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Empty Nest, Life Changes and Taking an Honest Inventory

Aug 28, 2021

I dropped my daughter off at college yesterday. Her older brother left the week before for his junior year, and her step brother left the day before, a freshman like she is....

The house is oddly quiet. It has been this quiet before, but it was always temporary. They'd be back in a bit, or in and out as they went on with their activities, jobs and friends. The phone would buzz with text updates about a shift in times or asking permission to shift and do something different.

 This is a different quiet. It's lingering and deafening at the same time. I know I will get used to the lack of sound, but on this day it rings in my ears like an alarm I can't turn off. 

As I start on this new stage of life, and they on theirs, I take a minute to remind myself it is bittersweet. The sweetness comes from their new adventures and journeys, the stories that will come about opportunities and experiences that unfold for them. The thing is, the same is true for me. With "time on my hands" and a new level of quiet comes opportunity to make changes, try new things, slow down if needed, or just appreciate the stillness. 

So, in the spirit of change and new stages in life, I realize it's time to assess where I am and what I have and where I can go. I realize that it is good to go through the garage of my mind every so often and clean out old, worn out ideas that fail to serve me any longer.

 What areas do I look at? It's a shift to think about yourself when you have been thinking about others for so long, but the time is now to step back and take an assessment.

I see that it is time for an update, so I upgrade the computer in my mind. I install new ideas and beliefs that support me, my dreams, and my goals.

I recognize that my health could use an overhaul as well. To this end, I promise take advantage of all the home grown, fresh fruits and vegetables at my farmer’s market. I come up with fresh recipes that benefit my body. I will take this opportunity to get outside and smell the fresh air, too.

I will use the time to get some much-needed exercise!

I decide that while I am at it, I might as well clean out the cupboards of unused, superfluous stuff. I see that it is unnecessary to hoard. (Funny how everything you thought you needed more of "shows up" when no one is home using it. Look at what you have, think about what you truly NEED, pair down if it makes sense. 

Now, to reflect. I find that I have enough. I am enough. I have faith in my abilities to produce what I need. This isn't about material things, it's about taking the time to do what works, invest with time in myself and my interests and my dreams.

 

 Here are some questions for you to reflect on...

Self-Reflection Questions:

 

  1. Where can I do some “housekeeping” in my life?
  2. What part of my life needs an upgrade?
  3. How can I release old, worn out behavior?

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