Life Changes

Life Changes occur when your children grow up, move out and you realize that you are apart of the "Empty Nest" syndrome!

I'm sure that we all have joked at one time in our lives that it will be great when we have the house back to ourselves, but all too often we wake up one day and we do!

Yes, the chaos of raising children, the hustle and bustle, excitement of life is now dissolved into the roar of the neighbors lawnmower, the chirping of birds, and the realization that yes, you are the only two in the house!  However, don't let that get you down, in fact, it can be the most amazing time of your life!


4 Tips to a Happier Life After....Life Changes

No matter the reason your life has now taken a different turn that what you had expected.  Life changes often get in our way and this might mean: 

  • the kids are now out of the house and pursuing careers and no longer need your daily input
  • your successful job has now ended either through retirement or a lay off
  • or a spouse or loved one has died suddenly

Retirement excitement includes visiting with life-long friends!

Life changes have made a mark on you!


So what do you do?   Below are a few tips that have helped me to accept these life changes and to move forward.  I hope that these will help you to adapt to your new life changes.

Remember that this is a process and it won't happen overnight.   You may immediately accept retirement or you may take months to relax and realize that you deserve this special time in life. You may not accept the death of your spouse since it was so sudden or you may realize that there is no more suffering and your loved one is at peace. 

My hope for you is that you can relax and enjoy these next few years!   We all deserve them and let's make the best of them!


1. Recognize that your children are your best accomplishment!

Your children were you highest priority in your life.   Now that they have moved out and made educational decisions that will help them pursue their life choices, embrace this!  I'm sure that you encourage them to be independent, self-motivating individuals.   You will embrace their strengths and determination to fulfill their own dreams and goals! 

Before too long, your life changes may be focusing in another life direction....yes, grandchildren!   Yes, believe me being a boomer grandparent is the best and most exciting time of life!  


2. Reconnect with your spouse and enjoy life!

At this time in your life, you may down-size your home, move to another location (city, state, or country) entirely or just remain in your home.  

However, no matter what the situation, you may find that some of the interests you had when your children were at home are now gone.  You may not have the same busy social calendar you once had.  

You may realize that the only stable factor in your life is your spouse.   It is time for you to reconnect and enjoy life again.   Relax, enjoy another cup of coffee.  You have time to take that morning walk and realize that this time is not only good for your health but relaxing!


Do you like to travel?  

Why not revisit one of your favorite memories from your past?   See if the quaint charm of that city is still there?  Or has the lodge been torn down a bed and breakfast rebuilt in its place?   That is ok, you might enjoy it too!  

Even with Life Changes, ask yourself if there is a place that you had placed on that "Bucket List" that you had hoped to travel to one day?  If so, experience that joy as a solo tourist or together with your spouse or a friend!  


3.  Reconnect with your friends of your own age

After all the years of parenting, working and just living, remember to reconnect with your life friends. Most of us all face life changes.

Above is my brother and his college roommate and best friend.  I have a BFF, Nancy, that I talk with almost everyday.  We met in church about 35 years ago and since that time, our lives and life experiences have been shared!  Yes, I think of her as my sister.  

However, there are other friends that you may not keep in touch with as much.   You may call once or twice a year, send a note or see them when you might be visiting in your home town. Those are friends that you went to elementary, high school and college with years ago.  Those friends also could be who you worked with that you haven't been in touch for years!   It is so much fun to reconnect after years of being apart. 

I recently attended my nieces wedding in my hometown and saw many of my high school friends.   Yes, so much fun to see my friends and their parents no matter when, where and for a short period of time....it is just a good life experience! 


Keep in Touch with your Family and Friends


As a retired school librarian, I have made friends throughout Texas.   Above, a group of us were attending our annual library conference, Texas Library Association, TLA, years ago. This group of fellow librarians had several days of fun attending conference meetings, planning sessions and happy hours.  

I was a librarian at the following ISD's in Texas:  Waskom, DeSoto, Arlington, and McKinney.   I retired through the Social Security Offset at Lindale ISD.  Then worked as a Special Librarian for Raytheon for over 10 years prior to being laid off. 

Lunch, Laughter and Love

We must get together again soon!

Recently, the above group reunited at our home for visiting and a renewal of friendships.   Yes, we have been friends for approximately 40 years.....wow, where does the time go!  We enjoyed the day visiting, laughing, reminiscing and reliving all those fun times we had together!

Honestly, my face hurt from laughing so much and I didn't want to talk for days....yes, it is such good medicine to get together with forever friends.


Reunions

Consider whether it is a family or high school reunion, try to attend!   Yes, once you get there, you will enjoy it immensely!  

Often times, people just don't want to attend because of the way they look or afraid they will be judged since they didn't accomplish what they had hoped to in life!   As we all will agree, it is the people that matter, not the "things" accumulated throughout ones life.   

Every year our family has a reunion in a small Texas town.   My grandfather was one of 10 brothers and sisters that started this reunion back on 1949.  Yes, it continues today and we will celebrate 64 years this summer!  

We all must make an effort to attend, but it is a summer tradition, it is a unique  tribute to our family and it is a continuation of that original love that keeps us all returning each year! 


Class Reunions 


Have you had an opportunity to assist in planning a High School Class Reunion?  If not, I would like to suggest that you consider volunteering!   You will find that the planning the event and then locating former classmates is very rewarding! 

Telephone Calls, Social Media, No excuses...

All too often we loose contact with those people who have meant so much to all of us!  Whether you went to church and school with someone, worked side by side for years at a plant, or were neighbors, you have no excuse in today's world not to stay in touch!  

When my Mom moved in with us, she missed her home, but most of all she missed her friends.   She had grown old with most of the friends she had at home!   So it is very important to make those calls to let them know how much they are loved and missed.   That is a win-win situation for everyone!

As mentioned above, in today of Face Book, Twitter and all other Social Media including Skype, you have no reason not to "stay in touch!"


4. Develop Other Interests

We may all have certain interests or hobbies that we have continued through our lives or the last few years.  

However, when you are forced in life changes, you may be forced to move, you may not have a garage area for your shop and various hammers, saws and drills. Making a bird house isn't an option any more.


Garage Workshop


You may not have an area where you can paint or piece those quilt tops!  

So what can you do?   Check out the local community college or University in your area.   They often have local classes for seniors that you might enjoy.   Our local university has classes called 'Emeritus University' that I plan on joining in the fall.

Also, local organizations always need volunteers.   Check out the local Alzheimer's Organization to assist with volunteering opportunities.  You can volunteer at the local Public Library or the local hospital.    

Whether you are reading to small children or finding that special book to enjoy when you get home, use your local library.

Your opportunities are endless, just take the first step to get involved!


I think you will find that you will be very busy, you will be proud of your accomplishments and I know your children will be proud of you too!  

Of course, the question, "How did I ever find time to work?" will often be asked!   Enjoy the life changes that you have in your future!  It will make you a better Boomer!


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for more grandparenting ideas!

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