Empty-nester Vs. Free-nester

I have been whining about being an empty nester and trying to figure out how to deal with the suddenness of my new status change. Till I had an ‘aha moment’ conversation with a new friend I made. She very excitedly talked about being an Free-nester and how this has opened up so many new avenues. The week spent in Mumbai brought me many learnings and this was one of them. A learning that I intend to hold onto and build upon. To help me help myself, it is the one that I want to share with all of you – the power of perspective. This simple shift in perspective Empty to Free. “Empty”, which is low on energy and self-limiting, to “Free” which brings a smile and is full of possibilities.

Another friend and another related lesson. This one is drawn from the banter that she and her son share about being in the ‘RRR zone’ (one of the Rs is Rhona – to cry / whine / complain, the other Rs, are unparliamentary and I cannot reproduce them in this column). The point made by her is not lost however. It was that many people are always doing “Rhona” about everything that is not working in their life and how much time we waste in the Rhona zone. So, she sets a timer on her phone and allows herself a maximum of 10 minutes in the RRR zone and she is not very tolerant of indulging others beyond a point either. It’s fine to have a good whine occasionally but deciding how much of your life you want to spend in the crib zone is a good way to get into a better zone. 

As I remember these two conversations and distil the learnings from them, another pearl finds its way into my necklace of thoughts. “A different version of you exists in the minds of everyone who knows you” social media wisdom that popped up as a memory. It adds to my thinking about the power of framing how I choose to see the world and how the world sees me.

I cannot begin to imagine how many versions of me exist through the eyes of all the people I know. I do see that by working on myself and my self-awareness I can examine the version of my reality that I see. The power to choose empty nester or free nester as my script is a massive reframe. And that script defines how I write the next chapter of my life. As my son tests his wings and flies free in the world, so too must I. The nest will always be there. A place for us to come back to and call home is one of the best gifts in the world.

My PGS is my GPS. My personal guidance system is what I need to tune into and then I must trust it to help me find my way in this wonderful world. Ask yourself. How are you framing your story? How much time do you spend in the Rhona zone? How much time do you spend with others who are wallowing there? What version of you do you want to give life to? Free your mind and you shall be free to fly.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

Be the first to comment on "Empty-nester Vs. Free-nester"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.