5 Strategies for Enjoying Midlife when the Kids leave Home

I was in conversation recently with another midlife woman and I asked her what word or thought comes to mind when thinking about this time of life. Her response was immediately, “freedom!” I thought that was interesting because it wasn’t my first thought, but it gave me reason to celebrate her reality.

My friend raised two sons and the youngest is just about to graduate college. While she misses having her boys at home, she is happy to have more time to devote to things that interest her. Now she can read a book until she is ready to put it down. She can accomplish chores around the house without interruption. Her nights are quiet and offer time for relaxation and reflection.

I can appreciate more free time. As one of my children is recently married and the other one is working and going to college, I have more time to myself. I still get interrupted with requests from one or the other but I don’t mind because it’s what my role requires. Since my kids were born, I have always been a wife and mother first – serving everyone in my family. I figure the time is near when they will both be so busy, they won’t have time for me.

Are you nearing the “Empty Nest” era of your life? What, if any, new plans do you have to fill your time? Are you wondering what you might do now that the house is so quiet? Here are five ideas to get yourself recharged and ready for the next phase of your life.

1) Embark on a new career
My sister-in-law has three kids in college and for the first time in her life she is exploring her options for working outside the home (or inside). After some serious soul searching, she has decided to study Reiki, a healing art that requires a gifted spirit for re-distributing energy throughout the body for healing. Someone told her 10 years ago that she would be a healer. Is there a part of you that knows what you want to explore? Research, dig, pray and discover.

2) Find a way to serve
It’s a mystery to me how people become bored in life. Just reading the paper or Google News reveals a deep need for volunteers and service to mankind. Getting outside of yourself can be very rewarding and can also lead to new friendships and opportunities.

3) Get creative! We are creatures designed to co- create. Have you ever thought what it might be like to put a paint brush in your hand or create some jewelry? My 84-year-old mother-in-law makes jewelry almost every day. She’s got bling to go with everything! My husband enjoys making barbeque sauce and beef jerky. There’s something out there for everyone.

4) Start a hobby. That same woman I just mentioned not only makes jewelry, she also raises finches, tends to her garden, has a pond with goldfish, takes classes in computers and photography and manages to sew up a storm! My midlife body could use some of her senior energy.

5) Start a lunch bunch. Do you have a few girlfriends or guy friends whose company you enjoy? For women, coffee or lunch is a great way to connect. For men, a cigar and some scotch usually help make the connection. Whatever you like to do, grab a group and share some laughs!

Whether you are feeling freedom or a need for change, embrace this time and enjoy it. Life is short and the clock is ticking. Look for inspiration and then take some action. Do something you’ve been longing to do. Make your Bucket List. Inspire someone else to do the same. Feel the satisfaction of making a small shift in your life and the ripple effect it creates.

For more information and solutions to midlife issues, visit http://www.midlifelivingwell.com

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Kneller is the publisher of Midlife Living Well, a lifestyle website an online magazine providing solutions for midlife living. She also teaches yoga in the Scottsdale, AZ area.

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