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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 productivity, creativity, entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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