An EMPTY NEST seems to be coming up for me almost daily – talks of one, seeing one, even putting one on my vision board for no apparent reason. And yet, nothing happens for no apparent reason. This empty nest is never far from my consciousness. A friend who is a master sculpture artist, is working on a fabulous brass nest that is so large, 15 feet wide, a person could actually sit in it.

I’ve been thru empty nest syndrome often. I know my nest is sturdy, because I made it myself. It has all the ingredients necessary for a solid foundation and has been put together over time with love, compassion, dignity, and hope and has served me well as I have sold businesses, changed careers, had my children leave home for college, one even moved to Saint Louis which is far far away from me and of course took his children, I’ve had miscarriages, divorces, illnesses, and betrayals. I retired, my husband retired, we both started new careers in our sixties, and in each case, I reinvented myself – sometimes easier than others.

However, I am currently experiencing something totally new… These wonderful attributes I have nurtured for my nest that have served me so well, have now turned into “not enough.”

Looking into the dark, deep center of my nest, I realize my work has, somehow, taken over my entire being. My homey, cozy nest, now feels closed up, stagnant. Struggling to reach the top, I yearn to see a bit of sun, a rainbow perhaps, or even a bit of blue sky. And I am overwhelmed with a new sense of awareness, a wakefulness…. Shall I refer to it as my ah-ha moment? My mind churns as the words assemble in a new context….


I am not experiencing empty nest syndrome; I am experiencing an overcrowded nest! So instead of reinventing the nest, it is obvious I am wanting it empty for the first time I can remember. Empty the nest!

My nest, it seems, is overflowing with obligation, shattered dreams, other people, other places and other things.

My nest it seems, has become so full, there is no room for new wonder, new delight, or a new purpose of me.

I look deeply and carefully, and find a tiny little corner to the right….there I am. Overwhelmed with misplaced dreams and opportunities, callings that were not heard or realized for oh so many reasons. I recognize these feelings of discontent, of not being connected, of not being helpful or supportive. It must be time to start over again.

As I empty the nest, I touch, acknowledge, and thank each piece as I let them go with the understanding that they no longer serve me. A twinge of excitement washes over me. I feel both brave and fearful. The unknown beckons me gently, just a nudge knowing I’m not quite ready to fly. Will I remember how? Am I too old, too fragile, too insecure, too secure?

No matter. I simply empty the nest. Only time will tell when and where the next adventure lies.

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  1. Ruth Ann (Sutter) Ficken on August 15, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    Bravo Nancy!! I have been feeling the same way for a long time I just didn’t know I needed to empty my nest. You are awesome! Can’t wait to see where this path leads you. Hugs💗Ruth Ann

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    So beautifully put!

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