This year our youngest daughter headed off to college officially making my husband and me "empty nesters." I intensely dislike the phrase because it rings of lack. It describes the end of a period in a parent's life with nothing more than vacancy. In my mind, this stage represents a beginning, not only for our children who embark on a journey full of possibility and promise, but for us as well. My daughters helped me come up with the name "Empty Quester" to better define the way I view myself at this exciting turning point.
"Empty Questers" anticipate the years ahead with the same enthusiasm as our children leaving the nest. For more than two decades our focus has been the kids. Now we have time and resources to devote to ourselves. We are vibrant, spirited, adventurous and open to all possibilities. Are you an Empty Quester? If so, I welcome you along for the flight.
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Guest Questers are people just like you and me who are reinventing themselves: pursuing their dreams and having new adventures.
While raising our daughters, I both worked and stayed at home over the years. Regardless of my employment, each day began with thoughts of my children--their schedules, their friends, their crushes, their futures. Did they need a ride, a tutor, a dress for a party, a pep talk, help with their college applications? What would they like for dinner; Had one of them become a vegetarian since last Thursday or suddenly eliminated dairy from her diet?
There was never a lack of purposeful activity for me. Someone needed something in my household and I was generally the one they turned to. I loved being that person.
When our oldest daughter, Jacqueline, headed off to college I recall telling her, "Please text me at the end of every day so I will know you are OK." That practice lasted...never. I quickly understood that as my child left the nest, it was important that I didn't clip her wings. While we are very close, I'm not involved in her day to day activities and an enormous number of tasks have come off my plate and moved onto hers. Now with both girls out of the house, I have time for myself I have not had in 21 years.
A positive, joyful shift occurs when empty nesters become Empty Questers. Empty means we have a blank canvas to fill as we choose. There's so much waiting for us! Read on...
Empty Questers represent a powerful demographic.
We have more disposable income than our younger counterparts and more time to enjoy the products and services targeting our age group. We are wise and discerning, loyal to products we like but suddenly adventurous to try new things. Everything is shifting:
We change homes: downsize and buy the vacation house we have dreamed of for years.
We buy new cars: so long SUV; how about a convertible?
We travel again for the first time in years--Europe, Polynesia, quick trip to Montreal?
We hire a new financial planner to help us protect our retirement nest egg and make the most of our investments.
And nearly all of us are finding new exercise routines and beauty regimens to fit our new lifestyle.
We are vibrant, adventurous, affluent and open to all possibilities.
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