As empty-nesters, we have been through many stages in our lives that we celebrate. We graduated college, got our first job, got married, had our first child, then another one. Then they had their firsts that we celebrated. The first tooth, the first step, the first day at school, and then there were the lasts that we celebrated. The last day of school, the last football game, the last band rehearsal, the last prom. We celebrated all of these events with passion and excitement.

Then, there was the first time we dropped off our kid at college. I drove 5 hours to get my oldest set up at college. When I left her there, I cried, like a baby. Like my heart just left my chest. Like life would never be the same. And then, the last kid to leave the nest for college. It feels surreal. The past 20 years led me to dropping off the “little one” at college to be on her own. What the actual hell!? Be still my heart.

Ya’ll, I left when she did. I took off across the country at the same time I took her to college. It took a lot of the sting out of the drop-off (not for her) for me. I know that’s not an option for most people. But, I want to encourage you to cry it out. You did good, mama! 

Letting go is tough, but you can now rest in that you did a great job and focus on yourself for the foreseeable future. That might be a hard thing to think about since you have spent so many years prepping for the kid’s send-off. So, I made it a little easier by creating a list of ways to celebrate the empty nest.

13 ways to celebrate the empty nest:

  1. Buy yourself a wonderful gift that gives you all the feels. Maybe it’s an expensive piece of jewelry or a piece of art that makes you smile.
  2. Attend a women’s networking event and make new girlfriends.
  3. Attend a yoga or wellness retreat to connect with who you are and appreciate all of your inner power and beauty.
  4. Take a class to learn a new skill and up your game in your career.
  5. Start a new hobby. Have you thought that starting an herb garden would be fun? Now is a great time to research and figure out how to begin that hobby.
  6. Plan a fantastic girls getaway trip 
  7. Do something that gives you an adrenaline rush. Go skydiving, rock climbing, hiking through the woods, etc!
  8. Volunteer in your local community. There is so much good that comes from volunteering, and as you settle down a bit more it becomes more difficult to schedule time to do that. 
  9. Join meetup groups that are doing interesting things in your area. 
  10. Binge-watch girly tv shows – Gilmore Girls, anyone?
  11. Learn a new language.
  12. Sign up for a race to challenge yourself a bit. Make it a mud run, triathlon, or color run, whatever sounds the most fun! 
  13. Travel! See the world or the county or both. 

Embrace your empty nest and reimagine yourself in this time of life to be celebrated. Let me know how you celebrate your empty nest.