so what's next?


I have been asking myself that question a lot lately.  What's next for me?  I am venturing into uncharted water as I enter the future with an empty nest.  My identity and purpose have been altered, my daily routine has changed.

My youngest daughter moved out in the fall and I think I let the busyness of a baby shower and the holidays distract me and it is only now that life is quiet again that I find myself drifting, a bit like a boat with no sail.

When you have kids in the home your role as mom is clearly defined, your days have a routine and a flow to them and there isn't a whole lot of time to ponder your future.  But when that routine is no longer necessary and the rhythm is interrupted, the days seem to run together without a whole lot being accomplished.

I suppose each major life crossroad has us asking that question...graduation, marriage, kids, divorce, death of a loved one, retirement or an empty what's next?

It's not that I'm sad about my current place, in fact I think it's just the opposite, I love my life.  I am excited to pursue some long held goals and desires.  I've written out a plan for the next year and the next five years and even my husbands retirement in another ten. 

I think it's more just beginning...taking that first step.  Reaching out to grab hold of a dream is a bit scary.  What if I hate it?  What if I can't do it?  What if I fail?

I love the quote that says, 

"But mamma, what if I fall?  
Oh darling, but what if you fly?"

I don't think I'll waste anymore time worrying about failure.  Goodness knows I've been there before and survived.  I thinks it time to test these new wings and fly.  

xo, Patty


  1. Enjoy your new found freedom, Patty. We have a change here too, in that my husband just retired. So far it's good!
    Blessings, Beth

  2. I've been asking myself the same thing ever since I left my job in October 2012! But I find I'm simply content to live my days the way I love them (well, mostly)...writing, blogging, reading, cooking, keeping house, creating, doing yoga and meditation, visiting friends and family...a calm, peaceful, content life.

  3. I'm with Melanie.... since I retired in 2010, I'm loving a life that has no pressures, no "goals", no "have tos"... just kind of floating along day to day... drifting with the breezes where they lead me, and I love it that way! I create things most every day, which is what I wanted to do when I was raising kids and working full-time..... and I stay up as late as I want and sleep in.. little things, but they make life content, and like Melanie said... calm... which is a very wonderful thing after the years of rushing and hustle bustle. With your new found time on your hands, I suggest not trying to fill up all your time with goals and lists and "have tos"... just enjoy drifting for awhile. Am new to your blog and love it.

  4. Look at that quote above and go for it. What do you have to lose, both of you? He'll have different perspective also. Enjoy yourselves together. Enjoy this time to discover yourselves. Good luck and have fun.
    From a 74 yr old that's been married 46 yrs. with 4 kids on their own for long time. Youngest is 44, oldest is 54.
    Happy New Year

  5. I had the very same issues when my girls graduated from high school. All of a sudden, as they spread their wings, I felt so adrift. Here it is 8 years later and I can tell you, I have (mostly) adapted to focusing on my own and my husbands life and needs and dreams. It is a shift but, we are a couple again and I have to say we like that. I am working on dreams that sat unrealized for all those years and, while it IS scary, it is also exciting. I know you will find your way!

  6. You are so creative, Patty. I look forward to see where the Lord leads you in this new identity. You are an inspiration to me and all who visit your blog or know you.

  7. Patty,
    First off, I have that same green pitcher in the first pic.

    Also, I have thought about the emptiness of my nest, once my boys are gone. Actually, my oldest got married in August , so I only have a 15 year old left, but he constantly talks about moving when he's 20 :) I know it will come sooner than later!

    I can't wait to see what the Lord has me doing during that season! I hope it's something fun!

    You can fly! Have fun!

  8. Patty - I'm sure that whatever you do in the future will be awesome. I know that you will follow the Lord's leading and fulfill your dreams. Good luck in each and every venture.


  9. Well my dear friend, I think you are up to something! We must talk. And about that poncho.....go for it! And I will help you any way I can!!!!
    XO Kris

  10. I know I'll have more money once they kids are all gone, so doing things like a boat ride and lighthouse visit are on my list. I can't afford such things with kids needing money for college parking passes, specific clothes for school choir concerts, and so forth. I'd love to take classes for myself too, like herbal learning, other crafts, and I know I would be writing more often too.

  11. Patty,
    Not one to enjoy being around the water. . .and little knowledge of boating,
    there is a rutter (hope that's correct) that steers the boat.
    One can always change direction at anytime.
    Change is constant here on the Prairie.
    Not that it is a sign of failure or success. . .it is what it is. . .change!
    Floating along with the current or tide is fine, too. . .for a Season.
    I'm excited to see the possibilities and the course you take.
    Thank you for inviting me along for the ride.

  12. In the fall, our twin sons were married within three weeks of each other. That was a HUGE change in our household. Our youngest son is now the only one at home. He graduates high school in May & while I don't expect him to be married or out of the house for a while, that's still one more big change {we've been a homeschooling family for years & now that's coming to an end too}. I completely relate to what you've shared. My well-defined role as mom/teacher has definitely shifted & I am slowly finding my new normal. The power of prayer ... & keeping my thoughts in order has been my greatest help.

  13. New adventures. I'm sure you'll succeed in whatever you set out to do.


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