September 13, 2019

Empty Nest, Now What?

Transitioning from a house full of children to an empty nest has been an interesting one. At first, I thought, “Uh-oh, now what?”

After 25 years of parenting children, just like that – they are gone. For parenting, the saying goes, “A day is like an eternity, a year is like a day and it all goes by in a blink” and it’s true. In our parenting years we moved four times, I have the battle wounds to prove it. Chipped paint on the walls, stained carpet and three empty bedrooms. It feels a bit like whiplash.

My house plans (when I have time – I’m in no rush) for the second floor of my house where the kid’s bedrooms are:

  1. Renovate a well-used bathroom that could use a nicer shower and the IKEA cabinet has served us well.
  2. Paint, paint, paint!
  3. Add wood floors to replace the carpet that the kids destroyed.
  4. Buy new furniture! I think I would like an adult (and dog-friendly) house for a bit.

After getting over my sadness that this phase of parenting is over, I’ve been adjusting to having my own schedule and am beginning to get organized about the next phase of my house and life.

I plan to travel more now, mostly to see my kids – I have one in Taiwan, one in DC and one in Kansas. Watch for posts of architecture and nature as my world gets to expand with theirs. I also have a long list of countries and places in the US that I am anxious to get to.

And I have an “Empty Nest List” that I started about six years ago deep in the throws of parenting teenagers. It’s a good list! It includes things like: Learn how to row crew, play tennis (or pickle ball) during a week day, take photography class, volunteer more, go to the airport with no luggage and take a flight… you get the idea. I also have a list of hobbies – which I think it funny that I forgot what I like to do but I did.

Long and short, once I get my empty nest all set – I’m ready to play (well, maybe before it’s all set). I just need to find time! After all, I’m running a busy design firm in a vibrant market… and enjoying every minute of it!