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 first three years of adjusting to this empty nest of mine, if I did nothing else, I 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 except that when it's spaghetti sauce it doesn't last because we eat every single jar in record time!
- 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 gone out and started teaching in an elementary school and find that quite interesting.
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 to laugh, even when the house is empty, than to sit and ask Dorothy to pass the oil can.