Being an empty nester at 50… re-defining yourself #changes #lifechanges #meaningoflife

I got married young. Very young. I was only 22. Had my first child at 25. She’s now half my age. She joined the Peace Corps. Lives in Madagascar. She’s been traveling the world since she went to college. The last birthday she had in the states was when she turned 20. Her next chapter when she gets out of the Peace Corps will be to attend Medical School to become a Psychiatrist and work with brain trauma and PTSD with Military Vets. Probably in a war torn area. She’s always been goal oriented, stubborn, and always goes after what she wants with full force. I have a son who will be 23 on the October 21st. He graduated in May and took a job at Golf Course in Los Vegas just three weeks out of school. He sold his first golf membership yesterday and then played golf with a Pro from the UK. He’s living the dream. My youngest boy is 19. He’s double majoring in Finance and Economics at Xavier University while also playing Club Hockey. He’ll most likely being doing a summer internship in Cincinnati this summer.

My favorite role has always been mother. Its funny, I didn’t see myself as being a mother when I was a little girl. But I also never really thought about it. I was a tomboy, always trying to keep up with the boys, proving girls could do anything boys could do. And we’re better looking doing it. I went head to head with a male swimmer at 12 to be the first “person” and “girl” to swim five miles at camp. He got a cramp half way through and had to stop (he was at least 2 laps ahead of me at the time, still think he was being a gentlemen) and I succeeded. Back then, I thought I’d be living and working at summer camp forever, but things change.

Things always change.

I didn’t have a clue as to what I wanted to do as I graduated from HS. I changed my major three times in college and didn’t graduate until I was 25 and pregnant. I worked in my chosen field until I gave birth to child number #2 at age 27. By then being a mother was all that mattered to me. I worked part-time at something my entire life until six years ago where I started working full time because you know, I was preparing for being an empty nester. Something I thought was going to be great! But not really. Not so much. But really, great. Its weird how that works.

I never lived through my kids. Sure, I put my daughter in dance because I was in dance. We taught them how to waterski and snow ski because those were our hobbies. But they all ended up taking on their own sport, and they all ended up in Hockey. Go figure. That was quite the adventure and became the center of our lives. Hell, we averaged 30k miles on the cars, went to about 150 hockey games a year in two countries and five states with three kids. being a hockey mom was all I knew.

I remember the day my daughter and husband packed up the car and he took her to college. Child number one, sort of gone. Then child number two. Then number three. Didn’t happen at once. And really, when #3 went, I was fine. First year went really well.

But I was just faking it. When I drove my middle boy across the country to Vegas where he started his first job out of college, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. There does come a point where a parent looks at their children and realize, while they will always be “mom” its time to really just let go. Sure, I give them my two cents every chance a I get (and the fifty bucks in my wallet), but they are grown, making their own decisions, and making their own way through life.

This past Friday we went to our cottage that just recently sold to empty out 27 years of stuff. We’d been ready to sell for a couple of a years as no one really gets down there, so I was shocked at how emotional I became, literally crying almost all day. I’ve never really been a sentimental person. I never thought I got attached to things. But I’ve also lived in the same house for 25 years and had that cottage for 27. They both were home to me the majority of my life so far, and the best part of my life…my family.

I recently went to Madagascar, where my oldest child is living. We spent about 3 weeks there. It was literally a life changing experinece. I’m going to be blogging a lot about that experience and the realizations about myself I discovered. My life is heading in a new direction. Its both exciting and scary at the same times. Get ready to go on a ride of a life time with me. Seriously. I’m going to embark on a process that in a way, I always thought I was cut out for, but never had the balls to do it. Well, perhaps I grew pair! Har har.

As my brother would say, peace out!


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