Our son went off to college four years ago, our daughter just flew off for a 3-week vacation, and we are now practicing empty nesting ahead of next month when she leaves for college as well.
Prior to retirement from the corporate world some companies offer retirement rehearsal and practice retirement. While we are a long way from retirement, this is a bit similar in that we will have more time for our own activities, whether business, personal or relationship wise. And now, while our daughter is away for the next three weeks we get to rehearse empty nesting. No more making school breakfasts and school lunches, no more school concerts, college info sessions or visits, or any of the other activities that went with having high schoolers at home. No more wondering whether they’ll be here for dinner or not, and if the cats have been fed and their litter boxes cleaned (I get to do that part now). Less laundry and less food shopping. Less silly texting with my daughter, and less nerve ringing when the text tone chimes, wondering what’s going on now. Freeeeeeeeeee…………. to do other stuff.
I hope to change my morning routine to incorporate a short meditation practice before getting ready for work. I hope to have a bit more mid-week fun, as we did before children when we regularly had people over, went out with friends right after work, or did a free museum night. And I already know that I will appreciate the children even more when I see them again after a longer absence.