10 Reasons Why I Love My Empty Nest

I have been following the Internet sensation Emily Hartridge on her YouTube channel. Emily is a 20-something British comedienne whose 10 Reasons Why series is my weekly amuse-bouche. This week, I am outright stealing Emily’s concept and have written my own 10 Reasons Why.

Background: Last week sucked. Jake flew back to Halifax for his third year at university; Micah left home to start his first year; my sister Anita and I closed our recently deceased mom’s apartment; and, John left for Ottawa to spend most of this fall working in a secret location he can’t disclose even to me (allegedly for national security reasons, but sounds like a boondoggle).

My choices were to cozy up with a bucket of Rocky Road ice cream and feel sorry for myself, or feel giddy with excitement about being solo in my family nest.

So, here are my: 10 Reasons Why I LOVE An Empty Nest

# 1: I Sleep With The Dog
She’s cuddly and adorable, and totally satisfied with just a belly rub.

# 2: I Hang Out with My Sister
As newly minted “orphans” we are playing really well together in the sandbox. With my fewer family obligations, we get to hang out more. Come join us—we are beyond awesome (Note: Anita claims she is the funnier sister. She’s not. She is the older one though. KIDDING!).

# 3: I Have Popcorn For Dinner
Family meal planning is a time-sucking nightmare. Jake won’t eat meat (anti-cruelty); Micah won’t eat fish (pro-sustainability), John hates vegan (ridiculous); I avoid carbs (obviously). I can now have popcorn and call it a night.

#4: I Don’t Hear Myself Nag
I am like genetically hard-wired to nag my family, “The kitchen’s a disaster; you forgot to pay the Hydro—again; I’ve told you like a million times to stop doing that.” I won’t have to listen to myself anymore. Hearing my own voice was like nails on a blackboard.

#5: I Move Mountains
The 23.75 hours per week spent on family cooking, laundry, schlepping, etc. are re-directed to writing and reinvention. With all this free time I’m not only going to write a best seller, I’m going to solve the crisis in the Middle East too.

#6: My Romance Is Re-kindled
After decades of cohabitation, things can get, well, a bit predictable. Having a long distance relationship, especially with the kids out of the house, creates possibilities. I can substitute my usual prison garb home attire for 8-inch stilettos to welcome hubby home on the weekends. I said “can” not “will”.

#7: I Devour Brain Candy
My husband and sons have high “standards” for reading material. The Economist is their light reading, which makes brain candy like People magazine contraband in our house. I no longer have to hide the latest issue under the cat’s litter box. F*ck it, I’m getting a subscription.

#8: I Get More Sleep
Micah had a 1 am curfew, which meant I stayed up worrying to make sure he got home safely (as my husband slept like a log). My biorhythms naturally dictate a 10 pm bedtime and a 5 am rise. I sleep like a baby.

#9: I Control The Remote
Living with “boys” has its advantages, like I never have to lift heavy boxes or put gas in the car. But that’s hardly compensation for having to watch gory television like The Walking Dead. Now I can watch whatever I want, whenever I want—and that includes The Princess Diaries (if only Micah had remembered to teach me how to work the remote before he left).

#10: My Boys Fly Back
Yes, the nest is empty—but all my boys know how to find their way back home where it’s warm and cozy. And that’s the best reason for “Why I LOVE My Empty Nest.”

Thanks to Emily Hartridge for the inspiration. Check out her YouTube channel, everyone!

Sue Nador hashes out expectations in the messy world of love. Follow her on Twitter: @Sue_Nador and her weekly blog The Relationship Deal.