Meet my 3 adorable grands — likely the only ones I’ll have since my other 2 kids seem determined to never have kids. I’m blessed with the best of both worlds since my daughter and her family live within an hour of me. Hence, I’m an empty nester during the week and have a full, loud house at least 1 day during the weekend. Sometimes I feel lonely during the week when it’s just me and Pearl — you met her in my earlier post.
Life as an empty nester
I work, mostly from home. I teach (I’m a marketing professor), run a marketing blog (which I started over 10 years ago), and write a little fiction (mostly thrillers you can find on Amazon). I love the peace and quiet that lets me work without distractions or interruptions. When my kids were little, I worked on my PhD and I felt torn by my responsibilities and my education so I worked crazy hours to ensure I was around for the kids, doing my studies after I put them to bed at night. I was a single mom, so I was all there was. I guess that’s why quiet means a lot to me — it reminds me of those years working (in my walk-in closet) after the kids were asleep.
Since the shut-down, being an empty nester changed. I can’t go out shopping, meet friends for lunch, teach a classroom full of students, have coffee with colleagues … I shouldn’t complain. I know lots of people who have it much worse than me.
Hey, I still have my health.
I do feel sad and alone sometimes. I work and teach via Zoom, I chat with family and friends via Zoom, and I shop via apps and websites. Sometimes I feel my most important relationships right now are with Apple and Xfinity.
A chaotic life with a full house
Whenever I think about how my life as an empty nester is sad and lonely, I think about spending a day with my grands, my daughter, and my son-in-law. Don’t take this the wrong way, but about 30 minutes into my visit, I miss the quiet and peacefulness of home. Their house is loud with toys scattered around and endless demands to play Barbie according to my granddaughter’s storyline.
I recently went on vacation with this crew, traveling 6 hours to the beach and staying in a condo with them for 5 days. It was WONDERFUL. I enjoyed the sun and sun, the pool and food, but mostly I enjoyed the kids.
We collected shells, I taught the boys body surfing in the waves, and we splashed around in the tidal pools during low tide.
It was fun and relaxing… and I was never so glad to get home. As women of a certain age, we just don’t have the stamina (at least I don’t) to keep up with 3 little people who seem to have boundless energy.
And, talk. It doesn’t seem to matter if there’s anything to say, this little guy never shuts his mouth unless he’s glued to a screen.
Which is better, being an empty nester or a full house?
Well, that’s the million-dollar question. Maybe it’s best to have both!
OK, enough for today.
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