Much to my surprise, being alone in the house isn’t always lonely or sad, though there are those moments when you feel like you are the only thing living for miles around. When I used to hear women talk about the dreaded “empty nest” I would cringe in anticipation. My house was the noisy, kid filled one during my children’s childhood.
Except, as my Mom always promised, having the nest empty isn’t so bad.
You have the whole space, however big or small that is, all to yourself. Privacy is yours. Scheduling is under your complete control. Standards of cleanliness can slip a bit. More than this, there is truly such a benefit to shutting off everything — all the familiar background noise and being quiet. Just listening.
It won’t be long before you start to hear things — the normal sounds of your home, the peace of total quiet. These moments give you a rare chance to listen to the thoughts in your own head. What you tell yourself.
There are other pluses of the empty next, even in the depths of a grey skied freezing New England winter. Here are the ones I’ve found…
- Music selection, the volume and TV clicker are under your control. At last.
- Pets thrive with this kind of companionship, the freedom to go in/out as they please. Not to mention the occasional treat, bowl refill or lunch leftovers to finish up.
- You win any argument, can speak freely because no one is around to hear, or repeat, what you say.
- You can belt out a song (or scream and shake your fist) and disturb no one. No judgement will be made.
- You dress for comfort, not style — daily shower is optional.
- In bathroom emergencies, you don’t have to worry about closing the door. There’s no one home to see you.
- It’s all for you — endless hot water, the whole pot of coffee and that last piece of anything tasty left in the house.
- You eat lunch when you want, take breaks when you want.
- It’s easier to get routine things done; no one is there to interrupt.
- You can concentrate fully on any task and get it done. Or make progress.
- You are genuinely glad to see people (even the mailman or UPS guy/girl) when they arrive.
You guys care to add any more? C’mon, don’t be shy…