Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Dear Empty Nester

Ok, you’re on your own. There’s no one to really look after or do things for. You feel like your purpose is gone. You literally don’t know what to do with or for yourself because you’ve been taking care of others for what seems like forever.

You feel like your “purpose” is gone. I know. I repeated this part about purpose because it’s important. While you knew this day would come, you don’t feel prepared to move forward. You somehow feel guilty for not having anything to do. You’re anxious because you can’t stop feeling like you should be doing something, but you have no clue what that something is. Yikes!

Getting yourself out of the house feels like a chore. So many “why bothers” come hurling at your over anxious brain and it debilitates your forward momentum. You’re exhausted and you’re peering over the edge into the abyss called, “What now”.

You holler into the abyss and nothing comes back. You’re frustrated with yourself. You may even be a little angry and disappointed. But, none of this will change the fact, that just as seasons change, so do the seasons of our life.

And I’m not gonna lie, this one has been hard. Nothing will teach you faster about what you put your worth into than becoming an empty nester.

But, as I sit in the quiet, I’ve learned it’s not the time to make huge life altering decisions. This is the time to be still and figure out who you are again. Do you even know what you like? Do you even have a clue what brings you joy?

We carry a lot of titles that try to tie themselves to our identity. They deceive us into thinking we’re more important than we are, and without them we’ll be nothing. It’s why so many feel so lost when they retire. We become the job. Forgetting that before the job, we were someone.

You have a choice. You get to decide what’s next. You get to discover who YOU are, what YOU like, what’s worth YOUR time. Because suddenly you’re very aware of time and how it stops for no one.

And that’s a lot of you. You’ve not had to sit with just you in a long time. The person you face in the mirror every morning is all you got. So, whatcha gonna do with all that? I’ve been asking myself this question for months.

Let me share a little of what I’ve learned.

  1. Give yourself grace to be a human being over a human doing. It’s ok to not be going at mach 10 speed.
  2. Be kind to you. You’ve been through a lot and your soul needs tending to. Crying is inevitable, so have kleenex in every room.
  3. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Getting to know you will be a challenge, but it’s crucial to understand the culmination of you, up to this point.
  4. Journal. Get the yuck out and you’ll begin to see what you’ve been carrying. Just be honest about all of it. All. Of. It.
  5. Get outside, everyday in some way. Look up. It will remind you, there’s a bigger world out there, outside of yourself.
  6. You’re worth taking care of. Make a good meal for yourself. Go for a walk. Dance. Listen to music. Sing. Meditate. Take a course of some sort. Talk with God….a lot! Get your hair done. Get a pedicure or manicure. Get a massage. Move your body.
  7. Don’t isolate! It’s important you don’t sit with you and your own thoughts for too long. Let’s face it, we can be our own worst enemy.
  8. Be a good friend to you. Speak life over yourself. Remember life and death are in the power of the tongue.
  9. Volunteer
  10. Above all else, guard your heart. Everything you do flows from what’s in there.

Being an empty nester, doesn’t have to mean your life is empty. This is the time for discovery. You’re an amazing person who maybe forgot about you because everyone else took good chunks of you. God still has good plans for you. You’re not forgotten. You’ve got more gumption and courage for this new phase of life. Most importantly, YOU are not alone. Trust me, if I feel like this, I know others out there do as well. You need something to do? Let me know. If you need to chat, gimme a holler.

You may just find this empty nest life to be the very best thing you never knew you needed. Wipe those tears off your beautiful face, and get back in the game. Your life isn’t ending, it’s just beginning! ❤️

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