Our client, Darci McIntyre, the newly published romance novelist, submitted this piece on how empty nesting gave her the opportunity to pursue a hobby that had always interested her, and to meet a goal that she had always dreamed of.  While her newfound free time presented her with the opportunity, as you’ll see, it still took a plan, concerted effort, and deliberate investments of time to acquire new skills.

Transitions are never easy.  We regularly advise clients on the important financial decisions during transitions, but a huge part of Lucien, Stirling & Gray’s role also centers on strategic life planning.  Buying or selling a home, sending your children to college, retiring… these are the transitions when our clients rely on our coordination to help them make confident decisions.

If you, like Darci, have been spending your years preparing for your children’s future but haven’t given much thought to your “Empty Nester” plan yet, read on for inspiration:

Empty Nester Turned Author – A Client’s Story

You’ve dreamed about it for years. You weren’t sure the time would ever arrive, but here it is. You’ve survived the temper tantrums, the drama-filled teenage years, the tearful goodbye’s when they left for college. Congratulations, you’re an empty nester. Now what? 

My husband and I reached this milestone two years ago. The youngest of our four children flew the nest and we were thrilled. We marveled at the calmness of our home, how clean it stayed. We purchased the nice furniture we always wanted but didn’t dare own when they were around. After that, we didn’t know what to do.

So many years had been dictated by their schedules – the softball games, the band concerts, the plays. We didn’t know what to do with our time. The day we showed up at their old high school to watch a basketball game, even though we didn’t know anyone who was playing, was the day I realized we needed a new plan.

We’d spent long years preparing our children for their futures: helping them grow into self-reliant adults. What we should have been doing was preparing ourselves for our new lives as well.

I was a young mother, so I missed “finding myself” in my twenties. I was the first to jump at the chance to recapture that opportunity.  As a life-long reader, I dreamed about writing a novel myself one day. I created a website and started writing a weekly blog. I began waking early to get in a couple of hours of writing before work. I took creative writing classes at our local community college. I published my first novel, Seeing Red, last September and plan to publish my second novel later this year.

It took some prompting from me to help my husband along. He had always been interested in photography but never had the time to pursue it. I bought him a nice camera and suddenly he was as excited as I was. He’s taken dozens of photography classes on lynda.com, joined a local photography group, and attends photography events and competitions. Our house is beginning to fill with his beautiful work.

If you’re lucky enough to be an empty nester, the world is yours to explore. You’ve done the hard work and now it’s time to follow your passion. Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do. It may lead you on a wonderful new adventure or even a second career you never saw coming.

Darci McIntyre

Darci is a Lucien, Stirling & Gray Advisory Group client. To read more from Darci, visit darcimcintyre.com.