Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The First Thing An Empty Nester Does: Take a Class on How to Write a Blog


This is a blog I started as an assignment in a class I am taking on how to write a blog because that is exactly the kind of thing an empty nester does, right? Attend classes at the community college, take up knitting, write a blog? 

I am not really a new empty nester—my daughter graduated from college in 2009, and she didn’t move home even in the summers after she left for college in 2005. I have never had to wonder about what to do with my time, with or without a child at home. In 2008, I went back to school and acquired another graduate degree; this one in fine arts, in poetry to be specific. I have always worked full-time outside the home and continue to do so, although I have made some changes (one of the advantages to being an empty nester) in my work situation lately to have more time to follow my passion which is writing.

Being an empty nester is not just about finding ways to keep busy now that your daughter or daughters, son or sons don’t need you any more. It is about a time in your life when things can turn upside down. . . for the better and at times, for the not so better. It can be a time in which you experience immense new freedom or even dire sadness. One thing is certain, to quote Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore. Instead, we are in a strange new place of significantly reduced responsibilities for the care of our children which is a kind of new-found freedom, with more time to pursue creative passions or to explore new places, both within ourselves and in the outside world; though, mark my word, there is sometimes, still a lot of care to be given to young adult off-spring.

Some Interesting Facts About Empty Nesters

Here are some interesting facts I found on a website about being an empty nester (You can read the full article here.)

“Since 1996, Del Webb has conducted an annual survey of the Baby Boom Generation, comprised of Americans born between the years 1946 and 1960. Baby Boomers throughout the United States this year were polled on their feelings about becoming Empty Nesters and its impact on their retirement plans. The Baby Boomer Survey, conducted in April and May 2004, reveals Boomers are embracing the idea of Empty Nesting, the stage in life when children move out of their parent's home for good. While Boomers have an array of emotions about the situation, most look forward to getting back to what they were always accused of being - the "me generation." Below is a summary of the main points the survey uncovered:. . .

§   26 percent of respondents say they will feel like newlyweds when their kids are gone and even more (34 percent) say they will feel closer to their spouse without the children around.
§   Fifty-eight percent say they are or were emotionally ready to get the kids out of the house. Males (70 percent) are significantly more likely to be emotionally prepared than females (55 percent.)
§   The older the Boomers become the more ready they are to clear the Nest. In fact 71 percent of the Boomers between 53-58 years old are emotionally ready to be Empty Nesters.
§   Boomers have mixed feelings about becoming Empty Nesters. While a large percentage is neutral about the emotional impact, Boomers do feel an increase in freedom to be themselves with Empty Nesting. . ."

Are you ready?  Will you and your spouse feel like newlyweds?  Do you have mixed feeling about this stage in your life?  We can't always answer those questions easily. So, this is what I want my blog to be: a gathering place for kindred hens (or roosters) whose chicks have fledged . . . a place where I can share my stories and tell some of your stories, with your permission, of course. I want this to a place where we can walk along together and see what the empty nest looks like turned upside down. I hope you will make comments, share what is going on in your own empty nest. I’d love to hear from you.

Just for Fun

My favorite new commercials are a series created by the advertising firm of Saatchi and Saatchi LA for the new Toyota Venza that is directed at empty nesters. Here’s one just for fun. 

4 comments:

  1. I felt like my kids leaving home was a "job well done". Its what I'd been working & preparing them for all these years... will they come back - probably - but then so did I... do I or they want to come back? No... not really. I love the freedom and so do they. Letting go - not worrying - all new steps to climb up onto... and though I'm happier with less laundry and dishes and everything else - still hard to climb those steps at times. Overall - I'm happy when they are happy - OUTSIDE the nest!

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  2. Thanks for the comment Dana. I can really relate to your comment about less laundry and dishes. Here is a question for you--do all the years of doing things for them, in anyway obligate them to take care of you in your old age? Not that they wouldn't want to.

    On some level, we have and raise kids because it is a biological thing to do and, even liking it is biological. Are kids obligated in anyway. . . to pay it back somehow, i.e. take care of you when you need to be taken care of? Is there anything biological about that? Or does something else come into play? Just thinking.

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  3. Grace,

    Love it - thanks for pointing us in your direction!

    It's fantastic that you have a new found passion with your blog - keep it up, you have talent! -David & Veronica

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  4. Thank you so much GypsyNesters! I added your cool site to my blog list. You are good role models!

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