Nobody would ever accuse me of not planning ahead. It has been a theme of my life. The good news is that Fred is on board with that way of thinking too. The rewards of thinking ahead has played out in many aspects of our lives.
I had drinks with a friend the other night who was in from out of town. She is a few years behind us in regards to being an empty nester. It was truly a treat to hear from her that she has been reading my blog for a long time and she followed what worked for me. She saw the writing on the wall as her kids got into high school and started down a path of going back to work full time. I did the same thing. I started to see less hours in the day to day lives of my kids starting to dwindle and knew it was time to figure out my next career. Her oldest will go to college next year, one is still at home and she is back working full time (on her own terms) and it is obvious from the look on her face how happy she is. I love it.
We only have one left in college but I can see how many of the things we put in place when the kids are young are paying off in spades. We had dinner at home 5 times a week when the kids were young. It waned as the kids got older but it was at least 3 times if not 4 times a week in those years. Those dinners are now precious and we all get together on Sunday nights because it is what we do. It is a way to catch up and everyone loves it.
Our summers and winters have always been spent at the beach and skiing. Those rituals (except for the long extended vacations) have remained. It is just like sitting down for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Thanksgiving. They become rituals that are part of our family. I am honored that the kids like them as much as I do.
I am still in planning ahead mode. Thinking about where I want to be in the next 5 years, where our kids will be in the next 5 years and remembering when I was starting out in my adult life with Fred. We were the same age as our kids. I don’t want to say how did that happen so fast because there are a lot of years there but it is a strange thing to be at this age. It is just weird.