It’s the last Thursday in September, so it’s the last blog I am writing about ADULTING.  This blog is about your older adult life–not OLD, but OLDER–there is a difference!  This is the time of your life when your kids don’t take your every moment because they are older or grown. It is a time when you may be able to sleep through the night (or at least you don’t have 2am feedings anymore) and when you are wondering where the time went!  It’s the time you start to think about all the things you thought you were going to be doing by now, and how some of those plans and ideas are now outdated.  Some of us look in the mirror and think “What’s next?!”.  

Pre-Empty Nest – As you are bustling about keeping your young kids alive during their tiny years, you start to feel a good rhythm when they are finally being adult-ish and caring for themselves a bit.  You are still needed, but, not in the same way you were when they are younger and instead of being so excited when this moment comes, it can be a bit unnerving.  If you were the main caregiver or not, it’s odd because the time that seemed to lag on and on has now vanished in a whisper.  You may find yourself feeling a little lost and in need of direction–this is all normal and the feeling doesn’t last forever.  You will be given opportunities to move forward, you just need to watch for them.

Always Room to Grow – No matter how ADULT you are, you always have room to grow and learn.  Sometimes offering a helping hand to someone can help you find out that you really want to do something different than you have been doing.  Read up on a subject you have always wanted to know about.  Maybe challenge yourself to do some things you have been putting off.  When you see you can accomplish something different, it gives you a bit more confidence to try something else. Just take that step forward, no matter how tiny it may seem.

Keep an Adventurous Spirit – Don’t let your mind tell you that your life is half over or that you can’t learn anything new or be anything different.  My husband had some health issues that caused us to sell our family home and get something easier to manage.  I feared that this was it.  We’d just be grandparents, go to the doctors and just get old together.  Jump to now and he is about to get yet another degree, I have started a new career in my 50s (and love it) and we are back in a home that is my dream home.  Hope is a big, happy motivator.  Take a few chances.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Make the most of the things you CAN do and stop focusing on what you CAN’T do!  

Find a Dream & Pursue it – I am still in the early stages of planning my dream, but, I am taking small steps to keep pursuing it!  Dreams change as you get older.  THAT IS OKAY.  Some dreams we had when we were young were enough to keep us going then, but, now that we are older, some dreams can become more tangible.  We have experienced things in our lives that have taught us a thing or two about what we are really made of and what we really do want.  Having a family, career and life partner can affect what is most important to you in your life–that when you didn’t have those things you had no clue how to include those things in your dreams. When you are looking for a dream to hang on too, make sure you don’t grip anything too tightly.  In the middle of pursuing one type of dream, sometimes the thing you really want to do pops up!  Keep reaching and stretching toward what you really want, even if you aren’t for sure what the exact goal may be yet!

ADULTING isn’t an easy task, no matter what age or stage of life you are in.  But, it makes you strong.  It helps you to not only learn how to care for yourself, but how to care for others.  It gives you perspective on those things that are truly important in your life and it helps you to see clearly the roads you may (or may not) want to take.  So, pull up your pants and tuck in your pride, and do what’s got to be done.  After all, there is a whole wide world left to explore and conquer!

Until Next Time!

Jen Lush–Adult, Associate Broker and Dreamer
Photo Credit: Jen Lush (subject: Mark Lush)

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.