Life in the trenches of empty nesting.


This is me right now. Not just my dining room, but my brain. Pile upon pile of junk I need to do, should be doing, finished doing, shouldn’t be doing, want to be doing. This is the visible. The invisible is even more horrifying. So I decided I needed to take a break this morning and write a little update on life in the trenches of empty nesting.

I remember life in the trenches of raising littles. And then moving into the oh-my=God-why-did-we-ever-have-children era of teenagers. I’m joking about that last one, honestly. The teenager Smith years were…challenging. And rewarding. And fun. And busy. And memory making. And to be honest, I was sad when they were over. Also, tired.

But this empty nesting thing? Wow. I think if I were usually an easy-going, happy all the time, look on the bright side Mary Poppins kind of girl things would be different. But I’m not, and they are not. I’m more of a dive in and take on all the projects and do all the things all at the same time, so nothing gets done kind of girl. That’s where I am today. Where we are. We are all about the we these days. Just me and him. We started out that way, we are finishing up that way. Or so I keep telling us. Don’t get me wrong, we are doing the fun things, too. Hopping in the Fusion Hybrid (we have already had our midlife crises hot-rod Camaro) and going to church with Brett and Rachel in Newport News. Staying long enough for brunch and then high-tailing it back to NoVa in time for the barn duties. Some nights, if Shawn is not around to cook for us, we have cheese and crackers and a glass of wine for dinner. And a handful of peanut M&M’s for dessert. We are living our best life.

And we are flirting with the idea of retiring. And by we, I mean Russell. I’m pushing for the end of this year, but he’s pushing for the end of 2021. I’m hoping we will compromise and meet in the middle of 2020 because hello even numbers. (Odd numbers don’t bother him, but they freak me out.) So we are working on the house, getting it ready to sell. Thus the pile of air intake vents, all-purpose adhesive, and paint tape on the dining room table.

Oh, and I’ve joined a writing group. Because nothing says retirement like beginning a new career you were supposed to have been doing for the last 35 years. So (hopefully) you will be seeing some changes around This Girl to include a new design, my hope*writers writing badge and maybe, just maybe, a little more writing activity.

Off to declutter my dining room and my brain and see Y’all soon.

5 thoughts on “Life in the trenches of empty nesting.

  1. I can so relate! Love to read your real life words — so honest and heart-grabbing. Words that make you go “I know, right?!” You’re my ghost-writer😍.


  2. Hi Susan! I’m not an empty nester yet, but with an almost 16 & 18 year old, I’ve been thinking about that upcoming season more + more. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about the changes that have happened and will be happening in the near future. Keep writing!


  3. I read this post as if it was an assignment. And it made me stop, reflect and focus. (Reminds me of the stop, drop and roll for some reason!) Thank you! You & yours have accomplished so much in these last couple of months!
    Me, not so much except Scrabble, Ozark and Better Call Saul bingeing. I am, however, happy to say I’ve gotten back on the exercise wagon – just finished Week 6 of M-W-F workouts and just dipping my toes into yoga with a freebie DVD I ordered. Let’s do some virtual walks — we walk while talking on the phone! OK? Call me! Your pictures are gorgeous and when your house sells in a heartbeat, just head over to TX for awhile!


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