Before we even get to the skills and stuff you can learn while passing the time; we’ve got to begin with what not to do. Sitting down and feeling sorry for yourself over the empty nest is not on. Contrary to popular beliefs, this is also not the time for “mutton to dress as lamb” in order to try and be cool so that your kids can relate to you.
We repeat: this is not the time to try and rediscover your youth in a desperate bid to be the “cool parent” that simply tries too hard to fit in with younger peeps. Forget snooping and starting social media accounts in order to jealously monitor your tertiary child’s whereabouts. Discard any helicopter parent endeavours and pity parties.
Instead, here are some great ideas of what you should be doing to curb the dreaded lingering empty nest syndrome.
Top phrases in different world languages
Impress your family, friends and restaurant waiters by learning common phrases in various languages spoken the world over. This can be a simple thing such as saying “thank you”, “could I see the menu”, “I love you” or “please” in the romantic languages of the world. Spice it up and learn your favourite phrases in both local and international languages of choice.
Print out those photos of yours that you have always loved (and thought would amount to something) and convert them into postcards for your nearest and dearest. Who knows, you could turn out to be the next Cardies shop in the making with your pretty pics and prints. While you are at it, write in fancy calligraphy to add an extra personal touch.
Prepare to eat the world
Find out the favourite dishes of all the countries that you would love to visit and learn how to cook them. This can be for yourself, children when they come home or perhaps even to add a touch of romance to your relationship with a significant other. If you don’t have the ingredients simply personalise the dish and use your imagination.
Find your instrument
There’s a little bit of music in all of us. Now is the time to find out just how deep your ability lies. Take up an instrument and master the art of playing it. You could try one of the classics such as the piano, guitar, saxophone or even the cello. If you really want to extend your skill set there’s always the bagpipes, but the harmonica and ukulele also count!
Know your place
Find out about all the places in the world that you have never heard of, their culture, the languages that they speak and how far they are from you. Sharpening up on geography will not just help you get a better grip with your world, but is bound to teach you something new and interesting.
Whether you are interested in something cultural, educational, spiritual or just for fun; it’s time to pay attention to what you have always wanted to learn. Don’t let funds hold you back. Improvise where appropriate. Do it alone or with a friend. Whatever the case; go for it!