People who know me know that I am a planner. I over-prepare for EVERYTHING. I don’t have a Plan B, I have a Plan C, D, E, and F. A backup plan to a backup plan. Yes, I know it is ridiculous, but it is what it is.
Preparing for the empty nest, however, has me in quandary. Lately, I’ve been reminded you better be careful what you ask for because you might just get it. Between a stressful job, a spouse, two kids, a mom, and two dogs, my house (and life) would be bustling with activity daily. My morning would often start at 5:00 a.m. and end at 11:00 p.m. absolutely exhausted, and with every waking minute spent in the presence of other people. With no time alone I would crave just a few minutes of peace and quiet. Just two, please, just two.
Those two minutes have now turned into hours. My house is awfully quiet these days. With my husband working, my mom in heaven, my daughter married and on her own, and my son entering his last year of high school and busy with baseball, a girlfriend and normal teen activities, the empty nest syndrome becomes more real every day.
What’s next? What do we do now? Our focus was on working, building assets, caring for our children, as well as my mom. We succeeded. We entered and ran the race. We won. But, now what?
- Do we spend the money traveling?
- Do we buy a vacation property?
- Do we throw our resources at the small fraction of the mortgage that remains eliminating all debt?
- Do we go out more?
- Do we throw ourselves in to working more since we now have more time?
- Do I start a new business?
- Do I learn a new trade?
- Do I start another career?
- Do I just let things be?
What the hell do I do now? For goodness sakes, people, someone give me a goal so I can draft a plan!
People tell me the golden years are coming, but honestly, I can’t help but wonder if they are, in fact, leaving. Did I let them slip through my fingers? I have no clue what the next five years looks like. And, no, I’m not okay with that. I’ll continue to spin my wheels until I am comfortable that I have ascertained the new objective. But, what I do know is this…
Don’t spend your day preparing for tomorrow because no planning in the world can recapture the sweet moments you might miss today.