Did any other empty nesters besides me have a bittersweet new year this Rosh Hashanah? Celebrating holidays changes once kids are grown, in college, or have moved out on their own. We had a wonderful family dinner. We ate too much chopped liver, had matzo ball soup to die for, chicken, brisket, potatoes, and noodle pudding. We laughed, we shared stories, and we had too many desserts to even admit to! But it was bittersweet because our son was unable to join us because he is in college, too far to travel for just the day, and has commitments at school that make it impossible for him to leave.
As empty nesters we have to accept that change is inevitable. We have to embrace the change and do our best not to fight it. Having personal direction and focus helps many people make the transition and deal with change more easily. It is so important that empty nesters plan how to fill the gaps in meaningful and stimulating ways. There are many methods for figuring out how to do this and numerous strategies that can be used. Pre-planning by talking to an expert in this area can be an important first step in making the transition to the empty nest. Online assessment inventories can be helpful in taking the first step and discovering what direction to take.
So how am embracing the holidays as an empty nester and not fighting the inevitable? I packed my son a holiday dinner of potatoes and brisket and will bring them this weekend when I go to his college to watch him play soccer. I even made some non-holiday chili and lasagna to bring for him to share with his friends! Small steps, I know, but moving forward nonetheless.