The Empty Nest

Recently I was trying to explain how me and Mr TY have been left feeling after the last couple of years and found the ’empty nest syndrome’ the best way to do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that it usually relates to mothers (or fathers) when their children head off to university/move out to live on their own.

We thought we would have children and thought that that was what we would be doing with our lives right now. And through all that trying we have lost our way career-wise. So now we find ourselves without those children, and without any direction or experience of a career we want to pursue. It’s our version of an empty nest.

Another way I describe it is like standing on the edge of a cliff. We were walking along a perfectly suitable path for many years but suddenly the path has bought us to an unexpected cliff edge, with no idea what is going to happen next. Theoretically we could fly, we have no ties, we could do anything we want, but we don’t know what we want. We weren’t expecting to be here so we haven’t given it much thought.

I know the answer is time but when you’ve got no idea what to do, time doesn’t feel like an answer.

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Family

I joined a running group based at the local stately home and at the start they make announcements about upcoming activities and events happening at the venue. 

Last week they told us about some fun days for ‘families’, £5 gets the whole ‘family of 4 or 5’ in, lots of activities for all the ‘family’.

Maybe I’m over sensitive but it really put me off. It made me feel protective about my ‘family’ of 2 (3 if you count our very independent cat).

I love my family, however small it is it’s mine. Maybe I should ask for a discount at the activity day!

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What now?

I haven’t written for a while as I really didn’t know what to say.  I’ve been trying to work out who I am and what I’m doing and following the last couple of years they’re not easy questions to answer.

One conclusion that we’ve come to, I don’t think I’ve written about this before, is that we are going to put off further treatment to next year.  We just haven’t felt strong enough to go through it all again any sooner.  We moved to a little village 18 months ago, when I was pregnant from our first fresh IVF cycle and ever since then we’ve been in a state of flux and haven’t really settled in.  Because he’s quite sporty Mr TY managed to get involved in some of the teams here and got to know lots of people last summer.  I on the other hand didn’t want to socialise because I spent the summer having (unsuccessful) FETs.  After that everything broke down really.  I went off sick from work and left in October and Mr TY changed jobs but it didn’t work out and he left in December in the middle of our ARGC treatment.  Then disaster struck with the second miscarriage at Christmas.  We started 2016 heartbroken, unemployed with a house renovation underway.  Even now, 6 months later, our lives are unrecognisable to this time last year.

After some healing we started looking for what is next.  If we’re not going to have children what are our dreams and how can we achieve them?  And even if we are lucky enough to have children in the future, what are our dreams and how can we achieve them?  It seems more than a shame to have to settle on just one or the other.

So we’ve been trying to work out what would make us happy and give ourselves the rest of this year to enjoy our home, settle into village life, rebuild our confidence in ourselves and work out how to be happy again.  We’ve got small jobs to cover our monthly outgoings, our incomes have dropped considerably but the truth is that hasn’t been that bad – I don’t miss the trappings of high salaries (mostly!).  It’s taken a lot but right now I feel happier than I have in ages and it feels good.  We’re still not there but the ideas for what’s next are coming in and I think there are a couple that could really work.  It’s going to take time but I finally feel like we might be getting somewhere.  I’ll let you know when we do.