Empty Nesting

empty nestTwo weeks ago I helped my son move down to San Diego. I have frequently been asked since then if I am feeling empty nest syndrome. I’ve been pondering whether this transition feels that way to me and whether it feels any different from other transitions that have happened in my life.

Wikipedia defines empty nest syndrome as “a feeling of grief and loneliness parents … may feel when their children leave home for the first time” that “can result in depression and a loss of purpose for parents.” Looking at that definition, the answer seems like no. This transition feels much like any other transition in my life – a variety of emotions flowing through me. There are moments of missing him, moments where the house feels quiet, moments where I worry about him, and moments where I am excited about the new phase in life. All of this is normal. There is nothing as extreme as grief, loneliness, depression, or loss of purpose.

Perhaps this is because I am so clear on my purpose, “To share information and support growth for everyone through community, connection, and creativity.” Despite this clarity, however, it can be challenging for me to figure out how to manifest my purpose in my life in a way that fully excites me without burning me out. That’s where my strong emotions manifest. At these times, it’s important to take time to relax and rejuvenate.

That’s especially true when I am feeling restless. Restlessness is almost always an indication for me that more changes are on the way, and it seems like change has become a big part of my life. While my son leaving home is certainly a big transition and one that affects me, at the same, it is also just one more shift in my ever-shifting life. Since he has been gradually getting more and more independent, his departure does not significantly change how I will be living my life.

Over the last 20 years, since I was diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid, I have come to accept that my life is no longer static like that of so many people in mainstream America. Since starting on the Toltec path 13 years ago, the process of change has accelerated. I am constantly being led in new directions and constantly being forced to accept that my path in this lifetime is not one that I ever thought I would be on. The part of me that resists change still struggles with not believing in myself or not believing that the new me is really who I am. I often think I want to run away and go back to who I was, but I know that there is no turning back. It is this resistance that creates the restlessness.

This empty nest is just one more transition among many. Over the last several years as we have been building Songbird, I have been filling my nest with the Songbird Flock, among many other things. My life is overflowing with all the gifts and opportunities I am being given. I am grateful to all of you for being part of the Songbird community. I hope to see you soon!