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Empty Nest, No Regrets; Reclaiming Myself

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

2022 is well on its way. How are you doing? I'm about to cross the final threshold of an empty nest and want to share some of my thoughts with you. If you've already crossed that threshold, how was it for you? If you're going through it now, how are you handling it? Email me at and let me know what's going on in your life.

The month of January is on the wane, and my hopes are on the rise. Soon, likely at the end of the month, my youngest child plans to move from home onto her next life adventure.

I'm excited for her to get out into the world and experience the ways of the world, both hard and beautiful. She is beginning the next chapter of her life, as she should.

I know there will be times that I will miss her dreadfully. I know there will be days when the pain of our parting, the severing of the daily threads of our years of intimate connection, will cut like a knife. On those days, I will grieve, even while knowing that this is the fate of all mothers. From the first day we hold our children, we are destined to bear the pain of our parting.

From the moment of conception, adoption, or personal commitment, mothers will pour themselves into their children, traveling a road that will enrich, deepen, and expand their souls. Throughout the trials of motherhood, we bleed, heal, scar, and are willingly drained of our life force, only to be left behind when their life calls.

Being the final of my three, this parting resounds with a deeper tone. Perhaps it's actually the harmonic of all three parting notes echoing as one. I'm feeling its vibration in the very earth beneath my feet. It has loosened the mortar of my walls. It's cracking the roads and pulling down the bridges behind me. As the dust begins to settle, I can clearly see the only path is forward.

Today, I'm rejoicing! Today, I'm filled with anticipation. I'm more than eager to reclaim myself. I want to find out who I am now when not defined by the needs of my family.

I've been working on reclaiming parts of myself for the past ten years. I achieved little bits of autonomy, scattered amongst the years of ushering young adults into the world. Throughout the process, I have observed myself spiraling back around to the regrets of, "I should have done this, or I could have been a better mother about that." Then the spiral turns, and I am back on the way of self-rediscovery. It turns once more and running parallel to former days, I'm once again solving problems, offering advice, an understanding ear, or I'm a source of unconditional love in a sometimes-brutal world.

C.G. Jung says that consciousness evolves on a spiral. This has indeed been my experience. It's a blessing that allows us to access all that has come before while moving forward. Nothing is lost. I've come to the point where I accept the futility of becoming mired in yearning for the past.

I don't want to waste whatever time, energy, soul, compassion, and gifts I have left. I'm yearning for the future. I'm as excited now as I was on the day I left home for college. What can I learn? Who will I meet? I'm relishing the discovery of who I am now, what I can accomplish, create, share, heal, or help with.

As I gaze into the distance ahead, I know nothing is certain; was it ever? Doubtless, the days and years are shorter ahead than behind and will include the losses, pains, and fears of aging. There is nothing I can do to change the stages of life. The only thing I can do is decide how I want to live these next years while learning to embrace change, release expectations, and suffer the heartaches when they come.

I am happy to be taking this next step in reclaiming my life for me. I'll always be a mother, a wife, a sister, a cousin, and a best friend. All those hats will remain on their pegs by the front door at the ready.

Today I'm ready to reclaim my home, my time, my mojo, and get my A.S.S. in gear for me.

(My Authentic, Soulful, Self)

No apologies, no second thoughts, no regrets.


Dr. A.


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