Finding Your Joy

The Empty but Exciting Nest

If you are following me on social media (or if you are among my friends and family) then you know that my kids all moved out of the house about 3 weeks ago. While this sounds exciting at first, I have had some struggles. I don’t think my struggles are typical by any accounts though.

When my inner circle heard our news of the empty castle, there were mixed reactions. Some were sympathetic. Expecting me to be awash with tears and sadness. Some were overjoyed at the idea of us being free from our parental obligations that go with having your 3 adult kids living under your roof. I have found that my reaction has fallen somewhere in the middle of that.

I admit that at first, I spent some time in the fetal position on my bathroom floor while I ugly cried until I didn’t think I could cry anymore. But then…something happened to me and…I got a bit excited.

I had 3 extra rooms in my home that I could do whatever I wanted to do in.

I could cook for my husband and I. With no other considerations other than what worked for us. (Plant based – here we come!)

I would be able to clean and things would stay that way.

I could put stuff away and as long as my 48 year old mind could recall where I put it, it would be there when I wanted it again.

Parenthood has been an amazing ride for me. I have LOVED being a Mom and raising my kids…but now…I felt like someone has just given me the keys to the penthouse suite at the Ritz Carlton. I could do ME now. I had that freedom. Only, I had zero clue what I wanted to do.

Currently, I am throwing myself into redesigning and reworking our physical space at home. Just about every room is getting a make over. I am rearranging furniture. Painting. Patching. Digging. Scrubbing. Often to the point of exhaustion. But at the end of the day, when I flop down in bed, I have this incredible sense of super hero accomplishment.

While the physical decluttering and rearranging is fabulous for me, I know the bigger battles are on my horizon.

Now that my Mom cape can be hung up in the closet, where am I going to find my joy?

Formal education seems a bit futile at this point, since I don’t plan to start a new career. I have tons of things that I want to learn and discover. Photography. Gardening. Cooking. Travel. But those are things that will fill the spaces when I am not doing what I really LOVE to be doing. The BIG stuff.

At the root of my being has always been a love to write. An ability to share thoughts and words with others that inspires them to think or be. And as I stare into my newly free flowing abyss – I think that it may be time to put some more energy into that passion – at least for a while.

Getting back to putting my thoughts in a space where I am accountable not only to others, but also to myself. Having to face my truth as it stares at me from a computer screen – or my journal may just help me to figure this all out.

When I grow up, this time, what do I get to be?

Have any of you experienced a new sense of definition? Faced with a new path that left you a bit perplexed as to which direction to head? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments.

About Author

Shelah has been a yoga instructor and holistic Nutrition consultant in South Florida for 8 years. She has a zest for writing and loves to help others transform their lives. Humor, love and proper use of F bombs are what keep her going.

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