start with Pinterest when I’m needing some inspiration. For literally anything.
Start a new board on there and search keywords to point you in the right direction.
I often find ideas at second-hand stores and garage sales! In fact, I usually start there instead of buying new. If you’ve got a couple of hours or a weekend morning free, you can visit a few to search for treasure. Chalk paint covers ANYTHING.
Thinking of starting a new business? Books on a new area of interest give endless inspiration. Research ideas about business creation or a new hobby and then check out some books from the library. You don’t have to invest tons of money in an idea yet. Have a friend already in this profession? Schedule a lunch date where you can pick her brain.
Join a new Bible study for a new refreshing word. Are there women who need you to lead them? You, as a midlifer, have no doubt been around the block and can offer tons of wisdom to the young married moms in your circle.
Ok, my friends. You’ve been refreshed and you’ve rested. You’ve made your list of things you’d like to get accomplished, and you’ve found some inspiration. Now’s the time for you to actually do these things.
And it’s also the time to do something completely NEW.
Volunteer at a brand new charity that you find worthy. Help in a different area at your church. Be available and make the effort to find someone or someplace that needs your help.
Is there a new position at work you’d like to be considered for? Let someone know. Take a risk.
You have sooooo much to offer the world!
And in the process of finding your new niche, you will be more fulfilled than you ever imagined!
Do it scared, as my friend Ruth Soukup has written about. Get her amazing book here.
The stars are aligning for you to take some courageous steps and get out of your comfort zone. And yes, it’s scary to put yourself out there.
Do it anyway.
Remember the saying, “Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s doing it anyway.”
Embrace the quiet
Though you may be terrified today to walk back into your quiet house, remember that it’s the quiet that affords the energy to try new things.
I have a tendency to keep the TV on when I’m writing or cleaning or working. I think having the noise in the background is somehow comforting.
But it’s also distracting.
With the newly empty nest, we are given a new gift of quiet without distraction. We can focus again on new avenues that we haven’t had the time or energy to accomplish. While we are comfortable with distraction today, let’s embrace this new gift of change possibility.
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be honored if you shared it with a friend or on social media!
Don’t forget to grab my FREE printable called Empty * Nest – Practical Ways to Embrace the Quiet just below. You’ll also get VIP access to the WHOLE Resource Library that’s filled with an ever-growing list of free help and printables for your midlife journey.