by Jeanne on


A wonderful friend was checking in after our summer break and she asked, “How’s the empty nest?” and she kept going laughing to herself saying, “which is far from empty because YOU are in it!”

In all the months I’ve been talking about being an “empty nester” with all the people who have brought it up not ONE person said this.  Not ONE person. Not me. Not another person.  The most obvious point about this oft used term was never mentioned.

In August, my oldest and youngest started their senior and freshman years of college, respectively. The months and weeks leading up to their departure where full. Both had very different needs of their mother.  Our nest buzzed with a flurry of activity and was filled with lists, choices, forms, decisions, lots of stuff and even more emotion.

One month in, all is well. I’m learning to live with the stillness.  And I like it.

While the absence of my children is certainly felt, more than anything I feel the presence of ME more than I ever have before.

My nest is not only “filled” with me, my nest feels rich and not the least bit empty.

It’s rich with ideas and the space to communicate them to myself.

It’s rich with downtime to read, walk more and enjoy the silence.

It’s rich with simple choices about what to eat and what to watch on tv.

It’s rich with extra time left over from all the laundry I am NOT doing.

It’s rich with more writing which I forgot how much I missed.

It’s rich with daily dog walks, the Freshman left his beloved Labrador with me.

It’s rich with less lights on and showers being taken.

It’s rich with seeing more of my professional plans come to fruition.

I am a firm believer in always making room for yourself somehow, every day, no matter how many people you live with and how full your life is.  I’ve learned from this personal transformation there are many things that you can only experience at a certain point of your life.

I have my nest all to myself and every single day I realize more fully how much we do for others instead of ourselves when we share a space with those we love.

I have not written a post here in over a year because I’ve focused on an increasingly large number of clients (for which I am grateful to have and honored to serve).  I’ve focused on three non-profits on whose boards I served. I’ve focused on an expanding speaking business, the Jeanne Stafford’s Networking Dinner guests I continue to host and all the wonderful author events from the release of my first book Think. Drink. Eat. Move.; 4 Steps to YES!

When I write all that and remember it was in concert with the care of humans experiencing huge transitions in their lives, I’m pretty dang proud.

Who and what fills your nest?  How has it changed?  Have you changed with it?

I hope you’ll take a new look at your present nest and remember nothing is empty that has YOU in it!

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