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Life After Kids

When Veronica and I came up with the idea to write about life after raising kids, and actually looking forward to it, one of the first things I did was Google "empty nesters." I wanted to see if anyone was looking at this the same way we are. You know, isn’t it great that the kids have moved out and we have life to ourselves again? To be untethered and free to wander the globe. To be Gypsy Nesters instead of empty nesters. But no, just about everything I could find is lamenting how terrible it is to not have the kids around anymore. The main item on the first page I clicked into was an enormous ad for an Alzheimer’s patch. Holy crap! We just finished raising our kids, we’re not dead! If twenty some odd years of child rearing has caused me to lose some memory (or eyesight, hearing, mobility or... um... I forget... whatever..) by golly I’m gonna count it as a plus and learn to like it. Do I really want to remember every battle fought along the way? I think not. I’ll gladly let my memory fade just enough to color the overall picture and recall it as pretty good stuff. I must be missing something here. Are these people daft?

There is even a syndrome name now, because these days even the smallest emotion or complaint must be labeled as a syndrome, Empty Nest Syndrome. No doubt, right this second, several pharmaceutical giants are frantically testing some drug that was originally intended to treat some truly dreadful disease to see if they can market it as the only way to escape the treacherous death grip of EMPTY NEST SYNDROME. That reminds me, I didn’t sleep all that great last night, I must remember to get to the doctor to get something done about this insidious Periodic Interrupted Sleep Syndrome (better known as PISS) that I’m suffering from.

But I digress, (yet another syndrome perhaps?) back to the original dilemma. Shouldn’t we be looking forward to this portion of life? Most of us have made more than a few sacrifices to get here, so I say, stick a fork in me, I’m done. It’s not selfish to take a little time for yourself at this point, it’s insane not to.

We are animals, and as such, continuation of the species is one of our prime motivations. However, unlike the other critters, when we have finished the job, we’re allowed to have some fun. Give yourself a pat on the back! Job well done, the kids have grown up into large human beings fully capable of feeding themselves. I, for one, am a firm believer in letting them do their own hunting and gathering. Trust me, when they get hungry, they will find food, but you have to let them do it for themselves. Otherwise they’ll end up like zoo animals. If you feed the tigers everyday, they never learn to hunt. Then when you put them in the wild, they starve. Personally, we taught our little cubs that if they get really hungry, they can always kill and eat a bag of Ramen noodles.

They’ve gotten pretty good at it too.

David, GypsyNester.com

03/03/2008
About Author
David and Veronica are experiencing the collision of baby boomer with empty nester. They have decided to grab life by the horns, sell the nest and become GypsyNesters.

Read more at www.GypsyNester.com
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