Finding myself in the Empty Nest

When my mom job was down-sized by empty nest, I learned a lot about myself ..

Finding myself in the empty nest. Even the words sound depressing, right? Maybe I mentally shielded myself from having to decide what was next, or maybe I just didn’t want to think about it. It’s very possible a small part of me wanted to just…be sad when it was time for my youngest to leave home and change my status to “empty-nester”.

So I was sad…to put it mildly. It hit like a ton of rock and I wasn’t sure I wanted to crawl out of that for a while. Honestly, it would have been pretty easy to stay sad, and just not bother trying at all.

But here’s the thing – I always think I can just be sad and live in the sad moment. But it’s not me…I have to think through the sad and figure out what’s next. Little did I know, what was next was going to be really hard. I might have just stayed sad…{SIGH}

While I had a “career” of sorts before being a mom, and certainly did my share of working while the kids were growing up, I never really had something that was … well, what I wanted.

Finding myself in the empty nest starting youngest cap and gown
The very first “Parting Shot” image…the one of my youngest son and his cap and gown…the image that told me I could tell the story for others too, and that would help me get through my own story.

I had joked about finding “what I wanted to be when I grew up“, well, pretty much my whole life- who knew I’d be finding myself in the empty nest first?

And then, when I finally figured it out…well, I was probably ten years too OLD but that didn’t stop me….(back to that can’t stay sad thing)

Because, I decided to be a photographer. (gasp!) In 2008. And apparently EVERYONE in the world did too, right around the same time. {SIGH} And after finding myself in the empty nest, well, it seemed like I might as well try it.

But I kept going. And when the statistics were in my face about 50% of businesses failing in the first 3 years, and then 50% of the remaining failing in the next 3-5 years, I still didn’t stop. Maybe stubborn, but NOT SAD.

Why? Because this out of work Mom had finally found something she loved, that was for ME. All me. Kind of about being a mom still…but something that I could completely sink into and run with – even if I was running on slippery ice most days (which is what running a business feels like).

If you are inclined to see what I’ve done – check out www.pattyschuchmanphotography.com

The thing is, I just can’t stay sad. I have to have a plan…so I guess I first had to figure that out about myself for my plan to do anything else to work. So I up-sized my down-sizing. Sort of…

And along the way, I don’t actually have time to be sad. I’m too busy trying not to slip on the ice and break my neck (well, been there done that – but that’s definitely another story)….

What did you do, or will you do, to get through Empty Nest?

If you haven’t read my first post about this, check it out here — and if you have read this far – talk to me. Leave me a comment and tell me what your plans are for moving through the Empty Nest phase of YOUR life.

Also, I’d like to think I’m not whispering in the darkness here, LOL…


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