Spiritual Places · Uncategorized

Yeats and Musings on the “Empty Nest”

An Empty Nest–A Little Help Here!

I told myself I was prepared. My daughter would be moving six hours away to the other side of the state, and I was ready.  My son is grown and living in Pittsburgh, so with Holly’s departure I would truly have an “empty nest.”

Women are usually advised when their kids leave home to reach out to friends and social networks, develop new interests, perhaps start a career.  I already enjoy a successful career and enriching private life.  So I believed I was ready, fulfilling pursuits the conventional wisdom said was important. I had developed “solutions” before I had a “problem.”

Well, Holly moved, and all of my handy emotional preparation wasn’t enough. What do women like me do when they’ve already satisfied what they’re “supposed to do” and it isn’t enough?

I don’t have it all figured out yet. But I can tell you that it helps to rediscover your “center.” My friend Melanie Rigney recently blogged about William Butler Yeats’ poem, “The Second Coming.” Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.

What happens when the “center” is lost? Yeats says,

The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.

Seems an accurate description of our world about now, doesn’t it?

My task is to find my spiritual place in the Center. Surely some revelation is at hand. My kids are thriving and so am I. I hope to live as “the best” with conviction and passionate intensity.  I’m sure you do, too.    

5 thoughts on “Yeats and Musings on the “Empty Nest”

  1. Maybe the center wasn’t meant to hold… to show us that all things here on earth are passing. Good times, bad times… only God remains, and His grace is sufficient. He will provide. What you’re doing right here maybe is part of it. Maybe new writing or teaching ventures. Who knows, maybe a wedding or two and grandmotherhood in the next three to five years. I can’t wait to see what He gives you!

  2. I understand what you’re saying. I just devoted myself to dig more deeply into what I was already doing and that’s what worked for me. Sounds like you have a story to write about the frozen food section….

  3. I think it just doesn’t work as well if you already have developed those things. They must be new, unknown, activities you haven’t mastered that distract you from the empty space. And even when you do all of that – as I did – you will find yourself unable to collect yourself when you encounter a woman in the frozen food section with her still-at-home daughter.

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