Category Archives: Empty Nest

Children are grown, so much time, with NOTHING, to occupy your time…

The Moments in, Time

The realizations of one’s own, empty nest stage of life, coming, on…translated…

Since my son became an adult, my means of being a single parent became my way of, single living.  The twenty-four-hours-a-day shifted the gears to focusing back to the self, I now have, all the time given to me, too much time, that I don’t know what to do, with.

That day on the bus alone, I caught a glimpse of a young couple who are having their child soon, strolling together, looking into the display windows, it’d suddenly brought me back to right after I gave birth, seemed that on an ordinary afternoon, I’d, gone strolling and the nostalgia of before my son was born, how I’d, strolled without any set destination, it made me dropped that one and only, postpartum depressive, tear, thinking of how different I am now, adapting to my life alone, I can’t help but laugh at my younger self.

Turned out, back then I’d not realized how quickly time will, fly, that in a blink of an eye, that infant child became, a big boy, and I returned back to that strolling alone, wandering, aimlessly, looking in the display windows, without a worry or a care, daily routines.

It’s just, that, before my smile settled in, I’d, found, that nothing was ever the same, now or, then, that there’s that sense of firmness of the palms I’d, naturally, clung on, to.  That sense of, security I’d, not remembered, since then.

Many years later on the bus, I’d, suddenly recalled the heat of those hands that’s, gone away from me, I know that I wouldn’t call it nostalgia, but, eventually, I’d come to realize, that the single tear I’d shed back then, wasn’t at all, foolish, turned out, what I thought was ordinary, everyday, is, “a final, farewell”, time flew right by.

Up to this point, I’d felt, at ease, knowing, that what I am to do, is to cherish every moment in the now.  Although, I’m still not used to, being let go of by my son, not used to wandering off on my own, not used to eating my three meals alone……….but actually, this way of life, will also, become, an irreplaceable, unduplicated, moment in, time too.

I’d started, smiling, again, decided to, use my heart, to enjoy this time that belonged solely to, me, without, a single worry or, a, care.

So, this is you, transitioning into, your, empty nest, because your son is grown, and no longer needed you to chase after him, to pick up after him, and, you need to find something else to center your attention on, shifting the focus of being a parent, back to, being, your own, self!

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Injured, by the Declaration of, Your, Independence…

You’d, fired off that first cannon, that declared your, independence from me…and, I will NEVER, fire, back, because you’re my child, and I only wanted what’s, best for you, and this is, HOW you, repay me, by telling me that you don’t, need me anymore???

Injured, by the declaration of, your, independence, how can you be so callous, so cold, turning your heart away from me, I’d, loved you, since the beginning of your time here!  And yet, with you, striving for your independence from me, I feel threatened, like I’m, losing you, and I’d become, more and more desperate, and felt compelled, to hold onto you, even tighter!

Injured, by the declaration of, your, independence, why is this happening, right now, when I’m entering into MY menopause, when I’m most affected by my own, empty nest, with the children all grown up, no longer in need of me to care for them 24/7?  Injured, by the declaration of, your, independence, just as well, I’d raised, an INGRATE!

how we, feel…photo from online…

Injured, by the declaration of, your, independence, I know you’re bound to grow up someday, but, can’t you just, wait, for at least, I’m through with my, empty nest AND, menopause, then, you can go be independent on your own???

Well, unfortunately, MOMMIES, things don’t work that way, your children will grow up (unless they’re, already DEAD???), and, their growth process, they do NOT fall “in-line” with your entering your old age, that’s just how it is, and, you stupid parents had better learn to deal with that!

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The Variations of My New Nesting Alone

Here comes, the empty nest, how to occupy oneself, by finding hobbies, and, learning to adapt to life on your own in the elderly years maintaining that connection to your friends, your acquaintances, translated…

With the compounded milestone of retirement and my wife’s death, it’d caused me to lose the focal point of my suddenly.  I’d started immersing myself into a ton of activities for the retired persons, hiking, traveling, writing, book clubs, birdwatching, calligraphy, Buddhist teachings, Tai-Chi, etc., etc., etc., what everybody else’s “continuing education” for me is just “rushing to make the deadlines of my assignments,” and “killing my time”, nothing more.

Later, my youngest daughter got married first, moved out of our home, and started a brand new perfect family with my son-in-law.  As she was pregnant, I’d immediately signed up for the nanny classes, and worked hard in learning, and to get myself, certified.  As my young granddaughter was born, I’d gone to stay with the family to take care of her for a while, but they’d felt, that my certification was from the books, and I didn’t have any real experiences.  And so, they would take the advices of those parents online, and research the means to care for their young, and bring it up in discussions with me, to learn with me.

what he was left with after his children grew up…photo from online

As my granddaughter got a bit older, they considered how hard it was for me to care for their young, they’d placed their daughter at the daycare center, and only when they are too busy at work, and couldn’t get away, then, they would call me up to look after my granddaughter.

My eldest daughter lives with me, originally, we’d gotten into arguments when we had the dogs in the house, after she was married, her husband moved in, and it’d added to the complexity of interaction, and inconvenience of life.  Although we shared the same residence, we’d interacted like strangers, and the home I’d lived in my whole life, seemed too strange to me now.

Both homes, although, there are the bedrooms for me, but, I’d felt like an extra on the set.

Once as I’d visited a friend who’d moved into a retirement village, I was attracted to the services provided by the retirement living community, and thought about moving in.  And yet, in my conversations with him, I’d caught that hint of how it wasn’t as wonderful as I may have imagined, because there’s no people our age who’d cared for one another, and I’d decided, to put that idea on the backburner then.

And, there was a resident I had for rent which was about to expire, and, I’d started wondering if I should continue renting the place out or not?  I’d thought about it, my two daughters are married, with their own families and homes; and I’m an elderly person, with the free bus pass now, from before my retirement, I’d worked overseas and could care for myself, living alone is second nature to me.  And so, I’d decided, to let go of what’s tying me back, take that very first step toward my own independence at old age, took that rental space off the markets, moved out of my old nest, and started, living, alone.

As I’d moved in to my “new place”, the most important thing was I’d felt, that the twenty-four hours in the day belonged to solely me, I have all the time to use at my own preferences.  I now had enough time to read, to preview my school work, to research, to write down the lines that touched me which I read from the books………then, suddenly, these things I used to do to kill the time, no longer served that purpose anymore.

And because of how convenient it was, living on my own, my former classmates, my new ones, my old friends, my new acquaintances, to my home for gathering, teas, meals, chats, and we’d all interacted freely with one another, come and go as they pleased.  And this was the never-before sense of openness I now experience regularly.

Letting go of the self more, treat my self kind, I’m currently working on growing older, alone.

And so, this is a lesson that we all must learn to master eventually, because we will all age, and we will all face up with the means of children leaving the nest, and suddenly, we got too much time on our hands, and like what this man did, he’d worked hard, developing his own interests, and, found a way to keep up with his contacts, and continue to socialize with his external environment as he age.

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Filed under Empty Nest, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Interpersonal Relations, Issues of the Society, Life, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Socialization, Values

Do Help My Parents Become More Independent of Me

The empty nest, experienced by these parents, whose children are, flying the nest, and they’d, switched an angle to look at it, and it’d not felt like a loss, instead, it’d become, a gain to them now, translated…

Close to sixty, the kids of the friends from around me all started leaving school, starting to work, starting their families, setting up their own, careers.  When I’d carried on in conversations with them, I can occasionally, sniff out that sense of loss, and I’d, always joked with them, “sometimes, it’s NOT the kids who aren’t independent enough, it’s the adults!”, and they’d always, started laughing about it, and, lose that sense of loss inside, and it’d helped them alleviate the anxieties that they were all, experiencing then.

The endgame of raising the children, isn’t it to see them become economically independent, living independently of their parents, becoming independent thinkers from their own, parents?  And, as the children accomplished this, the parents should let go, so they can, start off on their own separate lives, so, why do the parents, feel that scent of, loss?

Once I was chatting with my neighbor, we got to talking about how the kids are becoming independent, and I’d blurted out, “it’s usually the parents who can’t be, independent” again, as a therapist, my neighbor seriously responded to me, “yes, a lot of the clients all told me, to help their parents to be, independent of them.”

And, it seemed, that some of these children had too dependent a parent, that they’d, sought out professional advice from the psychotherapist.

When we’re old, so are our children, and can stand on their own, as parents, we would often feel happy, but, loss at the same time, glad to see, that our children are able to show their abilities, but we’d felt, we’re, no longer, needed by them, hence, there’s, that scent of, loss that came with it.

all that’s, remained…photo from online

I think, we all need to start being in contact with our innermost feelings, and when that sense of “I’m no longer needed” surfaces, we should switch to an alternative thought—feel glad, that we’re, no longer needed, that our children are, quite capable!  That way, we will, be able to, reduce that feeling of loss.

A couple of days ago, my husband’s best friend and his wife came to visit, they’d talked of how their outstanding son is studying for his doctorate in the U.S., and the two didn’t understand what area of expertise their son was in, secondly, they’d felt, that their son handled everything on his own, and seeing the look of helplessness, and worry on this mother’s face, I’d told her, “look at you, so lucky!  You saved a ton of energies!”, as she’d heard, she’d, started, smiling.

Yes, we should all be glad, and happy, that our own children have the abilities, to soar with their own wings, their abilities being acquire, and then, we shall all be, happy and independent of them too.

And so, this is on how the empty nest hits everybody differently, for the writer, she’s too happy that her children are, out and on their own, she’s glad, that they’d become, independent, and can stand on their own, that they needed to not worry over them like they were, young children, but her friends were, troubled, and so, she’d, helped them see things in an alternative angle, and as her friends saw the other side of the story, they’d felt, better too, that their children are, becoming, independent of them.

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Filed under Awareness, Empty Nest, Lessons, Life, Maturation, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Properties of Life, Values

My Husband & His Empty Nest

The empty nest of, a, man, that’s odd, isn’t it?  Thought only mothers have that, but apparently, this daddy is, experiencing it, after he sent his own daughter off abroad, translated…

Without any noises, my husband once more, snuck, into, our daughter’s room, to write calligraphy, and I’d asked him several times playfully, if he was, missing her in her absence, he’d always, smiled it off.  Since last year as we’d sent our daughter off to the U.S. to start high school, he who wasn’t talkative, fell, all the more, silent, and now, he’d become, quite, weird, hidden himself in our daughter’s room to write calligraphy, and just, stared into her, walls.

Since our daughter began preschool, because I had to get to school at seven in the morn, the sweet burdens of taking her to and picking her up from school, became my husband’s, from the moment he’d gone to wake our daughter up, to doing her braids, changing her into her school outfits, to picking her up to take her home at night, bathing her, bedtime stories, he’d, taken on all on his, own.  After our daughter went on into elementary school, he couldn’t put up with how lazy his class full of students took to learning, he’d, filed for retirement then, and began his job after retirement as our daughter’s, chauffeur, taking her to and from school, to the talent courses after school, the weekend study sessions, the competitions on the weekends, I’d not needed to take any part in it.

and this, is what it, looked, like…comic from online

As my daughter was through her first six months of private middle school education, he couldn’t bear to see her head, buried in books day and night, and, after he’d discussed with her, he’d transferred her to an international academy over thirty kilometers away from our home.  I’d originally hoped that my daughter could go to the school on room and board, and yet, in both their, insistence, my husband started, driving her to and from, rain or shine, and I’d not heard him complained of how trying it was, to drive the long ways.

I had, originally, wanted my daughter to finish her high school years in the international academy, then she could apply for university out of the country.  And yet, my daughter’s, “Daddy, I want to go abroad to high school, so I can, catch on in the university years.”  And although, he’d felt unwilling, but, he’d, set up the paperwork, the applications, and went with her, as she’d started her school internationally, he’d stayed for six weeks abroad with her.  While my daughter quickly adapted to the life, and yet, as my husband returned, he had a hard time, readapting himself to no longer needing to take our daughter to and from, but thankfully, our daughter would email the lessons that she was learning, to discuss with him about, to alleviate his missing her.

I’d always wanted to make fun of my husband, there are only the moms who are having a hard time in their, empty nest, there’s almost no stories of empty nest dads, looks like, I need to, file for retirement soon, to help him out of the gloom, of our daughter flying out solo.

And so, this father is experiencing the hard-hitting, empty nest, because he was the one, interacting with his own daughter since she was younger, and, certainly, he’d felt the strong empty nest, as she’d gone abroad to study, this just shows how much the man loves his daughter, how he’d, cherished her so, and only wanted what makes his own daughter, happy.

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Filed under Empty Nest, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood

Setting Out, on My Own!

As the children grows up, the nest will become, empty soon, and, how are you going to adjust, what will you do, with all that, time???  Translated…

Since school stopped holding the sessions this May due to the outbreaks, other than reducing the times I had to go outside, life is slowly, getting back to normal now, but, my first-year middle school age daughter and my fifth grade son seemed to have gotten used to the comforts of having air-conditioning on full blast, settled in, and on the weekends and holidays, they’d no longer longed to go outside, to get some, fresh air.

from this…

mouths to feed, babies to take care of…photo from online

The Sunday morning after the Mid-Autumn Festival long weekend, the gently autumn sun with the light breeze, how I’d, missed those smiles on their faces as I took them out to run outside, I’d suggested that we should go to the beaches of Gongliao to see the oceans, and to see the sand sculpting festivities.  My first-year-middle school daughter, just as I’d expected, turned me down, my fifth-grade son, due to his love of outdoor activities, and his willingly to go along with me, and so, we’d gotten that mother-son-trip to the oceans.

That day was blissful, the sand sculptures were, amazing, my son chased the waves, and got chased by the waves, and under that blue skies, that smile I longed to see on his face finally, returned.  I’d thought of how Mr. Shih, Uncle Leisure-Living told in an interview, that the children in the elementary, middle school, and high school years at home, are like the seasons of summer, autumn, and winter, by the time they get into college, then, it’s, springtime!  He’s referring to how the kids, in their different levels of schools, with the pressures of scholastic, they’d, naturally, adjusted their own participation rates of the activities we do at home.

Being married later, before I married, I’d always gone out with my coworkers, my classmates to the trips; after I had my children, we’d gone out as a family (and I’m more than certain, that my husband in taking us out, was more out of that sense of responsibilities, and duty than having the fun time); as I’m about to enter into my fifties, with the coming of age of my children, I’ think, I shall start, getting used to following my former classmates, my coworkers out on the adventures again, or maybe, I can, set out, on my own too.  Like, “the mountain is the mountain, the mountain, doesn’t look quite like the mountain, the mountain seemed like the mountain”, the three stages, my going off will transfer from alone, no longer on my own, and back to, on my own, again!

to this…

photo from online

And so, with the coming of age of children, they will, eventually, leave the nest, and then, it’s just, you and your husband, and, because the two of you don’t share the same interests, you have no other choice, but to find your own adventures, and, by this way of thought, you already, had your empty nest stage of life, planned out.

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The Complete Single Day, Life as a Single Parent


I’d been a single mother for five years, my son went with his father, and I have custody over my daughter.  After I’d had several honest to heart conversations with both our parents, as well as my children’s father, my ex-husband finally agreed, mid last year, that the older brother and younger sister could have four days out of the month to spend together.  And so, the very last weekend of the month, my daughter would head over to her father’s, and, these two days became my “single days”.

I’d gotten used to life with my daughter by my side, and, suddenly, from Friday evenings to Sunday evenings, I no longer had her company, her voice no longer resonated through the house, the bed became so spacious, it was, really hard, for me to adapt, I’d missed her so.  In order, to keep myself from missing her too much, I’d headed over to the office on Saturdays to work, buried myself in work; and on Sundays, I’d slept in, and take my leisure breakfasts, then, headed out, to ride, to hike, or to meet up with my friends.  And, all of a sudden, it came time, to pick my daughter up again.

During the two days my daughter was away, it was like an early onset of my empty nest, at first, I had troubles, filling up this void, but now, I’d gotten used to it.  And, life is just like so, when there came varied situations, we must all, make adjustments, to work, to transfer our attention elsewhere.

Recently I’d read the activities of the volunteers on the United Daily News, I’m going to sign up as a volunteer too.  I believe, that when my empty nest comes, or when I’m about to retire, I can already live this life I’d already planned out well.

So, your daughter going to spend the weekend with her father became your trial-run for your own empty nest, and, it is important, to have multiple hobbies, established, WAY before you’re retiring, or your empty nests really actually HIT you, because if you’d waited until then, to start planning it, well, it’ll be, too late then.

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Filed under Being Alone, Divorces, Empty Nest, Issues on Gender, Loneliness/Solitude, Loss, Moods, Emotions, & Feelings, Observations, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Women's Issues

The Coming of the Empty Nest

How to occupy your time, after the kids are all grown, translated…

The friends around me all slowly, marched into the empty nest stage of their lives.

A said, that her daughter went abroad to study for a little over two years now, her son is about to follow his sister’s footstep soon, it’d caused her and her husband to lose the focus of their lives all of a sudden.  B said, that her two daughters went to the southern tip of the island to look for work and to live, another child will be sent off to work, the workplace is too far from home, and he can only stay in the dormitory of the company.  C said lightly, since her child grew up, he’d told her he was going to volunteer abroad, to work-vacate, he’d rarely stayed put in Taiwan during the summers or the winter breaks, and right after her son graduated, he’d immediately gotten accepted to a grad school abroad, went abroad to pursue his studies.  D’s daughter went to work for a foreign airline, and barely made it back to Taiwan in a couple of months, and her son works in Thailand, from before, she’d focused her entire attention on her children, and now, she doesn’t know how she’s going to pass the time.

And my good friend, E had been planning this day for a very long time, before she retired, she’d taken up calligraphy and drawing, fitting to her interests, and she’d trained as a volunteer at the museum district, to work as a guide.  With her children growing up, leaving the nest, getting married, her husband followed her, other than taking classes to enrich himself, he’d also done tai chi at the park, exercised regularly, and gone on tours, and from time to time, they’d taken cruises too, or gone on self-help trips with a couple of good friends, they didn’t seem to be impacted by the empty nest at all, they’d even shared with the younger generations their travels using LINE.  The two of them are at home anywhere they are, as for the home that’s here, they’d filled it up with happiness, and they don’t feel that void.

This still just shows, how important it is, to plan out the times after your retirement, because there WILL be a shift in focus of your lives, with your children all grown up, flying out, if you can’t find things, hobbies, to occupy your time, you will surely feel that wave of emptiness attacking you, but, like this couple who’d jam-packed their schedules, that, is a great way of dealing with the empty nest.

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After You’d Made the Promise, You Won’t be Mine ot Look After Anymore

Is that, a HINT of loss, and, a smidge of empty nest that I’m sensing from you right now???

After you’d made the promise, you won’t be mine to look after, I will be, “handing you over”, to THAT guy, and, despite how he’s so lovey-dovey toward you, I still don’t really trust him, after all, WHICH man would TAKE someone ELSE’s love away, right?

After you’d made the promise, you won’t be mine to look after, and, I must, FORCE, myself to accept that it’s a FACT, that my baby girl is NO longer a baby anymore, but, in my mind, I’ll always and forever, see you as that young child with the pigtails, stumbling up the stairs, and, hollering out to me, for me, to read you just one more bedtime story.

After you’d made the promise, you won’t be mine to care for anymore, god, I HOPE that I’m the VERY last father on this PLANET who will be FORCED, to deal with this feeling, but, I know, that I’m not!

After you made the promise, you won’t be mine to care for anymore, I just hope, that he will love you, like I had, for the last part of your life, cherish my little girl, like I’d done, and now, I’m giving her hand, to you, son, DO take care of her, or ELSE!!!

After you made the promise, you won’t be mine to care for anymore, and, although, there’s this beautiful, intelligent, bright young woman who’s in a wedding gown before me, I still can’t help, but see her, in her pigtails, stumbling………


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Filed under Coping Mechanisms, Empty Nest, Family Matters, Loss, Marriages, Moods, Emotions, & Feelings, My Thoughts on Various Issues, Observations, Relationship, Romance, Socialization, Story-Telling

Finding the Gem After Losing My Job

Coping with one’s empty nest effectively, and now, hobbies fill up the busyness of her days, translated…

Last August, my junior in college was accepted as a foreign exchange student to the Netherlands; in September, my son left Taipei, went to Chiayi for college.  My husband left early and came home late for work, and I’d become, seemingly “unemployed” as a housewife!

Every morning when I woke, I’d not wondered about what I’ll be cooking for supper, but instead, wheeling that dehumidifier to my son and daughter’s rooms.  How, do I pass this sparing time of my day?

My friends told me to get a dog, but without knowing, that I was, afraid of dogs, when I saw strays or someone walking their dogs, I’d stepped off to the sides, until they passed.  So, keeping a dog is not the way to make my life busy at all.

I’d gotten too bored, as I wandered into my daughter’s room, saw how her electric piano was sitting there, by the corner, so lonely, I’d allowed my fingers to glide across the keyboard, and I’d recalled my childhood too………

It was, about 1966, when my father went to the American consulting group and bought a pre-owned bicycle, gave it to my seven-year-old older brother as a present.  I saw a big black box, asked my father what it was?  Dad told me, “It’s an accordion that someone didn’t want anymore.”  Opened up the box, I’d touched the keyboard, and I’d played a familiar tune, “Funeral March”.  Later I’d found out that it was the theme song from Waterloo Bridge, that was often used, in times of goodbye.

The piano from my childhood days, in order to play, I’d have to step on the pedals.  I’d slanted my body, with my hands and my legs too, with the memories I’d carried, of the tunes I’d heard before, played the songs with one hand, one right after the last.

Since my son went to college, my husband became passionate about the saxophone, and I’d used my daughter’s electronic piano, to recall back the days of my childhood years, and I’d signed up for class.

The courses, from beginning to Christmas lasted ten sessions, and so, the instructor taught me “Silent Night”.  And, as she’d taught me, she’d commented, “You’re a quick study, other people had to practice the melodies, then the harmonies, and you can play both together!”  I’d smiled, and I owed my abilities to the funeral marchers who’d passed by my house, who became a sort of an introductory teacher.

During the time that my kids weren’t around, I’d changed the dishes that my kids enjoyed into the songs.  This accidental talent had, enriched my life, and, I was able to, change my sentiments of missing my kids into melodies, and I no longer felt sad anymore.

So, finding a hobby is still the BEST way to help one passes one’s empty nest, isn’t it?  And, this woman made the adjustments of roles from focusing on her family, to shifting the focus, BACK to herself, and now that her kids are all grown up, she can have the time, to pick up whatever hobbies she’s interested in but never had the time to pursue when her kids were still quite young.

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Filed under Coping Mechanisms, Empty Nest, Expectations, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling