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Long Term Thinking


Hey BAD Community,

The last 6 months last year has been one of the toughest of my life. And anyone who has followed my journey knows that is saying ALOT.

And my life here on display often spotlighted my truly bad decisions. As much as I have grown and changed, well, we all know I still screw up with my finances, especially when the decision is tired to my heart, i.e. my kiddos. However, I truly believe I’m really on the right path now. And I am SO GRATEFUL for the years of tough love and even more so all the encouragement and guidance recently.

You all have heard me moan about what’s next and big changes in my life. And I still have no idea what direction I am going.

So I’m sitting tight and doing lots of time in my head and down time with my library books.

library book and grapes for a snack

Making Small Changes

I don’t want to make any big changes during this emotional time. But I can’t just sit idle and wait. I’ve been putting lots of thought into the long game for me. Here’s a few of my thoughts and I’d love to hear your thoughts on my reasoning.

My Home

First, I feel very blessed for being able to buy my house a few years ago. But it never would have been possible if I hadn’t fallen into my W2 job. (Getting approved for a mortgage as a contractor is hard, at best.) With that being said, unless I go back into the corporate world, the chances of me getting approved for another mortgage are slim to none. I have known that and am okay with that.

This means that this is my forever home. Therefore, I am making decisions with that in mind. I have spent the last couple of years remodeling the house and have kept my old age in mind. And I don’t have any immediate need projects that require attention.

Getting rid of my hot tub is a step toward a perfect forever home for me. Selling it took a lot of regular maintenance needs off my shoulders.

My eye is now on creating a much lower maintenance yard with a secondary focus on having a edible yard. During my down time I am doing a ton of research on native Georgia plants and working on designing my yard to be more low maintenance and full of good to for me garden produce.

baby tomatoes from my garden

Work, yes…but Joy?

We all know I’m looking for work. That’s not news. And that will be ongoing until I either get another corporate job. But in addition to work, it’s time I figure out what else my life is going to be about. For the last 20 years, I’ve been mom. Now I’m still mom, but the kids are grow and dispersed.

I need another purpose. I need another passion. This has been my biggest struggle.

I would love to hear from other people who have faced an empty nest and had no clue how to handle the new reality. I just can’t believe I never imagined this time. (Or maybe I did, but have spent the last 5 years thinking I would have a partner in life, a husband to take my attention.)

My dreams have been vivid. Big. My heart still longs to work with kids. But I don’t have it in me to foster any new kids.

I’d love to hear from you. What did you or would you do in my situation?

Read More from Hope

May Challenge – Reuse, Repurpose – May, 2021

Growing Vegetables Inside – October, 2019

Our Summer Garden is Growing! – May, 2019



  • Reply Emilie Martin |


    Have you considered doing volunteer work that revolves around kids? Big brothers big sisters, maybe volunteer to be a youth coordinator at a church or a domestic violence shelter. I know you are in a small town but there are virtual opportunities now as well. You could consider becoming a girl or boy scout leader or going through one of the hospitals around. Bottom line, if your passion is kids find a way to indulge that without causing financial ruin and getting in over your head.

    As far as the house goes I encourage you to really delve deep and think about how you will handle if none of the kids are around long term in that area. Are you 100% sure you would rather own your own home there in town then be a renter in a city your kids are in? 5, 10, 15 years down the road? Keep this in mind when making decisions regarding your house and make sure you also keep in mind that you will eventually need to sell the house. Not saying it should be the only priority but you asked for advice.

    Also, when you are looking for work it might be worth considering something in telephone sales or marketing with a guaranteed salary plus commission. You would be amazed how many similarities there is between your background and this field and it would be a good balance between the security you need and the flexibility you crave. Sales people are the only employees for most companies who actually generate incoming cash for the company so companies tend to do what they can to keep them happy and well adjusted. Just make sure you are selective and only choose a company with a guaranteed base if you do this. It makes all the difference.

    Just some ideas to think about. Take them or leave them but hopefully it sparks ideas for you.

  • Reply jp |

    RE: garden…..you might be able to go to the local college/community college and have the students design a yard for you. We’ve done that twice now…the first, the instructor used it as a class project, so we had 17 designs to choose from…it was free for us (though we gave the winning student a cash prize), the instructor got a project, and the students got a hands-on real project. The second time, the instructor gave us a graduate student, and we did pay her (though waaaaay less than a professional landscaper/designer), and she used our project as part of her thesis/graduation portfolio (that one had a lot of structural components to it, so went a little more advanced)

    RE: Empty nest: I think it first just takes time, time to recover and recoup…but it seems you’re like me where that doesn’t work very well lol. If you’re not ready to take on an entire foster care/adoption, are there any office roles you could help out with at a foster agency? You could potentially find a job out of it, or volunteer. Or even with the school district – tutor, or counseling, or working with children…maybe not full time at first, but just to get your dose of children, but being able to come home from it too

    just my 2 cents! hang in there!

  • Reply Walnut |

    I’m a gardener, native plant lover and also love simple lawn maintenance. My best recommendation is to take it slow, keep your eyes open for deals, and know that most beautiful landscapes/gardens are a labor of love.

    Check if your county extension office has a master gardener’s program. There are lots of knowledge sharing and service opportunities through that route. Trust me, you don’t have to be a “master” to participate. 🙂

  • Reply Mary C |

    I think everyone suffers a bit of empty nest syndrome at this point in life, but you are dealing with extra stress from the career and relationship upheaval. I would recommend that you try to stay busy and try to find some community or church activities to commit to at least once or twice a week. Meetup offers lots of opportunities in cities, but I don’t know how it might be in a small town. Maybe a women’s book club at a library, a church choir, or even an online book club or game group through Meetup. When you find a regular job you should join in any social activities the other employees might be into. Community connections and friendships are a key component of long-term happiness – don’t let yourself become too isolated!

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    You are a little younger than I am if I remember correctly. However, you are entering a phase of life where ( and this is the tricky part) where you finally get to say “ I am enough of a reason.” Your kids are grown and somewhat capable of navigating the world. It’s time to remember what it was like to concentrate on you again. That doesn’t mean you don’t do anything. It does mean you do things with the idea that this makes me happy or if I do this I get to lean in to doing something that makes me happy because I have the means to do so. You no longer have to worry about affording braces or the millions of things kids need. You now need to worry about YOU and what your needs are( and will be since aging will require health care needs.)I will say I think you should plant a fruit tree on your land. I grew up in Florida and miss the tangerine tree we had. It was always nice to head outside and get one from the tree as a snack. Hubby and I intend on planting a peach or plum tree in our yard enentually.

So, what do you think ?