Sharing & Caring With Friends

Coffee With Clare

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Hi and welcome back to Coffee with Clare everything Thursday! 

Dear Clare:

I had been a working, single mom for years.  My ex-husband and I got divorced when our kids were teenagers.  I raised two children – a boy, Tim, now 28 years old and married with one daughter (they live out of state) and Stephanie, single, who is 24 years old (she lives locally).  Although my ex got the kids on the weekends after the divorce, I worked like a dog, was frazzled all the time, rushed my kids back and forth from school, activities, dance, soccer – and well, you know the rest.  Most of the time I was running on a low battery to say the least – and every moment I was not working was time spent in the car dropping kids off to school, picking them up from dance class, or speeding to the football field!   I cherished and loved that part of my life, but I certainly had no “me” time.

Woman is running down street late for meeting.

My situation?  I was blessed with a really good job as an accountant with wonderful retirement benefits.  I am now 57 years old, and I will retire (early) in the next few months, and now I will have plenty of “me” time.   The kids are out of the nest, and while I hope I will love not working…. I think I will have too much time on my hands, and I just don’t know what the next step is.  Can you help?  Any suggestions from you or your readers what I can do to add value to my life or feel like my life has purpose?  Many women would be envious of being able to retire this young, but I don’t really know what to do next …

Signed – Empty Nester in Nevada


Dear Empty Nester:

You are right, I am a bit envious!  Working hard as you have for most of your life and making sure your children were taken care of, don’t you think you have earned the right to take care of yourself for a change?  You can do anything you want!  I think you are probably not used this this!

The things you have to ask yourself is:  What do you like to do? What inspires you? Do you have any activities, hobbies or interests that you like now or would like to explore?  Is there something you always wanted to try or do when you were younger?  (Maybe something like photography, taking a dance class, or going on a cruise?)

Well, now is the time to pursue your dreams and interests further!  Take a class, take up a hobby, or travel!

You could also volunteer.  Consider sharing your spare time and talents with the local hospital, or nursing home, or consider reading to children at the library or school, or volunteer to serve meals at a local homeless shelter. 

You didn’t mention much about your social life.  Do you have girlfriends?  Now is the time to set up some day trips to have fun with your friends and also maybe some weekend trips with them! 

Go on a cruise with your friends or another fun vacation! 

A middle-aged woman overlooks the tropical waters from a cruise ship balcony

Make a fun bucket list, and the sky is the limit!  Plan out your next year, and do the things on your bucket list!

Be open to the next stage and possibilities in your life!  I know this is going to be wonderful for you!

Readers – any thoughts of fun things to explore or check out for “Empty Nester”?

Thank you for stopping in today!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at:   I would love to hear from you!

Until next time~


Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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  • Deborah says:

    I definitely agree that finding a hobby is a must! Volunteering is a great option, also.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, hopefully once she starts “engaging” in activities she will feel like “so much to do…. so little time!” 🙂

  • Bethany says:

    Oh man if I was retired I would craft ALL DAY!

    • Clare says:

      Oh, I wish I could “craft” – I’m just not artsy but some of my friends, like you, are so talented! What a great idea, and thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • I did not even read the rest of the blog. After you asking what to do with all that free time I knew immediately. Mentor young women in your profession who are looking to grow their careers. The SBA has great programs for mentors. Good luck and enjoy your retirement!

    • Clare says:

      Such a wonderful idea, Heather, and we certainly appreciate your sharing that! Mentoring would be so gratifying and helpful to all!

  • I love Coffee with Clare! I love the advice you give! I agree a hobby is going to be so important!

    • Clare says:

      Thanks so much, Missy! I surely appreciate that….. yes hobbies and fun activities…. and if she doesn’t know how to do something she is interested in, there are lots of classes out there, too!

  • Mandi says:

    Coffee with Clare is such a cute concept, I’ve read so many of your entries and time and again you give such wonderful advice. I agree with her finding a hobby, something she can still be passionate about.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks so much, Mandi, and I sure hope my readers are benefiting, too from joining in to Coffee With Clare! Yes, once she explores a bit she can hopefully find something she loves, is gratifying and enjoys!

  • GiGi Eats says:

    Oh man! EXPLORE THE WORLD!! The empty nester needs to get out of their comfort zone and see the things they haven’t seen since being SUCK IN THE NEST for so long!!!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, GiGi – wouldn’t it be wonderful to have that opportunity to explore the world? Not so sure what Empty Nester’s “budget” is but would be great fun if she can afford to do some travel! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Farrah says:

    I would’ve suggested these too! :] I’m glad you mentioned volunteering! <3 And yay for pursuit of hobbies/interests (and travel)! *-*

    • Clare says:

      Yes, volunteering is such a wonderful way to give back and she would feel such satisfaction and comfort… with the right project or in an area she loves!

  • Obi says:

    I love your answer. It was to the point and helpful. I wish her well with this and will be checking back often.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks, Obi, I love all the other suggestions the readers have provided too! I sure hope this helps… please stop back by… any time…. 🙂

  • I think Clare had excellent suggestions; many of which I would have offered. I truly believe every single person in this world has a gift, and that gift is discovered through their passions. So my question to you is, what is your passion? What brings you great enjoyment, and passes your time with such contentment? I say seek that, and then maybe take it in a new direction. Find a purpose within that, and share it with others.
    Enjoy that retirement! As it should be.

    • Clare says:

      Such words of wisdom and encouragement, Laura! I believe everyone has a gift too – and she hopefully will find her gift and her passion!!! Thanks –

  • My parents stopped working pretty young as well and they managed to travel a lot and it was wonderful.
    I think I would try to learn something new. Like finally take real sign language classes. My dad started taking piano classes.

  • Clare says:

    Wow – that is wonderful your folks were able to retire young and travel! I think it’s a great idea to try to learn and start something new – stimulates the brain and often very challenging yet can be very gratifying! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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