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Emptying the nest: what to do after the kids fly away

Emptying the nest: what to do after the kids fly away

When children leave for college, a couple can have a hard time adjusting to the idea of being empty nesters. Sure, it can be nice not to have to worry about what the kids are up to when you leave home, and it can be fun to have the place all to yourself, but what happens once the novelty has faded a bit and you’re back to daily life? What kinds of things do you want to do then? A lot of people downsize once they have an empty nest, and others spend more time focused on their own hobbies and interests. If you’ve been thinking about a smaller house, or you want to get involved in more of the things you like, this is your chance. You have raised your kids well, you’ve done the work, and now it’s finally time to kick back and enjoy.

Having an empty nest can be enjoyable

That doesn’t mean you won’t miss your children once they’re grown up, but only that you’ll have the opportunity to move forward with things you want to do that you may have put off while raising your family. Now you can travel more, set up a home gym, invite guests over, or do all kinds of other things that you might find interesting. Some empty nesters also go back to school to take classes they never would have had time for while they had children at home. There are so many different things you can do with your time when it’s not all about your children any longer.

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What if your empty nest is not that empty yet?

One of the ways you can make space for the things you like and want to do is through renting a storage unit. That will give you the opportunity to move some things out of your house while still having them where you can get to them. A lot of those things will belong to your kids, since they may not have taken everything with them when they moved out. If they’re at college, or they are traveling before settling down somewhere, they probably left things behind at home. If you carefully box up those things and take them to storage, you can give yourself the space you need, while your children won’t need to give up their things.

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Being an empty nester gives you opportunities

You can also redecorate the rooms the children used once they’ve moved out, then use them as guest rooms or for all sorts of hobbies and interests. New paint, a change of flooring, and some new furniture can go a long way toward changing the entire look of the room. If you don’t want to get rid of the furniture your children used when they lived with you, the storage unit is a good place for those items as well. No matter how you envision your new rooms looking, being an empty nester gives you opportunities that you wouldn’t have had in the past.

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Seize new opportunities and enjoy your life’s next chapter

Don’t let guilt at changing your children’s rooms into something new stop you from having the house you really want. Your kids are out in the world, living their own lives, and you should be living yours as well. Between some redecoration and a storage unit, you can have an empty nest that looks the way you want it to. You’ll have the opportunity to get involved with the hobbies you left behind, or create some new ones, which will give you plenty of opportunities for joy after your kids have moved on to the college and careers of their own.

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More by this author

Tanvir Zafar

The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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