Category Archives: Empty Nest

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

Helping Me Through the Empty Nest

What we need, is a pinch of hobbies, a dash of interest classes, and, hanging out with friends, that should take care of it!!!  Translated…

As I closed in on sixty, I was about to start to enjoy a life of leisure when the three men of my house in a year’s time, “separated” from me, and all of a sudden, I became a person, living all alone on my own.

My husband got transferred elsewhere to work, my eldest son went to Japan as a foreign exchange student, my younger son went to the middle strips to study, and I’m starting to panic, facing this empty house, with nobody ELSE but me, and, the happiest time of my day is having webcam conference with these three favorite men of my life.

Day after day, life got harder and harder for me.  On a certain holiday, my husband who loved to read returned back north, he checked out a few books by well-known essayists, and a book named, “Essays Writing Classroom”, wanted me to read them, and encouraged me to better my writing skills, to pick up my pen once more.

After my two sons were born, I’d focused wholeheartedly on raising them, and passed the day in the busyness.  Even though, in the year 1991, the two essays I’d sent in got published, but ever since, I’d hung up my pen.

In this past year, in order to get rid of my blues and helping me pass the time, I’d read the United Daily News on a day to day basis.  And when I felt like it, I’d written on matters I’d read up on.  And, from time to time, I’d cooked with the instructions of the cookbooks, and share it with my friends and relatives, it’d boosted my level of confidence, as I’d gotten commends from them.  And now, when inspirations hit me, I’d pick up my pen and start writing, and from before I was a retard when it came to computers, I can now, send in my articles via the web.  And I’m no longer blue all day long, now, I’m living a fulfilled life.

Last year, two of my articles got published by the United Daily News, and my long-time-no-see college classmate had even made a call to congratulate me, it’d boosted my self-confidence even more.  Reading, writing and submitting my articles to the papers had helped me pass the lonely time of my empty nest.

So, you just needed a H-O-B-B-Y, to help you with all the time you have on your hands, and, once you got into doing whatever it is you “picked up”, you’ll find that the days would FLY right by, as compared to before when you’re watching the clock, and, each and every second seemed to tick-tocked away, even more slowly…

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An Empty Nest, Filled with Happiness

Translated…

As a daughter, I’d gotten this simple wonder, and I’d passed through my childhood, with a heart of enjoyment.

As I’d become a daughter-in-law, a mother, I’d worked hard, to learn, for thirty years, it’d been a long and hard journey.

And now, my children worked hard, to study during the weekdays, to work, and on the weekends, they’re busy, dating, and, until their curfews at ten-thirty at night, they’d all flown back to the “nest”.

My husband and I utilized this time of “empty nest”, to go out hiking, to climb, to listen to the birds and the insects call, to chase away that scent of loss and of loneliness.

Last year on Mother’s Day, my daughter made reservations at a restaurant, said she was going to give us a surprise.

Turns out, it was, a huge surprise, their legendary boyfriends showed up together, one was working, one just finished his graduate studies, and was on his way to serve in the army.

They’d called out to us, with this timidness, “Aunt”, “Uncle”.

The first time we’d all met, it was awkward, we were all very nervous, I’d even called them by the wrong names.  After I’d downed a glass of lemon water, I’d soothed myself back down some.

As a mother, I’d worried, kept wondering, are my girls’ boyfriends treating them well?  Will they get married?  Will they love one another until the end of their days together?………

To help me feel more secure, I’d asked them over to the house for supper, had them help with the place settings, and, I’d made my observations in their interactions.

Sometimes, the “working class” carried over a winter melon planted by his parents, rode over on the MRT, he must’ve gotten weird looks from the other passengers I’m sure.

The “one serving in the army” learned that I was rehabilitating in the hospitals, he’d brought over a bag of hand-picked specialty herb on his day off.  Even though, my own family owned a Chinese medicine shop, I’d never seen this herb.  The stems were covered with pricks, I’m sure, he must’ve had a hell of a time, picking it then? Seeing how the two men are so ordinary and down-to-earth, my husband and I had finally let out a long breather.

Even though, they’re NOT yet sons-in-law, but, they look more and more interesting by the days.

Since, my daughters are engaged in love openly, and happily.  My husband and I continued hiking, going out to see the fields, and, my “empty nest” is also filled with a TON of happiness.

And so, this woman chose to use a positive attitude, to deal with her kids leaving, after all, they’re all grown, and had found good men, and so, she’s glad for them, and, she’d filled up her life with hobbies and things she’d enjoyed doing, that, was why she didn’t feel the strains of the empty nest.

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The Sudden Onset of the Empty Nest

The “inner workings” of a housewife, translated…

I’m an ordinary housewife, in the past, the focus of my life had been on my three babies, but since last summer when my youngest daughter became a foreign exchange student to the Eastern coast of the United States, and at the start of the year, my son went on a business trip to western U.S., and my eldest daughter took the government exams and started working away from where I lived, I’d gotten a lot of spare time on my hands.

Without the three noisy sparrows fighting now, it seemed, that the quality of my life is on the decline.  And now, on the dinner tables, it’s just me, and my retired husband, staring at each other in the silence.  I originally thought, that my children had gone off to college close to home, that when they’d just entered into the working world, they can find work closer to home too, I didn’t expect my empty nest to hit me so suddenly.

At first, the two of us expected and expected, waiting for the time when our kids had agreed upon as the time to webcam with us.  I felt, that my life has no meaning, that it was no fun, and I feel that sense of loss.

But gladly for my husband’s encouragements, he’d taken me out hiking a lot, being closer to nature, and we’d gone to the temples at the places we’d arrived to to ask for blessings and offer the incenses, hoping that the gods will look after our young.

And, my neighbor was kind and generous enough, to teach me quilting, along with beads too.  I’d started from the basics, threading of a needle.  And every time when I’d shown off a finished piece to my children, their look of awe had given me a TON of zest, and I’d found my motivation slowly from all the activities I’m now involved in; and I’d played games such as Sudoku, to help myself in not aging as fast too.

Slowly, I’m no longer stressed out, I look forward to a brand new tomorrow every single day.  We are the owners of our own lives, and, any kind of a change can mean a brand new beginning, don’t keep yourselves tied up.  I believe, that NOT only the younger generations, we, the elders, can also have a colorful life too.

And so, this woman filled up her empty nest with a TON of hobbies, and that, is the right way to do it, after all, your lives had circled around the kids, the family, and now, the kids are all grown, and you start to feel that you’re not needed, and thus, you will be somewhat depressed, but, if you’d kept up with hobbies, then, those things you’d kept up with can help occupy your mind and your time too.

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More Than Half of the Retired Individuals Have NO Idea How They’ll Be Spending Their Time in Retirement

 

This, is really AWFUL, because you got NOTHING planned for the next twenty-thirty, even FORTY years, so, you’re basically just waiting for that “call” from death!!!  From the Front Page Sections, translated…

The individuals in this nation are living longer and longer, investigation showed, that everybody’s “life after retirement”, their “third life” can last up to twenty, even thirty years, taking up a-third of one’s life, but, most people hadn’t planned OUT their retirements.

The Great Vision Magazine took the polls of eight hundred individuals over age fifty and found, that the average age of retirement for people in this nation is 57.5, which was 7.5 years earlier than the legal age for retirement, plus the average lifespan is increasing, the life after retirement may be the LONGEST portion of life.

The assistant CEO of the magazine pointed out, that people felt barely ANY impact from the speeding up of the aging process, this, may be a BIG warning sign.  The results of the research showed, that half of all who are retired had little to NO clue of everything relating to after the retirement, including elderly care, medical costs, along with people hired to take care of the elderly persons.

Living alone, poor, and without family members around, these three are the main causes of the sufferings in the elderly years, and, all of these are caused by not planning ahead of times.  The founder of the Great Vision Magazines, Kao said, that from before, he’d noticed how his American colleagues work hard, to plan out their retirements, but people in Taiwan don’t have the same kind of mindsets.

“Take care of your own elderly years”.  Mary Yang told, a complete retirement plan must have three presets: good health, enough money, and interpersonal relationships, so you’d have a strong enough supportive network.

And so, remaining ACTIVE is only ONE of the keys in the elderly years, after all, we are, living LONGER than before, and so, we would BE spending the majority of the years of our lives in retirement, so, are you ready?  Had you planned it all out?  Do you have ENOUGH saved up?  Have you started on acquiring a multitude of hobbies yet?  If not, well, you’re gonna get S-C-R-E-W-E-D, and, there’s NO such thing as OVER-preparing on THIS particular matter.

 

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The Mother Has a Man to Keep Her Company, and Spent All Her Money on Him

From a concerned child, a Q&A, translated…

Q: Ms. D who’s filled with doubts wrote…

She’s single, the youngest of three kids.  After her mother became a widow, the three siblings are worried that there would be NO one to keep the mother company, because all three of them worked, and the seventy-two-year-old mother is healthy in the body and the mind, and she’s at the time of her life when she’s enjoying her life, but she couldn’t find company.

At this time, the mother found a man in his sixties, they looked seemingly well-matched, like a boy and a girlfriend should.  Normally, this should be a happy event, but, Ms. D had a new concern, because the boyfriend seemingly didn’t have much money, ever since they were together, he’d been living off of her, and, the mother’s spending cash came from the three children.  Ms. D saw how the mother’s boyfriend was having a grand time, spending ALL their hard earned money, and thought about how hard it was, for her to earn it, she started becoming doubtful.

A My Opinion

I can understand Ms. D’s heart, to tell the truth, the mom and the boyfriend had gotten along too quickly, started going everywhere together, what’s yours is mine, as children, you will naturally feel doubtful.  First, a man in his sixties, he didn’t have any money, what’s THAT about?  Is it because he was out of a job from before?  Without a retirement pension?  Without any savings?  Or, did he fail in his business ventures?  There should be an explanation, to let the others know, that way, the children would be more at ease.  And, how is his family?  Doesn’t he have children to care for him?  How about marriage, or relationship with the opposite sex?  On this, I believe, that it is Ms. D’s mother’s obligation to tell her kids, and to know it herself too. Ms. D gave her mother $5,000N.T. per month, plus the money from her older siblings, if they’d given her a total of $15,000N.T. a month, it wouldn’t be too luxurious for two, so, the mother started using the cash from the red envelope from her kids last year, and this had alarmed D!  D isn’t supposedly worried about the money, but whether or not the man is really into her mother?  And, what might happen next?

And so, the mother’s dating, and, this man she’s dating is seemingly a BLOOD SUCKER, but the mother is in the infatuations stage of her relationship, she’s way too in love, to even think clear, and, the child should do as the advices said, get to know the man’s background, and then, if he’s really a bad person, then, persuade the mother to NOT see him anymore, but, we ALL know how words have little to NO effect when it comes to love already, don’t we???

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The Empty Nest of a Single Mother

This, would be especially hard, I imagine, translated…

I was way too young and didn’t know any better, married because I had a daughter at the age of twenty-two, in two short years, I’d become a single mother, even though, I was quite young, I’d still worked hard, to raise my daughter, and, during the time when she was growing up, I’d felt strained a lot.

And now, my daughter is out of college, and she’d decided to move to Taipei, and, looking at how enthusiastic she was, I’d said yes to her verbally, but deep down, I didn’t want to let go.  I’d used the excuse of no longer under economic stress and health difficulties, to declare my retirement.  The house that the two of us, mother and daughter had shared for twenty-four years, was like my heart, all of a sudden, turned cold, and becoming lifeless now.

Recalling the happenings of these over twenty years’ time, I’d focused solely on my daughter, rarely done anything for myself, without friends, OR hobbies, and, the people I saw, other than family, there’s NOT a friend I can share my thoughts with, I’m like a caveman, living alone, deep, in the woods.  At first, I’d felt that the society had little kindness and support toward us, single mothers, to the point of keeping us outside the circles, and so, I’d been forced to keep my marital status hidden, to lock down my social circle, and kept making excuses for myself, to not go out to socializing, and, slowly, I’d come to discover, that I’d spent more and more time at home.

I’d know clearly, that I still have hopes and dreams for my own future, what I lacked, was the courage, how did I miss, that there are so many fears, worries when I was younger?

Turns out, that in the over-twenty-year’s time, I’d had my daughter with me, and now, she’s grown, and found her own set of skies to soar, and I, stood still, I can’t adapt myself, to walking this path alone now.

In an early morning filled with sunshine, I’d cleaned myself up, then, put on workout clothes, with a backpack behind me, in my sneakers, guess I’ll be on a journey around the island, a trip for one then!

I’d written this article at the hotel and resort in Hualien, that day, I’d gone on the high speed trains, took the bus, passed through the Shue-Shan Tunnel, saw the Pacific Ocean, saw the other side of the Central Mountain Ranges, it’s been a really long time, since I’d stopped, and enjoyed the great views in Taiwan.

The road is up ahead all this time, and I need not plan anything, I just had to get up, and walk out.  Life is filled with endless possibilities, just take it as it come then! So, here, we have the adjustment to empty nest, because her daughter is grown and flown from the nest, and, she being a single mother, it was harder for her to adapt, but, she refused to get depressed for long, she took actions, to make her own life better.

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Have a Plan for Retirement

Because if you don’t, well, you’re totally getting S-C-R-E-W-E-D that’s for sure!!! Translated…

My friend, along with the principals from her age group, when meeting up with me, they’d always asked me about my retirement: what I’d been up to? And I didn’t know how to answer them.

Before I retired, people would tell me, that before I retire, I should plan out my retirement, but I believed, that making plans would be ineffective in dealing with the changes, plus, you might not get to carry through with your plans anyhow, so, before I retired, I never really had any plans at all. And now, I’d still believed, that you don’t necessarily have to have a full plan after the retirement, but at least, you must be mentally prepared for it, otherwise, when the time came, you would be without focus. Retirement is a huge change in life that’s for certain, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly either, otherwise, if you had maladjustments afterwards, there would be NO turning back for you.

My experiences of being retired for three and a half years told the younger coworkers, that working is stressful, but, if it’d gone smoothly, they should work longer when they could, otherwise, after the retirement, there’s NO stable source of income anymore, and if there’s need for huge expenses in the households, then, it would cause you to get stressed out internally. And, if you didn’t have discipline or a strict schedule, without a second career option, you’d lost focus, and that, would prove to be problematic to you as well.

I may not be completely satisfied with my own retirement, but, because my father had a few patches of fields left behind, I could live out my retirement as a spare time farmer. Sometimes, when I have nothing to do, I’d taken up my paintbrush, or to tap around on the piano keyboards, and, all of these activities added color to my retirement.

So, from this, you can see, how IMPORTANT it is, for you, to establish your hobbies, PRIOR to your retirements, because if you start thinking about taking up hobbies AFTER you’d retired, you’d realize how much SPARE time you have on your hands that you don’t know what to do with.

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Hoping that My Son Will Return Soon

Translated…

Around the Lunar New Year, my son went to Sri Lanka on a trip alone, since the moment he got on the plane, I’d worried, nonstop, but gladly, he’d told me, that he would update on Facebook, to keep me posted, IF internet is available, and he will buy the mobile internet cards too, he’d posted photographs on Facebook, write a short paragraph or two, to keep me updated on his travels. And so, every day, checking his movement online became a must-do for me.

And now, my youngest son works as an international volunteer in Gueizhou, and, as I’d googled the temperatures locally, it showed from three to zero, and, even though they’re working as an entire group, I’d still worry, that he may NOT have enough clothes.

But, in the conditions of NO online services, NO connections, and NO contacts, I can only tell myself, give the child a new experience in life, and, everything he goes through will be a lesson learned. I’d kept my desires to call up his group to inquire, just kept my missing him to myself, hoping, that the day of his return will come soon.

So, you’d let go, even though, you’re still worried, but you KNWE, that they’d have to STRUCK out on their own, and so, you’d forced yourself, to STOP worrying, because your kids are OLD enough…

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With a “High-Quality” Older Adult at Home

On filial relations, aging gracefully, translated…

My father, is a high-quality elderly person, he’s ninety years old this year, and chose to stay in our ancestral home in Meinon, living a very simple, farm life, the open fields by the house where he lives is his exercise field.

Regularly, he’d lived alone, and, at noon of the Chinese New Year, the children and grandkids would all show up, and we’d all sit together, at three large tables to eat, after we’d finished the meal, the children and grandkids would leave one by one, and by dusk, it was him, all alone again. The children and grandchildren wanted him to go out to spend the holidays, and he’d tell them, “I feel more comfortable on my own.”

As I was about to embark on the elderly stage of life, I’d learned from him: learning to get along with oneself, getting used to solitude, then, you’d be able to enjoy the freedom of one.

Other than raising the four of us, brothers, they’d also helped taken care of the grandkids, they’d busied themselves for a very long time, and, it was hard on them. My mother passed away some five years ago, and now, there’s only my father, and, all of his children and grandchildren lived far away from him.

As the younger generations worked hard to establish themselves, we’d only come home on the holidays, but, I’d never heard my father complain, that, was truly had to come by! My father didn’t get enough education, he’d spent half of his life in poverty, and now, his children and grandkids are all very well-rounded, and he believed that he is beyond blessed.

Every time when the grandchildren had examinations, my father would NOT call them up and ask how they’d done, he knew, that over care and over concerns will cause them pressures. In all these years, we’d also never heard him comparing his children, or talked of which daughter-in-law wasn’t kind enough to him and such, or which grandchild was good, or bad.

My father is quiet, as am I, even if I’d returned home, we rarely talked, but I have NOTHING but respect and love for him. His lack of words is NOT aloofness, he cared, but NOT to the point that he’s worri3ed, and that had gotten this family, to run more smoothly.

My father, at his age, can live on his own, peacefully, this, would be a blessing for us all, his children. At the end of last year, my nephew had a wedding in Tainan, my father didn’t want to travel again, he’d chosen, to stay at his home in Menon, to silently offer HIS blessings to his grandson’s marriage.

He knew, that he couldn’t offer assistance, to help out, that excessive worries are useless. Letting go, that, was how he was able to live each and every day with ease.

And so, this, is what an elderly man does, for his old age, he CHOSE not to worry, because he knew, that worries are useless, plus, he KNEW that children will have their own life to live, and, worries are for naught, which, is WHY he is able to feel at ease.

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An Empty Nest

Just like those baby bird who NO longer needed their parents’ care anymore…

An empty nest, this, is what I’m left with, along with an empty heart, after you’d gone, you were, the tornado that came through town, and destroyed EVERYTHING in your path, including me, the ONLY possible person in the entire world who CAN possibly love you. An empty nest, can you imagine the sense of loss those mother birds feel, that after they’d brought back over a MILLION worms to keep their offspring full, and after the babies’ wings grew strong enough, they flew out, and never return again.

An empty nest, this, is what I’m looking at right now, and, I don’t know H-O-W I’m ever going to feel up this void, this need, to take care of somebody, because I need, to be needed.

An empty nest, this, is what you’re left with, isn’t it? And, how does it feel, KNOWING, for certain, that that nest that’s emptied will NEVER, ever, E-V-E-R, be filled back up again? Huh? How, does THAT feel???

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