Thursday, July 12, 2012

Try Something New

We've all tried something new at some point in time. Lots of things, actually. But when is the last time you tried something new?

Is it important to try new things? It is scary to try new things? Do the benefits outweigh the risk of trying new things? I think the answers are- Yes; It can be; Most of the time, yes.

In the last three years of adjusting to this empty nest of mine, if I've done nothing else, I've tried new things. Not risky things- I've never been a risk taker- like jumping out of a plane to plummet to my death parachute to earth. No, never anything like that.

I remember trying something new back in the early 1980s- a roller coaster that made a loop. NEVER again. N.E.V.E.R. And I mean it.

But I have tried some new things since my nest emptied out in August of 2009.
  • I've tried my hand at gardening and discovered that it is a learning process and that it requires care and patience. 
  • I've tried my hand at canning tomatoes from my garden and discovered that this process could easily become an addiction!
  • I've tried my hand at blogging and discovered that I LOVE it and that there are the sweetest, kindest, funniest, awe-inspiring, most honest bunch of wonderful people all over this tremendous planet of ours.
  • I've tried my hand at getting healthy and am discovering that it can be done, even at my age, and that it, too, is a process of learning and of discerning the true from the crap. 
  • I've tried my hand at getting fit and am discovering that it can also be done even at my age. And I'm discovering that this is a true lesson in patience and perseverance.
  • I've tried my hand at photography and learned that it is so much fun! And that it, too, is a learning process that involves time and patience.
I've tried a host of other things as well. So, what's my point, exactly? Trying new things can be quite helpful when learning how to live in a nest that has emptied out.

Living in an empty nest is a learning process. It takes time to adjust to not having any kids in the house who need this/that/and the other thing RIGHT NOW or YESTERDAY. We have to learn how to be empty nesters.

Everything is different and it does require a period of adjustment. Will there be tears? Oh HELL YES. Will there be sadness? Oh HELL YES. Will is be like that forever? Absolutely NOT.

As the time passes and we begin to learn who we are in this new role, we start to see things that we can now do that we didn't have the time for while we were raising our little ones. And we actually begin to appreciate this fact.

One thing that helped me immensely during my threefreakingyear adjustment period was trying new things. Yes, it's time filling but it's also enlightening. Trying new things helps you make discoveries about yourself and your situation. It helps you define your new role and come to terms with everything about it.

Just sitting in a chair in front of the television or whatever isn't going to help a thing. Life is for LIVING not for brooding or feeling sorry for ourselves. We spent YEARS raising our kids to enable them to go out there and live their lives. To be productive members of society. To make a positive difference in the world. To be world changers. To live THEIR lives. And we were successful.

This doesn't mean our lives are over. It just means that things are different now. New, if you will. So try it out. Deal with any sadness- let it come and flood over you and deal with it-not dealing with it is not good.

Try new things- anything at all. But no sitting around.  The husband's grandmother always used to say, "If you sit down, you'll get rusty."And we don't want that!

Remember, we're still needed and we can't do anything if we sit around all sad and get rusty. Yes, there will still be those moments of nostalgia that come flooding back when we least expect them, spurred on by a song or a picture or a simple thought. But those moments will come further apart as we adjust and become more bittersweet than depressing and will even come to bring more smiles as we recall the funny part of the memory instead of feeling sorry for ourselves that our kids are no longer little...

Meanwhile, it's way more fun to get up and experience those new things and learn to laugh even when the house is empty than to sit and ask Dorothy to pass the oil can.




  1. This is so good Pam, I will remember that "learn to laugh when the house is empty than to sit and ask Dorothy to pass the oil can." Everything you said speaks to my soul. I think it is easy to give up on life, but like you I will not go without a fight. There was this lady I once heard when I was surrounded by babies and she said that this age is the most productive years of our lives. I think it is true and reading your list I would say yes.
    You bless my days and I love your thoughts. Great post.

  2. What a wonderful, thought-provoking post, Pam!

    I agree, adjusting to the empty nest does take some time, but now that I've adjusted, I LOVE IT! Ed and I are back like we began...just the two of us--and it's kind of nice for a change! And yes, we've also been trying some new things, too :)

  3. I don't have an Empty Nest situation, but I do have a change of situation that has taken some getting used to over the years. And I can't say that it has been easy. I know that I have always felt best when I have had any kind of purpose. It doesn't have to be large. But just languishing isn't good for the soul. It was the reason I started this blog. I needed to have a reason to get up. And I was pretty faithful about blogging daily until my dad got sick. It has taken me over a year to figure out that I cannot allow that to derail me or I will just fade away. I still need a daily purpose. It doesn't need to be this blog. It can be some days. Other days it can be something else. But it has to be something every day. And it doesn't even have to be NEW; it just has to be meaningful. Although, new is always good:-)

  4. Such great advice. Love your last line with the oil can!!! I don't want to rust but it was turning 60 that got me motivated. I was okay when my children moved out.

  5. Beautiful photo of your girls! Thanks for the pep talk! Now I'm going to get off of the computer and seize the day! I loved your last line! Julie

  6. Hi Pam. What a great post, and a super photo of your lovelies at the beginning. Aren't they all gorgeous. You are blessed indeed! I so agree with you that life is for living, and you are certainly doing that my friend. I so agree with you also about all our lovely bloggy friends all over the world.

  7. This was how I ended up as president of the American Women's Club when we lived overseas. As my kids were transitioning out of the house someone advised me to take on a big new challenge and then asked if I wanted the job : ) Best thing I ever did!

  8. I agree. No sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself. Get up and try something new. You are so right.

  9. Kim- As many times as your words have spoken to me, I'm so glad I could return the favor! Though I'm not near as poetic as you!

    Kathy- Thank you! It has really helped me to try new things- and it is so liberating to have finally reached the point that I can enjoy myself in an empty nest. Though I did wonder, at times, if I would ever get here. :)

    Robin- It's good that you don't have to have something new- I often do because my daily purpose tends to get boring. I have such a short attention span. Really short. You're quite right that sitting about not being good for the soul. It really isn't. And it's just too easy to give in to it. I'm so glad you've found your way!

    Debby- Thanks! I hear you about the birthday. I woke up at 51ish. Though I'm still searching for a place to land. :)

    Julie- Thanks! It has been quite the process...and it's not over yet!

    Diane- Thanks! I have to agree with you that they are lovely. :)I love that picture you posted on fb!

    Joyce- I hear ya! It just really helps to be busy!

    Betty- Thanks! Nope, no sitting around here. And none of that for you either- what with all the wedding planning going on!

  10. I had no problems letting my boys go out on their own, except for the oldest entering the military and being sent into combat, my biggest adjustment was learning how much food I needed to prepare when the boys were gone. I had plenty of leftovers for a while.

  11. A agree that trying something new is something you need to do once in a while. Also we have lots of "dreams" and although we may not achieve all of these, it is nice to think back and say to yourself "I did that and I wasn't sure if I could do it or not!".

  12. I think this is a wonderful post Pam. You know how I struggle with this. I am also now going to have the issues of no more daycare kids along with no more Mike. Well I know you'll be there to hold me up and get me moving, more!
    I'll learn, I am sure pretty slowly but I'll learn.
    Take care and thank you for so many things. Blessings!!

  13. This was a very good post Pam, and judging from the comments, one that was needed. You're so right about keeping busy, worst thing anyone can do is sitting around and feel sorry for one self, I know from experience. Your girls are so beautiful, it must be in the genes..:)

  14. You're an inspiration, Pam! :) I don't have an empty nest situation but I am so on board with trying something - anything - new. And I'm with you on it not necessarily having to be something like bungee jumping. It can be as simple as trying a new author or seeing a different type of movie or ordering a new dish at your favorite restaurant. It's good for your body, mind and soul. :)

  15. Of your new things I'm glad you did was blogging. I think finding new laughs is a great activity too. I know moms handle the empty nest differently than dads but it's a adjustment for both. Life is change and if you have some to spare, well I can always use spare change.

  16. Great post Pam - even though I am a few years from being an empty nester myself, I am always searching for a purpose here - even surrounded by my kids. I like trying new things - maybe when my time comes and this house is quiet, I will be fully involved in things to keep me busy and happy and fulfilled. Gotta start somewhere!

  17. Ah, such a wonderful post,great advice for anyone feeling stuck or frustrated too, sometimes just getting up and going really makes a world of difference :)


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