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How do I adjust to living in an empty nest now?

apple, nest

It piddling rain here in South Galway and I’m in my living room covered up with a soft Pennys throw. It’s darkish outside and it really feels like winter. Maybe we’ve bypassed autumn all together. I’ve been making pot after pot of my not world famous apple & ginger chutney. So, it must be autumn. Right!! The house is so quiet. Even Daithi the cat is staying nearby. I think he and my dog Lola feel the loneliness of the empty nest that I’m surviving in. Denis the goldfish hasn’t really changed his routine so I’m pretty sure that he is oblivious to my plight.

My two kids are now living on different continents. My daughter left last weekend to travel to New York to visit friends for a few weeks. While I’m delighted that she’s going out to see the world, I am suffering a lot because she has left town. My son is living in London and has a great job, a lovely girlfriend and lives in a very nice house in Brixton. He seems to have the world in the palm of his hands and lives life to the full. It’s no less than I would hope my children would enjoy but, gosh, I’m feeling old today.

STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP

A lot of my struggles since Dave died would be related to my children’s well-being and education as well as trying to survive financially and also trying so very hard to survive in my job. Most of my energies have been focused on that. Now, I’m not moaning about my life and I’m very proud of my kids, but, now I’m trying to survive all this and deal with the emotions that get dragged up to the surface. It’s bloody difficult.

Its not helping that I’m off work on sick leave suffering from awful anxiety & stress reactions. No sleep pattern, worried about everything, getting stressed and angry a lot. I don’t like this version of ME…. Be kind to yourself is a well-used phrase when I reply to widow.ie members. I just need to take my own advice more often I think. All this shall pass and the empty nest syndrome will be adjusted to and I can get on with things in my own way.

HOW TO MAKE PLANS

I’m trying to be proactive this week about getting out and about. I really should just grab a page and list a few things on it that would get me motivated. I have always survived by having a Plan. In the last few weeks  I’ve done the gardening, weeding and planted shrubs. Tidied my room and spring cleaned my clothes and shoes. Gave lots to charity shops and it made me feel good. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been picking apples from my trees at the bottom of my garden. Making large amounts of chutney and storing them away in the spare room. Walking in the woods with my dog. This week I feel like a lost soul. No real plans made, no project identified, no kids around to give out to. Perhaps having no plan is actually the plan… I’m confused.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Having a Plan is good.

Having no Plan is good.

Making a list works but only sometimes.

Tear up lists and write a blog for widow.ie.  [Probably the best plan of all]

Now, where’s that empty nest gone again?

 

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About Dolores Duggan

Widowed in 2010 with two grown up children. Works in the Finance Industry. Loves to write. Part time poet. Full time survivor.