Today marks one year since we closed on our new home, our new adventure in life together as empty nesters, a year of wonder and surprises.
We are enjoying our new digs…the peaceful cul-de-sac, the beautiful golf course views, the changing and creating that comes with turning a “house” into a “home.” And not least of all, one-story living! With this change, a few things have been left behind: old neighbors, familiar faces on my daily walks, the hustle and bustle of our old lifestyle. Though I miss much of that, this past year has brought many wonderful blessings.
We’ve welcomed a soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Hillary Mangum, into our home. She has stolen the heart of our oldest son, Ben, and we look forward to a wedding in the future and many years of Hillary’s presence in our family.
We’ve anticipated our daughter Lauren’s upcoming graduation with a Master’s degree from the University of Georgia and anticipate her next venture to obtain a Ph.D. This venture will take her far away from home. Though I hate to see her leave, life has taught me that broadening horizons is yet another gift that our life on Earth provides. I can’t wait to see her feel that for herself.
We’ve observed our youngest son, James, grow and stretch himself with his studies at Georgia Tech, his developing passions, and have celebrated many weekends with him close to home with the love of his life, Tal.
I’ve watched my husband Brian blossom in his new career, traveling the globe, something he’s always wanted, and for the first time in a long time, feeling totally fulfilled with his work.
We’ve helped my parents transition into their next home, a significant move on their part as they downsize and create a better home for themselves as they age.
You could say I’m a bit in the “sandwich stage.” And I’m happy to say that where I am right now is exactly where I want and need to be. I want to and now have the ability to visit my them more often and be there for them in far away Northern Minnesota, a home they love and for good reasons don’t want to leave. And though I wish they were closer, it gives me a reason to go back to my first and favorite home more often.
Jobs come and go. Careers evolve and change. Kids grow and leave the nest to create their own nests. New opportunities present themselves and then sometimes dissolve. The future is broad and open, even in this stage of life. Every day brings something new, if we take the time to look for it, see it, welcome it, and embrace it.
Life is short, and yet it is long. Embracing the idea of life’s longevity and also its brevity is a gift from God. A gift that I give thanks for because it gives me eyes to see the beauty in every moment.
We never know what one day or one year will bring to us. Take a chance, step out, give, receive, and never fear the unknown.