As the (Empty) Nest Turns

We caught up with friends of ours, a couple, also Empty Nesters, but with one year experience, over the weekend. We seem to be doing this year what they did last year. They too had a daughter who played soccer. So, a year ago they travelled to as many games as they could get to for her final season. Their other child was out of college and living and working in another state, so they too had to travel to visit her. We have a lot in common in that way. In fact, I recall being a little surprised at how quickly our friends launched into a number of home improvement projects. It was a new kitchen, a new sitting room, and I can't remember what else. And, I thought to myself, I can't ever see us being able to do that. We've got college bills to pay, and etc. Anyway, fast forward to one of our first few days home post fall travel schedule and lo and behold, I have a list. It starts with a new Master Bath, then moves on to flooring upgrades on the first floor. There is more, a lot more, but for now I'll leave at those two things. It didn't occur to me when I had this “reverse nesting syndrome,” I'll call it, that our friends had been through it last year. The reverse nesting syndrome involves returning the house to its pre-children state or simply making it no longer about the kids and their needs. It is wanting to clean and purge the house of all the unnecessary kids stuff we don't need anymore. and, apparently includes wanting to refresh or finally add to the house. I can't believe it. It's like we are reading from the same script. Do all Empty Nesters go through a series of similar behaviors and actions? I had the same thought when I noticed all the “folks our age and older” on the bike trail yesterday. So, this is what it's like to put the focus back on ourselves and our homes. I don't foresee us getting to our projects until both of our kids graduate, but at least I have a list. Next up, the plan. Then, the timetable. In the meantime, I'm going to keep my eyes open for the “Complete Guide to Being an Empty Nester.” Or, I'll write it myself!

Just a note about the photo: It was taken in Rhode Island by my husband using his “real” camera, a Nikon D50.

 

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