Empty. How does that word make you feel? What images do you see? Empty is defined as “containing nothing; not filled or occupied.” Not exactly a word that brings to mind sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. However, it’s a word I’ve been hearing lately as I move toward this era of my life that others refer to as the “empty nest.”
The Mayo Clinic, in this article, states that “Empty nest syndrome isn’t a clinical diagnosis. Instead, empty nest syndrome is a phenomenon in which parents experience feelings of sadness and loss when the last child leaves home.” OK, I get it, and technically, that explanation does describe my situation. During conversations, I meet the words, “empty nest” with a wrinkle of my nose in irritation and in truth, it brings tears to my eyes. When #1 son left for college, the door to his room was now always open which triggered tears. When #2 son heads off this fall to his new adventures, the emotions will be real.
A colleague recently introduced me to the word, transitioning. I’m finding it to be a kinder, gentler, and much more suitable description of this time in my life. I’m in the process of moving from one condition to another.
Transitioning…yes. Empty…NO! My nest isn’t empty, nor will ever be. What do you think?