Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pushing The Boundaries Of One's 'Empty Nest'!

I suppose one of the problems facing 'empty nesters' today is that, as in my case, our children not only flew the nest, but they flew the country!  Now before making the rather comical observation that they were in fact just escaping their parents, I would suggest that success as a parent is teaching one's children to fly and, from our empty nest, my husband and I stood by and watched them soar, with a great degree of pride and a certain feeling of satisfaction at a job well done!    

In a way, it was their pioneering spirit and enthusiasm for exploring life that made us look at our empty nest, still perched in the country of our birth and dare to conceive the idea of moving it to a foreign land! Having been parents since the age of twenty, we missed out on the 'gap year' culture of taking a year out to explore the world and, as I have mentioned before, much time was lost due to my husband's illness.  I suppose writing this today, I just want to encourage others who find themselves in their early forties or older and in the same position.  Realise it is your moment and maybe for the first time since becoming parents, push the boundaries and in finding a new life, whatever direction that may take you, enjoy discovering the person you have become during the those wonderful challenging years of parenthood.

Our time in France, where relocating our nest, saw us renovate an old presbytery in the centre of a little French village in the Poitou-Charente region, was to become an experience that tested us on every level and like anything in life requiring one's heart and soul, rewarded us beyond all measure. Things I discovered about myself along the way? Well, I discovered I love open spaces, nature and wildlife, unlike my husband I discovered I have to work hard at learning a foreign language, but my love for people never stops me communicating. My soul is enriched by the beauty of Romanesque Churches, art and history and in the face of adversity I try never to give up. Oh! And of course, I also discovered it is writing that keeps me sane!  

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