A little over a month ago I made a promise to you. It was a promise to open up and share my heart with you in a very real way. I told you I wished that I could sit down and have coffee with each one of you, and we could have a good long chat. So In the spirit of those old SNL “Coffee Talk” skits with Mike Myers as Linda Richman, let’s have cawfee, and let’s tawk. I’m going to tell you what’s on my heart, and I want you to do the same with me, okay?
What’s up with being embarrassed or ashamed of our age? I just don’t get it. I love my age! I feel bold and excited to be 52! I’m so happy not to have to worry about the things I did when I was younger. I feel braver, less concerned about what other people think of me (although that’s still a challenge), and more confident of who I am, sure of whose I am, and certain of what I’m called to do. I understand my strengths and weaknesses, and I’m not afraid to ask for help when I need it. What freedom!!! Aging has emboldened me! Do you feel that way too? Big props to my friends at Chico’s for their new #HowBoldAreYou campaign! When they asked me to be a part of it, I could not say “yes” fast enough. We’re not getting older; we’re getting bolder. Want to proclaim how bold you are with a shirt like mine? You can order one here. (They have ages from 40-80.) Many thanks to Chico’s for gifting me with this shirt and asking me to help proclaim this message.
Older Bolder really is better!
The Empty Nest
I get lots of emails from empty nesters who are still struggling with empty nest grief further down the road than they feel like they should be. If you’ve ever experienced grief in any way, shape, or form (And at our age, who hasn’t?), you know two things: One, it’s different for each individual; and two, it’s unpredictable. The grief that accompanies the empty nest is not something you “get over.” In my March SO in the KNOW post, I told you how I completely embarrassed myself during a photo shoot with my daughter last week by bursting into tears as I was holding her close for some shots we were getting for an upcoming post about mother/daughter relationships. I was suddenly so sad that this 21-year-old child who would not leave my hip for the first three years of her life was now at an age where I don’t get to hold her anymore. Having the opportunity to snuggle with her was just so precious to me. It was an empty nester moment of grief that spontaneously came upon me. My daughter and my photographer (in her mid-twenties) were both so worried about me! When I tried to explain, it just made me cry harder. The grief that accompanies the empty nest is a real thing, and it’s normal.
One of the things I hear most often from empty nesters is how much busier they are than they thought they would be. I relate! I’m not sure why I thought the empty nest season of life would have lots of free time like some kind of retirement. (Ironically, the people who thrive in retirement are those who keep busy.) It’s just that the busyness looks different than it used to. If you’re still trying to figure out what to do in the empty nest season of life, keep looking and trying until you find the thing that really makes you excited. The important thing I think we need to remember? Busyness doesn’t equal significance.
The Search for Significance
When our kids were in the nest, it was easy to feel significant and needed. But with an empty nest, those feelings may have diminished. I think that’s because significance doesn’t come from what we do. That’s part of it, but I believe real significance comes from knowing who we are and whose we are. As a Christian, I find my identity in my relationship with Christ. My goal is to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…” (Col. 1:10). Empty Nest Blessed is not a faith-based blog per se (there are lots of good ones out there), but it does reflect me, and my faith is central to who I am. Easter for me is about more than the dress I’m going to wear. It holds the key to my life. If you want to know more, this article explains it well.
So that’s what’s on my heart this month. What’s on yours? Please leave me a comment and let me know! I’m so grateful for each one of you, and your sweet comments and encouragement mean so much to me. Thank you for reading and following Empty Nest Blessed.
I’m really looking forward to spending time with our family this weekend! My daughter is coming back into town. (“I just like the way our church does Easter, Mom.” So sweet.) My son and daughter-in-law feel the same way and they’re coming over to go with us too. After church, we’ll go out for brunch with grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc. and then everybody will head back to our house to watch a little afternoon baseball and play with our grandpuppy. I’ll be posting photos, so watch my Facebook and Instastory.
SHOP THE POST
P.S. Get excited for next week, y’all! I have fun posts coming up on inexpensive empty nester date ideas and the hot spring nail polish colors you need to try. Plus, I’m sharing all about the embroidery trend in fashion and giving you ideas for how to incorporate it into your existing wardrobe. If you’re not on my email list, you might want to think about signing up so that you don’t miss a thing! I send out emails when I publish a new post (2-3 times a week), and you can always unsubscribe if I get on your nerves. 🙂