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The Empty Nest Years

If your children have launched into adulthood recently, congratulations! You’re entering a new chapter of life called “The Empty Nest Years.” On the horizon ahead of you are obstacles to overcome and exciting new opportunities to take advantage of. The question to answer in this season of life is, “How do I move forward with purpose?” To that end, allow me to offer a few suggestions.

  1. Start putting your kids’ childhood behind you. Letting go of the parenting phase of life isn’t always easy, but it’s important to do. You’ll struggle to begin this new journey if you haven’t properly ended the last one. Give yourself time to grieve, then get on to suggestion number two, which is…
  2. Set new goals. That could be as simple as a new gym membership or as challenging as a college degree or a career change. The point is to channel your energy toward new ambitions that inspire you with a sense of purpose.
  3. Make new friends and nurture current relationships. Committed friendships are life-giving – literally. They enrich what’s positive in our lives, and they strengthen us when circumstances get hard.
  4. Most important of all, refocus your relationship with your spouse. Travel. Volunteer. Attend a marriage conference. Seek counseling, even it’s for a “tune-up.” Try new things together.

Just because your active years of parenting are over that doesn’t mean life is over. You’re getting started on the second half. Just as your children are spreading their wings to fly, this season of life is an opportunity for you to spread yours.

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