The most common question I am asked these days is "What's it like to be an empty nester?" At a few months in, I am still figuring that out. My best answer for now is "quiet". That word has many different connotations. Some may immediately interpret quiet as a sad or lonely state of being. For me, it has mostly been a good quiet.
Thinking of quiet as a noun yields this definition:
absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm.
In the absence of noise and bustle you see and hear things differently.
Quiet is hearing the church bells playing at noon each day and wondering how long I haven't been hearing them.
Quiet is taking a daily walk through nature and remembering that seasons smell different.
Quiet is patient.
Quiet is sunrises and sunsets.
Quiet is deep conversations.
Quiet is cleaning rooms and closets, organizing, and taking stock of possessions.
Quiet is sorting the meaningful from the meaningless.
Quiet is prayer and thanksgiving.
Quiet is remembering who I thought I'd be.
Quiet is reflecting on who I am.
I don't know what's next for me, I truly don't. Clarity will come, opportunities will present themselves, decisions will be made. But for now, I will continue to embrace the quiet.