After living with me for the last three years my daughter decided she would like to live with her mother for a year. She will be 16 soon, and it's good for her to spread her wings a bit, even though I will miss her terribly. Life is a game; ask William Shakespeare who said:
Life is but a walking Shadow, a poor Player That struts and frets his Hour upon the Stage, And then is heard no more; It is a tall Tale, Told by an Idiot, full of Sound and Fury, Signifying nothing."
I suppose it is time to do a little strutting then, which will "signify nothing" -- but it will get me out of the house a little more. I think when you're single again, especially 50+ and alone, you need to make sure you're not sitting around and moping about the last 50 years. If you eat right... exercise a bit, there is a good chance you still have HALF of your life to enjoy.
There is time.... time for YOU!
In a book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Empty Nesters: 101… the authors share 101 stories written by parents who have been there already and share their stories with new empty nesters. These heartfelt stories will inspire, support, and amuse parents grappling with their own bittersweet new freedom. The book also includes stories from the kids themselves, providing the view from the other side. Parents will nod their heads, cry a little, and laugh a lot as they recognize themselves and their almost grown-up children in these stories.
In some of the stories parents share gazing at surprisingly clean bedrooms, starting new careers, rediscovering their spouses, and handling the continuing, and often humorous, needs of their children even while they are away at college or ensconced in their own apartments. In one amusing story, a mother writes of dropping her last child off at college and then realizing that she and her husband can do anything they want. They spend three days driving the six hours home.
None of my plans include dating. According to Eric Klinenberg , New York University sociology professor and author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, he says there are a number of factors that are contributing towards this growing trend. But one of the main reasons is simply because we can afford to do it.
I'm thinking I might go to the Community Collage and enroll in a graphic design course. I may choose to spend more time fishing. And, there will be definitely more time in there for me grab the ol' guitar and go to more jam sessions. There have been a lot of weekend plans I've had to cancel because my daughter had plans with her friends which meant I would have to be home. Seriously, I never minded cancelling my own plans in favor of hers. I fully realized what a wonderful opportunity it was for me to raise my daughter alone. We spent a lot of quality time together; I wouldn't have had it any other way. It's just that when the time has passed, it's time to move on.
I haven't been hunting for years. I know there are a lot of people that frown on hunting. I'm afraid I don't know any better. I grew up in a small community of 150 people. We had the bay to the south of us and nothing but the woods to the north of us. My parents had a very small farm, and most of the animals were raised for food. Unless you're a total vegetarian... the best roast I've ever cooked and ate was bear meat.
If you're looking for ideas of what YOU could do, and you don't seem to be able to come up with any on your own, you might want to have a look at a previous post titled Fifty Things to Do When You Turn Fifty. And if you already have some GREAT ideas, please use the comment section below to share them.