We are amazed by this term empty nester. It often has so many negative associations with it: thoughts of loneliness, boredom, and grief, even depression. Why is this so? You have given 18 years of your life to a person(s) who has eaten your food, squatted in your home, given you many sleepless nights from birth to teenage years. Sure, they have also given you great joy and happiness, but you just got your home back. This is no time to be depressed; it’s time to celebrate!
6 Things To Do as an Empty Nester:
You can go to bed at anytime you want. You will not be sleeping with one eye open waiting for the car to pull into the garage or the key to unlock the door. Although you will still panic when the phone rings after midnight. Enjoy not getting up early on the weekend to watch your child play or perform somewhere.
Admit it, you know you have used the kids as an excuse of why you don’t have time to exercise. That excuse is gone – so get to it. You don’t have to spend money to join a gym. Simply, commit to 30 minutes of exercise every weekday and don’t alter from it or allow anything to get in the way.
3. Walk Around Naked
Remember the movie, Failure to Launch? Terry Bradshaw created his “naked room.” Well, Matthew McConaughy is not living in your house, so walk around everywhere naked! You will enjoy it, as it will be the most liberating feeling in your new non-kid encumbered house.
Don’t over commit, because you need to enjoy this new free time that you have. But consider something you enjoy – is it reading? If so, volunteer one day a week at the library. Do you love the theatre? Volunteer at your local theatre as an usher. You will enjoy the feeling of giving back as well as making a new set of friends.
5. Learn New Things
What have you always wanted to learn, but haven’t because the kids took up too much time? Did you always want to learn to play an instrument? Learn a new language? Paint? Ballroom Dance? Yoga? Whatever it is, your town is sure to have a class – so go sign up. Groupon and Living Social have deals everyday for lots of these activities.
This doesn’t have to be a lengthy and expensive European cruise (but if you have the time and the money – go for it!). Have spontaneous travel – research one-tank trips in your area. Our state visitors bureau has Tours on a Tankful, your state probably does too. Enjoy your free time and go discover places you never had time to explore before.
We have to acknowledge that only one of our boys has left the nest, we still have two at home. But, our two younger boys starting going away to a seven-week summer camp five years ago. The first summer they went, we looked at each other and said, “this empty-nester thing is going to be awesome.” Each summer we have taken advantage of everything we list above. It is the only time of the year that we can sleep in. We started an exercise regimen that we still maintain today. Nudity around the house begins as soon as we return from the airport. Yogalates was learned one summer. And of course, travel.
Here are 6 added bonuses after the nest empties:
- Lower Grocery Bill
- Cleaner House
- Less Laundry
- Lower Utility Bills
- More Sex, Anywhere
- More Free Time
If you have a few years before you become an empty-nester couple, make sure you are connected as a couple. You don’t want to look at one another after they leave and then realize you haven’t had a non-kid or business related conversation in over a decade. That could lead to you each creating your own empty-nester plans. This is not a time to grow apart. It is the perfect time to grow together. You want to enjoy this new time as a couple, just like you did when you first got married and the nest was empty.
If you have been an empty nester for a while, then check in with each other and make sure you are enjoying and doing the six things we’ve listed. And make sure number five in the bonuses is still a reality.
We hope these tips, whether implemented today or down the road, will help you to live a complete life as a CoupleCEO that is more passionate and productive.