The last of your children is grown and has moved out of the house—for good, this time Congratulations! You’re an empty nester. Now what? Sure, you probably feel some sorrow as you look at the now-empty room of your child. But you have so many opportunities to shift gears in your life and start living it entirely for yourself. It may be a tough change for someone who is a consummate parent, but once you get into that empty-nester mindset, you’re going to have a great time. Start looking forward, not back. And here are some ideas of things to do as an empty-nester.
Spend an entire day going to the “someday” places around you. How many times have you passed a shop, restaurant, or attraction and promised yourself, “Someday I’ve got to stop there”? Think about all of those places and map out a route for a day trip (or longer) to check them off your list. You might uncover a hidden treasure that becomes a new favorite. At the very least, you’ll have satisfied your curiosity.
Sign up for a class. What’s been on your list of things to learn? Maybe you want to improve your computer skills or investment knowledge. Or perhaps you’ve been thinking how much fun it would be to learn ballroom dancing. Whatever has tugged at your desire to learn, find a class and enroll. Your local library, high school, tech center, college, art guild, recreation department, home centers, and craft stores are good sources for classes.
Try something totally out of your comfort zone. Push your personal boundaries. You decide how far to go. If skydiving, parasailing, and ziplining are too far out there, take a smaller step. Take yourself out to eat or to a movie, or anything by yourself. Learn to enjoy your own company.
Volunteer. As a mom or dad, you’re used to giving your time to help your kids. Why not allocate some of it now to help others? Volunteer to coach a local team, visit with senior citizens, walk dogs for the local animal shelter, or help out at your local library, hospital, school, church, or a non-profit organization. There is always someone who could use your help.
Reconnect with friends. You probably have drifted from some friends who still matter to you. Call, text, email, or Facebook them. If they’re close enough, plan a get-together.
Redecorate. Your kids have officially moved. It’s perfectly acceptable to not maintain their room(s) as a shrine to their childhood. How else could you use that spare room? Convert it to a guest room, hobby space, study, fitness studio, home office, library, or your own type of “playroom”. Clean it out, paint the walls, and redecorate to reclaim this part of your nest.
If you decide that you’re ready to right-size your life, consider making the move to a low-maintenance home and community where you can enjoy a lifestyle that reflects your present and future, not your past. Epcon Communities are comprised of single-family homes, often enhanced with amenities like a clubhouse, pool, and other features. Some exterior maintenance is typically included so you have more time to enjoy your well-deserved freedom. If you want to stay close to your family and friends, browse our communities around the country and gallery of homes. Then contact us to start feathering a whole, new nest!