What do you see when you look at this picture of a frying pan? A way to make grilled cheese sandwiches? Memories of your grandma making you a treat? A nonstick pan? Something else? That something else could also be a refeathered nest.
You see, I see a radically different perspective. I see a major symbol of a refeathered nest.
Let me explain. Just about a year ago I was sending my youngest kiddo off to university and away from a home, community, school and country (Kenya) he’d spent more than half his life growing up in. I was sending him fully halfway around the world back to Canada, his passport country.
This was my second time at the rodeo and last. Four years before I’d sent my oldest kiddo back to Canada for university.
You hear alot about empty nests a.k.a. what we women tend to call our homes when our kids move out.
I dislike that word. It describes something negative, something empty, where there’s nothing left. My nest is far from that.
I’ve taken to calling it a refeathered nest.
In honour of World Habitat Day I’ve been thinking alot about my habitat, my refeathering (as it’s an active process) nest.
After some twenty three years of parenting with kiddos in our home, it is a huge shock to the system now that they’re out of the home. Refeathering has given me some tough, hard, gritty lessons and some surprisingly sweet, tender and awe-filled lessons.
Enter more time for art and play for example.
And cooking. My refeathered nest has changed up what it means to cook. I’m still adjusting to how much food to buy and what type of food and how to cook it.
Never ever in twenty three odd years have I had a need for such a small frying pan. I recently purchased this small frying pan as I realized, well, my nest is being refeathered and I don’t need such big frying pans when I’m cooking just for me or me and the hubs.
It’s only when the kiddos left the nest that I realized how of our nest was taken up with grocery shopping, cooking, school permission forms, meetings with teachers, overseeing homework and of course the day in and day out of active parenting – guiding, supporting, loving, occasionally losing it with impatience and exasperation.
It’s been about a year now of refeathering.
On the one hand I could bow to the cultural stereotype of an empty nest, e.g. of loss, of yearning, of…
But I choose to change my perspective and focus on refeathering. On reimagining my space for more creativity, on smaller frying pans, on what it means to move backwards on the train.
I always told my kids as they were growing up that their dad and I were the train engineers, that we were driving the train. We were always all on the same train but dad and I were definitely driving the train.
As they got older sometimes they’d be up in the front car with us, beside us. And as they got even older, sometimes they’d take the controls and drive the train, but with dad and I right there beside them.
Gradually, with more responsibility and age, the kids spent more time driving the train, but with hubs and I always close by but moving back on the train, even enjoying some time in the caboose as the kids temporarily took the reigns.
Now that they’re making their own nests, they’re driving their train.
Hubs and I are still on the same train but now we’re towards the back, enjoying a drink or two as we witness the track the kids go down.
Sometimes we’re back up with them in the front but now guiding from the side.
As I continue to reflect on this stage of life, of refeathering, I encourage you to do the same. What stage of life are you in and what tired old perspectives might be driving you? How is your space, your nest, your habitat influencing you? How can you shift and gain a fresh perspective?
Need some inspiration?
Check out the resource below on how to spark joy in your surroundings, in ways that fit you, from Ingrid Fetell’s awesome book.
Let me know how it goes. I’ll be the one waving to you, drink in hand, from the caboose, while I simultaneously refeather my nest.
Now go on and learn, laugh and lead.
- Take a fresh look at your home n’ habitat and see how you can find custom ways that spark joy: Ten tickets to sparking more joy for yourself (and why that’s so darn important)
- Reimagine your habitat with inspiration from tiny worlds below (inspiration via Toby Barazzuol.
- Implement one small way you can spark more joy and refeather and re-perspective (yes that’s a word!) your habitat, your home.
P.S. Curious to know more about your worldview and perspective? Check out my Life Lenses® online assessment.