The Strangest Thing Happened to Me This Summer…

by Nancy Lundy of It’s About Time 

 

During the summer, my work hours become shorter. Monday through Thursday, I only work half the day with Fridays off! Woo-hoo!  In previous summers, these shorter days at work allowed me much longer days with my kids and my friends.  I had extra time to catch up on some reading, take the kids to the beach, and spend time going to different places with them. Up until this summer, I absolutely appreciated working less and having more free time.

But something unusual happened this summer. I had extra time. Hmmmm, actually I had a lot of extra time with those shorter work hours. After a few weeks, their novelty suddenly wore off. It seemed like I had too much time in fact, but how can that be? I couldn’t figure it out. So one day I spoke to my friend, Allison, about my restlessness. The house is so quiet, I explained.  I’ve read so many books, and I’m slightly ahead with working on my coaching.  What’s happening?  Why am I so restless? 

She said, ”Nance, you’re starting to have an empty nest.

“What,” I gasped. “Naaah, that’s not it.

A few weeks go by and the restlessness continues to haunt me.  I am bored with reading. The dog and I have run out of things to talk about.  Wait, could Allison actually be right?  Have I started to empty the nest?

No, I know for a fact that I have not emptied my nest.  The kids are still home, living in the house.  Well, one is home at least, and  one is off at college most of the time.  Then I think,  maybe someone emptied it for me.  But when?  I’ve been here the whole time.  Okay, I wasn’t vigilant, but I was aware of what was happening. Wasn’t I?  After some reflection, I was able to peacefully admit that the process has begun.

Where has the time gone?  It was just last week, I was “nesting”, getting the nursery ready for my daughter’s arrival.  Blink, now I’m emptying the nest?  What the heck?  And what the heck do I now?

Ok, for one thing , I need to practice what I preach: Slow down, Lundy.  You are a personal time coach who helps women over 50 with these exact situations.  Ok, I’ll have a session with myself…

So, what’s happening?  Well, I seem to have a feeling of restlessness, because it seems I have a little free time, which is something I’m not used to having.  But it’s not really “free” time; it’s more like “empty, quiet” time.  I am still busy working, running my business, maintaining the home, but there just seems to be empty space in my day when I’ve run out of things to do.  I’m not running up to the kids’ school, making their lunches, doing their laundry, helping with science projects, and so on.

But I don’t necessarily want to fill the empty space. I guess I want to “accept” it and maybe even appreciate it.  How about embrace it?  Yep, I like that.  I want to embrace this empty space.

What can I do to embrace it?  Acknowledging it certainly works and not feeling like I have to fill it works.  Being in the present moment and being aware that things are shifting.  My nest is not empty, believe me and now that school is back, work is full time again, my coaching practice will pick up again, my schedule will pick up, but I’ll admit, things are shifting–not all at once.  But, it’s happening.

What steps will I take to acknowledge this shift to the empty nest?

  • Most importantly, I will not force myself to fill any empty space with more responsibilities.
  • I’ll explore opportunities to enhance my well being
  • I’ll recognize that this is all part of the process and I’m embracing my second half.

By writing this blogpost, I was able to go inside and recognize that something was amiss.  By sharing this story with you, I was able to release my anxiety and restlessness and appreciate what is now happening in life.

To complete my session, I’ll share with you my take-away:

From my session, I was able to acknowledge, appreciate and embrace my life so  that I can continue to learn more about myself and this fortunate process.  Many women before us didn’t have the know-how, the opportunities, or the resources to prepare them for the what’s next.  I am truly blessed.

Photo credit: grit.com

 

 

  • Lorie Eber

    It’s a difficult transition I imagine. I never had kids, but I retired once and recareered and it was tough to do. You go from 100 mph to 0mph. Hang in there!

    • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.magilliganlundy Nancy Magilligan Lundy

      Thanks for the acknowledgement and encouragement.

  • http://www.agingabundantly.com/ Dorothy Sander

    Wonderful post Nancy! I remember so well the feelings you described and not knowing exactly what was going on. You are indeed fortunate to have the tools to coach yourself through these midlife changes and I have no doubt your clients benefit greatly from expertise. It’s so easy to get bogged down by feelings and the confusion of change and transition during these years. I know I would have benefited greatly having someone like you by my side, helping me find my way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.magilliganlundy Nancy Magilligan Lundy

      Thanks, Dorothy for your kind words and continued encouragement.

  • http://twitter.com/GrownandFlown Grown and Flown

    Nancy, we are two moms in your same situation (I think) with our oldest kids in college and the youngest, in 11th grade. We have become parto of an amazing community of empty nesters or nearly empty nesters whoa re writing about this time in their lives. It’s made all the difference to us to be part of and learn from others. Hope to keep up with you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.magilliganlundy Nancy Magilligan Lundy

      Thanks, ladies, for commenting. We will continue to find each other on our path. We are amongst a great number of people. Much luck to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001580433795 Jeremy Delancy

    Through all the changing scenes of life, it’s good to know yourself and where you are at any given time. Every success in your coaching business.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.magilliganlundy Nancy Magilligan Lundy

      Thank you, Jeremy. It’s been a process and will always be a process — one I enjoy each day

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