Half-Empty Nest Syndrome

An Osprey landing in the nest at Boy Scout Cam...

Osprey nest (credit: Wikipedia).

My oldest son moved out a few weeks ago. Although I’m happy that he’s fledged from the parental nest, it happened a bit sooner than I was expecting and it’s left me adrift, floundering, unanchored, if you will.

My youngest son is with me every other week, which leaves me alone (except for my dog) during those times. The thing is I have not been alone on a regular basis for 21 years. Just like becoming a parent takes adjustment, becoming an un-parent takes adjustment, too. And both seem to happen just as suddenly.

I am finding that I don’t like being alone at home. I am too used to helping other people and having someone around. Granted, I like my privacy and I am an introvert, so I don’t usually seek out crowds, but family is different. They are meaningful people and I like to surround myself with meaning.

So I’ve decided to open my home to a stranger. “Okay,” you’re saying, “does not compute.” How is opening my home to a stranger like living with a family member? Well, it does have some meaning. We both go to the same church so we have the same philosophy in that respect. And she is in a bind. She needs a temporary place to stay while awaiting a place of her own.

Will it work? I hope so. I rented a room in someone’s house once for 8 months, so I am familiar with the logistics. It was not a harmonious home – the mom was not a happy person and liked to criticize the teenage daughter harshly. And I found out toward the end that the house wasn’t even hers. She was renting it from somebody else. Yuk. I could not wait to get out of there after a while.

I’d like to think that my home is pretty mellow and happy. And this lady likes big dogs, so that part should work out well. But I suppose there are all sorts of opportunities for disaster and conflict. This person is coming to look at my son’s room later this week. If she doesn’t like it, so be it. If she does, my nest will no longer be half-empty. And if we end up disliking each other, it’s only temporary. Stay tuned . . . .

5 thoughts on “Half-Empty Nest Syndrome

  1. Good luck! I absolutely identify with what you say about family being “different”; I am an introvert as well but find myself disappointed when I pull into the driveway and see Ivan’s car gone; the same was true when I lived with my best friend, Katrina. Like you, I am drawn to the idea of sharing my home with others and the opportunity to forge additional meaningful connections, but I also worry it will quickly drain my energy if it’s not a good fit. But no matter how it turns out, you are doing a good and brave thing!

  2. Pingback: Half-Empty Nest Syndrome, Part II | Marie's Meanderings

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