For years you’ve shuffled children from one thing to another, cheered at soccer games, attended dance recitals, and dreamed of a time when you’ve have more time for yourself. However, now that the kids are out of the house, have you found yourself wishing for those hectic years back?
Being an empty nester can be an exciting time, but it can also be a lonely time. The key is to look at this new stage of life as a time to reconnect with your spouse, try some new things, and set new goals. Here are 10 ideas for you and your spouse to do together:
1. Get healthy. Now that you have some free time, why not spend some time being active with your spouse? This is a great time to explore all those sporty activities you’ve always enjoyed (or wanted to try) and get outside. There are many sports and activities to try: golf, bike, play tennis, or even pickleball.
2. Make new friends. For many couples, the years of working and raising children has left you with little time for friendship. Expand your friendship circle by getting out there and meeting new people. Community adult classes are an excellent way to meet people or perhaps there’s something on Meetup.com that you and your spouse would be interested in checking out.
3. Explore new places. This is the perfect time to explore all those places you’ve always dreamed of seeing. Prague? England? Japan? If you’re not interested in international travel, there are also places around the U.S. worth checking out. Some are even in your own backyard, here are a few ideas to get you started: Oklahoma River Cruises, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and Will Rogers Gardens.
4. Volunteer. Use this time to reconnect and give back to your community. Habitat for Humanity or the Red Cross are always looking for people to volunteer their time. To find out about other volunteer opportunities around your area, check out Volunteer Match.
5. Find a recipe and make dinner. If you love to cook, why not have a date night in? This would be a fun time to choose a new recipe, or perhaps a favorite dish you haven’t made in a while, and cook the meal together. Put on some of your favorite music or curl up in front of the TV for a movie night.
6. Redesign that empty nest. Now that you have some extra space, redesign the space. Have you always dreamed of having a home office, exercise room, man cave, or something else? Explore the space and see what you can turn it into. The possibilities are endless so pull out the creative juices and see what you come up with.
7. Go to the teatre. When was the last time you took in a live show? Get dressed up and go out to see a show at one of the local theatres. There are so many events taking place around Oklahoma City that is sure to interest both you and your spouse. So, what are you going to do first?
8. Follow your passion. Have you always dreamed of going back to school? Taking up the piano again? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to paint. Now is the time to do those things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time for.
9. Make a dream list. Take some time to create a dream list with your spouse. What are some things you’ve always dreamed of doing together? Maybe it’s something like attending a poetry reading, wine tasting, or going to a concert. This is also a great time to add some of those bigger dreams to your list, like: traveling the world, opening a bed and breakfast, or starting a new hobby together. Pick things that interest you and will add quality to your life.
10. Have a night picnic. Picnics aren’t just reserved for those lazy afternoons. Pack up some candles, food, wine, and head to your favorite spot. This is a great time to bring a book of poetry or your favorite music. The key to this is to have a romantic moment with your spouse where you’re not distracted by the phone, TV, or other technology.
Being an empty nester is not the end. Now is the perfect time to rekindle the romance with your spouse, rediscover who you are, and enjoy this new phase of your life.