Three years ago, it started – the exit of the fledgelings. And now my youngest son, my “baby”, left for Johannesburg in pursuit of a career change. The head agrees with the move – good career choice, time to diversify his experience, good salary – he must go and fly. The heart says otherwise. It feels like an amputation, like identity-theft. The decades-old primary role of parent has been eliminated. The feelings are sadness, loneliness and emptiness and back to sadness again.
Our lives have revolved so much around our children during their formative years, that you wonder who the “real you” is. So yes, ENS is for real.
The experts say that it is good to grieve the loss, but try not to weep into your 6-foot tall baby’s hoodie. Consider turning the situation into a positive – embrace the great future that your children have, and start thinking about all of the benefits to your personal life. Consider this to be a time of rebirth, self-evaluation, adventure, discovery and creativity. Look at these solutions designed to get you back on track to find your “original you” and start the next chapter of your life:
- Rekindle your marriage:
Start dating your spouse again. Remember why you got together in the first place. It’s time to play again!
- Rediscover yourself:
It’s your time to do what you want to do. What makes you come alive? What makes you happy? What is your passion in life? Try something new – yoga, tai-chi, pilates, a new nutrition programme.
- Make plans:
Draw up a five-year plan of all those things you have wanted to do. Put a savings plan in place in order to realise those dreams.
- Revitalise your friendships:
Renew old friendships with people who are at the same stage in their lives. There’s nothing like being with friends who “get it”.
Help your community, keep busy and meet people – many of whom will be going through the same life transition.
This could become the happiest and richest time of your life. Plan a life beyond your wildest dreams, if you dare!