In August 2014, I was unceremoniously added to the list of empty nesters.
In the three minutes it took for me to drive off campus, my status changed from homeschooling mom of 20 years to mom.
During the 90 miles drive home, I was a bit numb, unsettled, and disjointed. I wasn’t sobbing uncontrollably but I also wasn’t singing with abandonment either. After all, I’d been preparing myself mentally for this day since our first son left for college 2 years ago. It was a day I knew would come; that I couldn’t stop or ignore or avoid.
It was like the Grinch who tried to stop Christmas from coming. It simply wouldn’t work.
And I didn’t really want to stop it. I truly was full of joy in many respects. We had raised our sons to the point of independence; to the place where they felt confident to step out and experience life outside our watchful presence.
And I realized I was now at a point of independence as well. The question was, “Am I confident to step out and experience life outside their presence?”
I decided the answer was a nervous, tentative yes, but yes, nevertheless.
But that meant I needed to ask myself some of the same questions that my college kids wrestle with:he
**What type of relationships do I want to discover or rediscover?
**What dreams do I have?
**What do I absolutely love to do?
**What do I have to share with others?
**How do I want to use my time?
**What do I want to do with my life (his first stage of life and my second stage)
**What am I being called to do with my life (the rest of it)
**What’s most important to me?
What obstacles and fears do I need to overcome to go for new goals?
What’s it going to take to face my fears?
So, I’ve started my junior year as an empty nester and I’m still learning and relearning as I go.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein