Posts Tagged ‘#emptynesters’


There is something about milestones that makes one ponder,

am I really living?

Obviously if one is inhaling and exhaling, they are living, but this sort of pondering goes beyond the physical. It goes to a sense of fulfillment, of purpose.

As hubby and I approach the phase of life known as the empty nest, we are both starting to anticipate the possibilities that this freedom-phase of life might afford (beyond walking around the house in our knickers).

I am now realizing that having had our children when we were still young has delightful benefits, as we can expect to enjoy many years of health and energy together (acknowledging that health is not ever a guarantee).

We can look towards travel, courses or skills we are interested learning, missions trips, a smaller home, and decisions made at the last moment.

This new phase of life, which seems to be peeking at me more each day, would seem to be less about surviving, and more about thriving.

This is not because our children were like a noose around our necks … not at all! But because we will have passed the busy, busy years of homework, extracurricular activities, and driving enough to make an Uber driver feel bored. The days of enormous food bills, excessive use of hot water (showers), clothing purchases and a house big enough to house a family of five (plus) are coming to an end.

But …

our days are not guaranteed.

Even though we are told in the Bible, many times, that we have about seventy years (or eighty if we are strong), we all know that what is normative is not necessarily a promise for all.

We all know of people whose lives have been cut short, or who have experienced disease or disability that changed the course of their lives.

And, through all the dreaming and planning for a new phase in life …

“I’m asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
I’ll study at his feet.
That’s the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
far from the buzz of traffic.”
Psalm 27:4-5

For this is really living, and it is available to us all, at any stage in our lives.


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It was difficult to not stare.

He and she,

sitting across from each other at the restaurant table.

She looking straight ahead, but eyes focused to his left and beyond him.

He looking straight ahead, but eyes focused to her left and beyond her.

It was as though they were complete strangers.

alone together

She and he

both looked to be in their sixties.

He looked rugged, like a cowboy, the Marlboro Man personified.

She was impeccably dressed, her hair and make-up perfectly arranged, as though she never had a bad hair day.

Their matching wedding rings told me that they were together,

though alone in that togetherness.

alone together

I have been noticing,

no studying,

couples who would appear to be in the next phase of life from where I am,

from where hubby and I are currently.

When I see a couple who look to be of the age of empty-nesters,

I have to work hard to not stare.

You see I am studying with purpose,

because in the blink of an eye I, we will be there,

and I need to have an idea of what is to come,

of what I need to prepare for,

of where to set our plum line for the future to come.

And, what I saw in that restaurant,

in the staring off glances of the Marlboro man and his impeccably dressed Mrs,

was a couple who was

alone together.

Sure they shared a table, and he paid the bill, but that is where their ‘together’ ended.

I’ve been thinking about them ever since, wondering what they looked like sitting at a restaurant table when

they had teenagers with them,

or chatty kids,

or tough to sit still preschoolers.

Did they have something to talk about when they were

celebrating a birthday,

an anniversary,

or after just finding out that they would be parents in a few months?

Did they look off into the distance when they were

first married,

or dating?

When did together start to be alone? When did alone accompany them together?

More importantly,

how do those of us, not yet there, prevent being

alone together

in our futures?


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