Milestones along the journey usually indicated distance traveled. In a figurative sense, milestones indicate an event along life’s journey. As I noted here, this week marks a big milestone in our house: our youngest son graduates from high school.
Following his graduation this weekend, he will return to the boy’s camp where he is a summer counselor (he’s already been there a week, training). When camp is over in August, it will be just a few short weeks and then he will be in college.
And the nest will be empty.
For the first time in over 30 years, it will just be Anita and I. No kids. No kids’ friends. No soccer games. No church groups. No school assignments. No…you name it.
That’s kind of daunting.
We actually have had a couple of summers to practice the empty nest thing, as our son has been a counselor each of the previous two summers. So, for a period of 10 weeks or so, we’ve been empty nesters. But not really; we knew at the end of summer he would be back again. This time, however, it will be real.
Enter the second half of marriage.
All of a sudden, the here is now.
- Your teenagers have gone to college
- Your parents are aging
- You’ve been invited to your twenty-fifth (or thirty-fifth) high school reunion
- Your exercise more (?) but burn fewer calories
- You have received an invitation to join AARP
- By the time you get your spouse’s attention, you’ve forgotten what you were going to say
If you identify with these symptoms, you are in or are approaching the second half of marriage.