Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Why not take a 'Gap Month', from your Empty Nest?

This morning, I want to celebrate with all you 'Empty Nesters', who, having mourned the loss of your child rearing years, have stepped out into the sunshine of a world waiting to be discovered.  Just think of all those times when the idea of travel, writing, exploring history and art, were something you were too tired to contemplate, and, even if one did, it was only to concede that there were nappies to be changed, home works to be done and in the latter years a taxi service to provide!

Well, it's our time now, and like children in a sweet shop, life is laid out on the shelves in front of us and we have time to savour it!  Just this weekend, for example, I stumbled on an amazing documentary 'The Riviera: A History in Pictures', narrated by Richard E. Grant.  Having missed it on television, I caught it on iplayer, a great resource for learning and catching up.  This heady mix of the story of modern art, intertwined with the history and development of the Riviera, taught me so much and has inspired a return trip to the region, with the benefit of enlightenment.

On a recent stay in Burgundy, I learned the art of wine appreciation.  Accompanied by my son-in-law, an expert on the subject, my husband and I came to understand the importance of terroir, the ground in which a vine is planted, climate and the slopes on which the best vineyards benefit from the warmth of the sun.  During our final night, as we sipped a glass of chilled Chablis and watched the sun set over the vines, I looked forward to learning more about the world of wine and discussed our plans to move to the region in the spring.

At Christmas I received a card from my cousin, who decided to take a 'gap' month from her empty nest and set off alone to Africa.  She spent the first three weeks helping the local people build walls around their wells, to protect them from damage by elephants. On her last week, she travelled with a guide right up to the Angolan border in the north, across deserts of mind-blowing vastness and slept under the stars, waking up to sunrises indescribable in their beauty.

There are so many things to explore in this new stage of life.  They don't have to be big things; it could be learning a foreign language, taking a course on the 'History of Art'.  Maybe you have some ideas? Why not let me know what adventures you have had, since you found yourself in your 'Empty Nest'!

No comments:

Post a Comment