Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Some of you may know, I recently became an empty nester. My three children, Nolan (23), Hudson (19), and Tate(18) are off on their own, starting their adventures as young adults.
My husband and I started our family very young, and so here we are, still in our 40's and our children have moved out. Although, I knew this day would come, it's been a big adjustment. There's a finality to it. It felt like losing a job. One that I've done for 23 years. I think lots of people struggle with big changes like this. It's why Serena struggled so much with retirement. It's why Tom Brady just can't let go! Big changes are hard. Of course, our children will continue to need our love, counsel, and support, but our hope is that we gave them the tools they need to be self-sufficient adults, advocating for themselves, making good choices, and living purposeful lives with a conscience. The less they need us, the better we did, right?
When I got invited to join a group of my older friends on a weekend tennis trip in Las Vegas, I jumped at the chance. I really enjoy spending time with new people, getting to know their stories, their lives, and creating genuine friendships. At this point in my life, it was really special to be able to spend time with these incredible women who have all been in my shoes. It was a fun weekend filled with costumes, laughs, and lots of tennis. The evening before the tournament ended, we all went to dinner with another group of women from Canada that had travelled to Las Vegas for the tournament. As I looked around the table, I was surrounded by beautiful, strong, successful, and wealthy women. Many of them have lived through raising children, divorce, cancer, death of a spouse, death of a child, depression, and more of life's ups and downs. It's as if they've reached a point in their lives where they know what truly matters. There they were, smiling, laughing, and enjoying each others company. They all seem very comfortable in their own skin. One woman I spoke to just stopped coloring her hair, and has the cutest silvery-grey pixie cut. Sure, they care about their looks and appearance, but they're done fighting time. They're embracing it. They didn't waste time on gossip, judgement, or jealousy. They mainly talked about their families, their children, and grandchildren. They asked about each others families with genuine concern. It was such a beautiful thing to observe these women.
It's interesting how we progress through the decades of life. In my twenties, I was raising a young family, trying to please everyone, and make it look perfect. In my thirties, I decided that was bullshit. I stopped caring about what other people thought, and started raising my family how I wanted (which turned out to be the best thing for our family). And in my forties, I decided to do a deep dive into my own life. I needed to correct bad habits, reevaluate relationships, and all of that required lots of therapy. One of the main things I learned in therapy that helped me make big adjustments in my life was this: If you spend time with someone, and afterward, you feel horrible about yourself, they're probably not the right person to give time to. My therapist asked me to pay attention when I spent time with someone, and ask myself:
"Does this person make me feel joy?"
"Do I like how I feel when I'm with this person?"
If the answer is "no", things need to change.
It doesn't matter if someone is eight or eighty, if they make you feel joy, spend time with them! I absolutely loved spending time with these women! I found them incredibly inspiring, and they give me hope that I can have an incredible second life! There's lots of places to go, people to meet, adventures to take, and of course- tennis to play.