FROM EMPTY NEST TO ENDLESS POSSIBILITY AT 50

Step into 'From Empty Nest to Endless Possibility at 50.' Join us on a journey as we navigate the mix of emotions when children leave the nest, discovering opportunities and empowerment after 50. 

It's about offering support and encouragement to women over 50 who may experience a sense of emptiness when their kids leave home.

Additionally, the empty nest phase is something that women may experience when they encounter challenges in the workforce after the age of 50.

Empowering stories

We're here to guide you through easy steps to connect with your community, forging new friendships and a sense of belonging. Whether you're considering a new job or dreaming of starting your own business, we've got practical tips and advice tailored just for you.

Let's do this journey together! We're flipping the page to a new chapter that's all about possibilities and discovering the joy of this stage in life. And guess what? There are some incredible stories about women who did remarkable things after hitting the big 5-0. Get ready for some inspiring tales!

EMPTY NEST PHASE FOR WOMEN OVER 50

As your last child leaves home, an indescribable sensation settles in—an emptiness that spreads through your once lively household.

The familiar rhythms that define your daily routine now seem altered, leaving you unable to pinpoint precisely what feels awry.

Motherhood

Throughout the years, you've been a constant presence—assisting with studies, ensuring their safe return after evenings out, and chauffeuring them to part-time jobs. Consequently, your child's departure marks not just a physical absence but also triggers an emotional response.

Woman looking sad and feeling empty

EMPTY NEST PHASE

This emotional response often manifests as a sense of displacement and heightened feelings of melancholy. While you recognize that it's not a state of depression, there's an undeniable emptiness, a feeling that your pivotal role in nurturing your children has largely concluded.


This sentiment is what is commonly referred to as the empty nest syndrome. 


However, beyond the emotional tide, you're also on the brink of a new chapter—the empty nest phase. With your children now grown and carving out their journeys, you're keenly aware that family dynamics are set to undergo a significant shift.

empty nest phase , children leaving home


The realization that your role in their upbringing has evolved brings a mix of emotions, indicating both an ending and a new beginning.


You might feel a deep sense of nostalgia and reflection. Memories of the past mix with the excitement of imagining a new and different future.


Transitioning from sadness to a sense of relief, the empty nest phase marks a turning point where time opens up for hobbies and self-discovery.

For women juggling full-time work, menopause can be a challenging time.  A study by BUPA revealed that almost 900,000 women in the UK had quit their jobs due to menopause-related symptoms.


The Women and Equality Committee in the House of Commons conducted an inquiry and produced a report outlining recommendations to the government concerning the topic of 'menopause in the workplace.' It highlighted that many older women were leaving their jobs prematurely, impacting the economy. 


When women decide to leave their jobs, the empty nest phase opens doors to personal reinvention, vibrant self-expression, and empowerment after 50. As children leave home, mothers gain more time and may rethink their priorities, leading some to face challenges or contemplation about their careers.


This phase often encourages women to reassess their professional goals, explore new opportunities, or even venture into entirely new career paths.


Offering support and guidance to address challenges related to both the empty nest and work becomes crucial during this significant life stage.


CHALLENGES AND ADJUSTMENTS WOMEN MAY FACE AS THEIR CHILDREN LEAVE HOME

EMOTIONAL IMPACT & IDENTITY SHIFT

In a world that's all about staying young, older women might not get the kindness they should. Lots of women feel like they become invisible as they hit middle age, feeling the pressure to hide the natural signs of getting older.

This feeling can be compounded by life transitions such as Empty Nest Syndrome, where parents, especially moms, feel sad or lonely when their kids move out.

To cope with this, women might need to figure out new roles and find things that make them happy, whether it's pursuing hobbies or reigniting career goals that were paused during the child-rearing years. This period allows them to rediscover themselves and find fresh sources of joy and fulfilment.

Feeling lost

The issue is, if you ignore changes and want things to stay the same after your kids move out, you might end up feeling stressed or anxious because you're losing control over what your children are doing. But if you expect and welcome the changes, you'll be more open to facing new challenges.

So it’s time to switch things up! Instead of focusing on raising children, it is now focusing on time for your personal goals and activities that boost your well-being.

GETTING

 YOUR

INDEPENDENCE

BACK


During the empty nest phase, many women find themselves rediscovering independence. 

It's a journey that involves taking back your own time, space, and control over decision. It's a mix of feeling free and facing a few challenges along the way.



EMPTY NEST PHASE AND POTENTIALS

And there you go. The empty nest phase signals a fresh start, offering the time to explore untapped potentials and turn them into reality. Figuring out how to move forward and making the most of your abilities are important parts of navigating this journey forward.

HOW TO MOVE FORWARD? - PRACTICAL STEPS

The first step is deciding your path. Whether it's reigniting old passions or venturing into uncharted territories, the possibilities are vast.

From hobbies to career choices, from volunteering to starting a business, and from learning new skills to joining the ramblers, this marks a new beginning for you.

Embark on this adventure of self-discovery and empowerment. The empty nest phase opens the door to personal growth, self-exploration, and cultivating a vibrant, enriching experience.

GETTING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Stepping out of your comfort zone is like unlocking a whole bunch of new vibes. You throw yourself into new stuff, take some risks, and dive into situations that might feel a bit weird at first.


And guess what? Your confidence gets a serious boost, and suddenly, you're opening doors you never knew were there—all because you dared to try new things.


When you start something new, then choose something which you think you enjoy, even though it is challenging. Overcoming challenges and stepping out of your comfort zone usually means picking up new skills.

Whether you're diving into a new language, trying out leadership, or mastering a fresh hobby, the skill enhancement add up to make you grow in both personal and professional vibes.

Suddenly, you see things from different angles, appreciate what makes people unique, and start thinking outside your usual mental box. It's like getting a front-row seat to the awesome tapestry of humanity, and trust me, it'll change the way you see the world.

Facing tough stuff and not-so-certain situations toughens you up. It's like getting better at handling tough times and setbacks. As you become more resilient, bouncing back becomes a skill you've honed, making you more equipped for the ups and downs that come your way.

Now, let's explore hands-on strategies that focus on confidence building, unlocking your potential, and guiding you on this empowering journey.

RE-DISCOVER YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS

Get ready to have some fun and rediscover what makes you happy! Try out hobbies like playing the guitar, painting, or singing. It's a chance to pursue your passions, to be creative and express yourself, no matter your age.


Starting a new hobby opens doors to learning cool things, making new friends, and even working on projects together or starting a new career. Plus, it's a fantastic way to relax and take a break from your daily routine.


EXPLORE NEW PLACES AND CULTURES 

Think about adding some excitement to your life by traveling and experiencing different cultures. It's a chance to learn new things, make special memories, and broaden your horizons.


SHE EXPLORES is a fascinating podcast that offers inspiration through stories of women engaging with the outdoors. Now that you have more free time without the responsibilities of constant child care, you can start exploring. 


 It could be as simple as taking day trips to new towns or trying out events you have never considered. If you're on your own, you might even want to take a solo adventure.

Why wait? If not now, then when? It's your time to discover new places and create amazing experiences!

JOIN IN AND GIVE BACK - VOLUNTEERING

Helping out in your community feels good. You can jump into local projects, support schools, or assist organizations like Age Concern.


It might surprise you how much it boosts your well-being. There's a special feeling of purpose when you're part of something meaningful. Plus, you'll pick up new skills, and make new friends, and it might lead you in a new direction in life.  


Your efforts will not only make you feel good, but also positively shape how your community sees you.

STARTING A NEW CAREER

Unleash your potential in the workforce. Identify what you love, recognize your transferable skills, and be proactive in updating or refreshing them.


There's a special feeling of purpose when you're part of something meaningful. Plus, you'll pick up new skills, and make new friends, and it might lead you in a new direction in life.  


Your employability could turn out to be greater than you thought.


Explore new career options in civil service, sales, healthcare, hospitality, or education. Pursue something aligned with your passion, such as working at a garden centre.

Be proactive, and be aware of your limitations, you have skills due to your age that younger ones don’t have. Show that you can handle new technology (or consider training)/ explore jobs on INDEED, REED, or check out the national career service.

The UK government has a very informative section about finding work at 50 plus, which gives interview tips, advice, what to do if you have a health condition. It includes work and menopause, training options, and what businesses are likely to employ people over 50. 

If you're thinking about getting back to work but don't know where to begin, this is a must-read.

The Open University has a wealth of information that, if you are looking to gain skills, is the perfect place to be. There are free online courses available and you can check out the entrance level, how many hours it will take, and the outcome of the course.

Age Concern provides valuable information on education and training, emphasizing that they are excellent avenues for learning, socializing, and acquiring skills, even in later stages of life.

STARTING A BUSINESS

If you want to be in control of your path, make decisions independently, and shape the direction of your work or career, running your own business provides the autonomy and freedom to do so.


It's like a mix of freelancing, working for yourself, affiliate marketing, running your own business, being an entrepreneur, and being a solo entrepreneur—or it could be just one of these things. It depends on how you choose to do your work and make a living.


Starting your own business, whether as an entrepreneur, or a solo entrepreneur (solopreneur), is an option worth considering. In your professional development you will start being in control, becoming your own boss, and transforming your passion into a business opportunity.

However, it's not a journey for the faint-hearted, as it comes with financial risks, and success is not guaranteed. Despite the challenges, it's a path that can be pursued with determination and effort. For legal advice (UK) go to https://www.gov.uk/set-up-business  

If you're not keen on taking financial risks, freelancing might be a safer option. As a freelancer, you offer your services on a contract or project basis.

People who teach piano, guitar, pottery, or sewing on their own, without working for a specific company or school, are often called independent instructors or freelancers. They run their teaching businesses, sharing their skills directly with students.

Briefcase

However, keep in mind that there's no guarantee of a constant flow of work, given the competition in your field. While freelancing might not provide a stable income, it does offer the freedom to choose how much you work and which projects to take on, providing more flexibility.

Plus, as a freelancer, your overhead costs are likely to be lower since you're considered a small business, reducing the traditional business risks.

In how to become an entrepreneur in 7 steps, Shopify explains how you, as an entrepreneur, can start selling on Shopify. You will need a product to sell, and trending products on Shopify are men's and women's clothing, accessories and headgear, shoes, jewellery. 

It does not mean that you have to be able to be creative and make all the products yourself, or that you have to buy all the products. There is something called ‘dropshipping’. 

Dropshipping is a retail method where you sell products without keeping them in stock. When a customer buys from your online store, you purchase the item from a third party, and they ship it directly to the customer. It's a low-risk way to start a business as you don't need to invest in inventory upfront.

AFFILIATE MARKETING

Affiliate marketing is like getting a reward for recommending someone else's stuff. When you, as an affiliate, share a special link and people use it to buy something or sign up, you earn a commission.


It's a way for companies to say thanks for bringing in new customers. If you enjoy using the computer, love learning new things, and find joy in creating content on platforms like YouTube and Instagram, then you might want to take a look at this. 


Make sure to follow the correct steps when beginning your affiliate marketing journey, such as Taking Action Online, which will guide you through the necessary steps. It requires an investment of time, dedication, money, and patience since the results, and the income will come in later.

BEING PART OF THE COMMUNITY

Be a part of the community by getting involved in activities such as assisting schools or joining coffee mornings. Consider joining the local parish council, or historical society, or becoming a member of the ramblers. 


In communities, you can find a helpful support system. This is especially valuable for women over 50 who might be going through important life changes, like switching careers, taking care of their health, or adjusting to family shifts.

THE ART OF LIFELONG LEARNING

Give your brain a boost by picking up new skills, trying out different languages, or diving into fun hobbies. Check out learning opportunities and brush up on your knowledge.


Join other women as you pursue your ambitions after 50 in the exciting journey of constant growth and skill-building, whether you're refining your tech skills in the digital world or nurturing your creative side. 


The journey of self-discovery and empowerment after 50 is exciting. Think of lifelong learning as an art, focusing on the joy and confidence boost that come from picking up new skills throughout your life.

Whether you're contemplating a new career, launching a business, or pursuing personal interests, the Empty Nest Phase is a time brimming with opportunities. It offers the chance to unleash your true potential, and this transformative journey allows you to redefine your path

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

Thinking outside the box means stepping away from the usual ways of solving problems and trying out creative and innovative solutions. It's about being open to new ideas and approaches that might differ from the usual or expected ones.

By thinking outside the box, you start to see new ways of moving forward, empowering choices you otherwise would not have made.

EMPOWERMENT AFTER 50

8 WAYS TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX


"Thinking outside the box" means coming up with creative and unconventional ideas to solve problems, rather than sticking to traditional or expected approaches. It's about breaking free from the usual way of thinking and exploring new, innovative solutions.

LIST OF STEPS

Step 1

Connect with people from various backgrounds and experiences. Discovering different perspectives and ideas can boost your creativity and innovation. 


Try attending workshops, joining local events, or participating in online forums related to what you love. Taking classes is another great option. 'The People Platform' is a fantastic place where your interests can turn into new friendships.


Whether you're into hiking, reading, networking, or sharing skills, Meetup connects you with lots of like-minded people. Every day, events are happening.

Step 2

Freeing Your Thoughts. Capturing your ideas on paper fosters clarity and kickstarts the thinking process. Write down your thoughts swiftly, without fretting over grammar or coherence. This practice directs your focus to the essential task of transferring your thoughts from your mind to paper (or a word processor).

Step 3

Mix Things Up. Shake up your routine to spark new ways of thinking. Trying different environments or activities can inspire fresh ideas.

Step 4

Brainstorm with your friends. Having a brainstorming session with your friends can lead to discovering ideas you hadn't considered before. 

Step 5

Embrace Your Creative Side. Don't hold back—let your creative ideas flow without worrying if they're practical right away. Explore without judgment.

Step 6

Diversify Your Reading. Explore content from a range of sources, even those unrelated to your usual interests. This expands your knowledge and stimulates creative thinking. If you enjoy uplifting stories, particularly those tailored for women over 50, consider exploring O, The Oprah Magazine.

Step 7

Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Thinking outside the box involves being creative and taking risks, which may lead to errors. Failures are common, especially when exploring new and unique ideas, products, or designs. They often pave the way for significant success in the end.

Step 8

Start with the End in Mind. Instead of focusing on the problem, begin with the solution. Envision the ideal outcome and then work backward to determine the steps needed to get there.

EMPOWERMENT AFTER 50

AMAZING WOMEN'S STORIES

Life after 50 can be truly extraordinary for women. You might already find joy in spending time with grandchildren, helping your children, and enjoying everyday activities like gardening, cooking, and chatting with neighbours.

And that's great! But if you ever feel a bit restless, wondering if there's more to life than just waiting, you're not alone.

Guess what? There's a whole world of possibilities waiting for you. The initial and crucial step is to have confidence in yourself and concentrate on your capabilities, as the opportunities are limitless.

Being in control

Here are some inspiring stories from women who decided to explore and try things they hadn't considered before. These stories remind us all that there's so much more to discover, and you don't have to settle into a routine that feels boring.

Whether it's famous figures or everyday folks, it's crucial to realize that change is possible later in life. Consider Sally Ericksen, who managed to shed 40 pounds in the face of challenging life circumstances. The key is taking the right steps – weight loss in your later years is achievable with the right actions.

Life after 50 is a journey full of surprises and options. Let these stories inspire you to go beyond and embrace the exciting possibilities that await!

REMARKABLE WOMEN WHO ACHIEVED EXTRAORDINARY ACCOMPLISHMENTS AFTER THE AGE OF 50

Judi Dench is a significant figure in entertainment, not just for her incredible talent but also for the impressive way her career soared after she turned 50. Judi Dench's career took off in her 60s, proving that success in the entertainment world isn't just for the young.

Her breakthrough at this stage challenged the idea that you have to make it big when you're younger. It showed that talent and success can happen at any age.

Sister Madonna, also known as the 'Iron Nun' at 91, made history as the oldest woman to complete an Ironman Triathlon at the age of 82.

Sister Madonna, a Catholic nun, and Senior Olympian developed a passion for triathlons when she was 52. Since then, she has participated in more than 400 triathlons worldwide. Her motto is that "you're never too old to learn new tricks."

Diana Nyad, a remarkable 72-year-old who achieved a historic feat by becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida. It took her five tries, but at 64, she conquered the 110-mile swim without a shark cage.

Diana swam for an incredible 53 hours from Havana to Key West.  Diana is also an author, journalist, and motivational speaker.  

Beyond her work as a writer, Nyad stays connected to open water swimming (non-competitively). She also engages in interviews with fellow athletes and is actively promoting the 2023 film based on her life, titled "Nyad."

Vera Wang, the American fashion designer shows us that it's never too late for a career change or to start something new, especially after the age of 50. Her story is all about encouraging people to follow their passions, take a few risks, and go after careers that truly make them happy.

Vera Wang's can-do spirit, starting her career later in life, teaches us that age is no roadblock to achieving big success when you're doing what you love.

Susanna Clarke became famous when her first book, "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell," came out in 2004. She was in her early 50s at the time. The book was a big hit, loved by many, and even won her some awards like the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award.

So, Susanna Clarke didn't become a well-known author until a bit later in her life, but when she did, it was a huge success!

Tamae Watanabe, a remarkable Japanese mountaineer. She's famous for starting her climbing adventures later in life. Tamae grabbed everyone's attention when, at the age of 73, she became the oldest woman to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Her incredible achievement shows us that age shouldn't stop anyone from taking on challenges and following their passions. Tamae Watanabe is an inspiration for all of us!

Laura Ingalls Wilder, the well-known author of the "Little House on the Prairie" series, started writing when she was in her 40s. Her first book, "Little House in the Big Woods," came out when she was 64. She didn't stop there and continued to write well into her 70s, proving that it's never too late to share your stories with the world.

Mary Wesley, a British author, didn't release her first novel until she was 71. Her journey as a successful novelist took off in her later years, showing that it's never too late to follow your passion for writing.

Grandma Moses, also known as Anna Mary Robertson Moses, started her artistic career when she was in her late 70s. Her delightful and nostalgic paintings became widely loved, making her a celebrated figure in the art world.

Louise Bourgeois, a French-American artist, became widely recognized for her sculptures and installations, and her career took off in her 70s.

WRAPPING UP: FROM EMPTY NEST TO ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES FOR WOMEN OVER 50

This article, titled "From Empty Nest to Endless Possibility at 50," delves into the emotional journey of women in their 50s as their children leave home. It goes beyond merely describing a sense of 'loss,' emphasizing that this phase presents opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery.

When children move out during the empty nest stage, women might undergo an identity shift and experience emotional impact. However, this phase must not be seen as an end, but as a chance for a new beginning. 

By embracing change and adopting a thinking-outside-the-box approach, women over 50 can lead vibrant and fulfilling lives. Just look at the examples of women achieving remarkable things, which also enforces that there is potential for exploring uncharted territories.

EMBRACE CHANGE


 PURSUE PASSIONS 


SEE THIS PHASE AS A FRESH START

 MY THOUGHTS ON  EMPTY NEST AND NEW BEGINNINGS

At 60, I've become accustomed to the sense of being overlooked, yet I don't feel invisible; it's more like navigating a contested territory.

While many women find joy in daily routines like cooking and gardening, I've sensed a restlessness, a desire for more in life. With no children at home, I now have the time for walks, and exploring new income avenues, like affiliate marketing and a small business. 

I've joined my local choir, engaging in brief getaways, attending concerts, and savouring precious moments with family. However, my aspirations extend beyond these activities; I aim to inspire and pursue meaningful work. I don't want to sense a temporary completion.

I'm eager to learn new things and embrace technology, from Chat GPT to various phone apps and podcasts.

Actually, by writing this article, I've come to the realization that I shouldn't underestimate my own potential and should bravely explore new opportunities. There's little to lose and so much to gain.

And so, I wrap up my article echoing Diana Nyad's powerful sentiment:

"Never, ever give up. Find a way."

Birgit is a compassionate guide specializing in supporting senior women through life's transitions. Alongside her dedication to this cause, she finds joy in teaching piano, nurturing her garden, cherishing family moments, and enjoying walks. These activities fuel her creativity and bring depth and richness to her life.


You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}