Suddenly becoming empty nesters can throw your life balance into a tailspin. Two things I found after asking some friends who have been through this chapter was that things were strange for awhile and that it is a wonderful time for all. Don’t let this new chapter in life pull you apart, instead communicate with your significant other and get involved in things together. Life balance doesn’t have to be high maintenance.
My wife and I became empty-nesters last August when our youngest went off to college, and we’ve been adjusting our balance ever since.
Not being one to always want to have to reinvent the wheel, I asked several friends who had been through this chapter in their lives to share with me what it was like for them and what they had learned. Although the range of experiences was huge, I did garner two consensus opinions: First, that things were strange for a while. Second, that it was a wonderful time for all.It didn’t take long for me to recall the vision I have when thinking about my past experiences with life balance of a pendulum swinging back and forth, and that’s exactly how things went. At first, things were very mellow around our house, what with the kids gone. We enjoyed lots of quiet time and dinners at regular hours together. We often wondered what to do next.
As we grew accustomed to our new-found time and freedom, each of us endeavored to venture out into new interests and with old and new friends. Additionally, I became involved in a campaign to grow my business. Before I knew it, that pendulum had swung back the other way and my wife and I were seeing little of each other.
Thankfully we both saw this happening and communicated about it. We discussed our shared interests and values. We soon got back to the practice of dinners together and time on the weekends. When our children came home last week for parts of their spring breaks, our lives were balanced to the point where we were able to do what we all wanted to do with each other while at the same time giving the others the space to pursue their other interests and friendships.
Life balance doesn’t have to be high maintenance. Once the foundations have been laid, all one needs to do is perform an occasional inventory check to ensure that you’re on the right track and communicate with those who are involved in your life and lifestyle.