The Back Burner

Nov 12, 2023 by Anthony Damaschino
Back Burner - The Empty Nest Blueprint
The first two sentences of my book are, “If you put your relationships on the back burner, they will still get burned. It just takes longer.”
Since I wrote these two simple sentences, they have moved from lines in a book to a mantra I think about often. For me, it sums up priorities and relationships. I believe the Empty Nest transition for most parents is an introspective relationship transition. No relationship is safe. Safe may seem like too perilous of a word; perhaps no relationship is immune from introspection. And let's face it, there is nothing wrong with introspection. Why shouldn’t we as Empty Nesters, take stock of ourselves and our closest relationships? It’s the perfect time to do so. The guard is changing from active parenting to a new next stage in life. It’s an ideal time to take stock.
We also know from experience that when we take stock of something, that is, we review or make an overall assessment of a situation, it usually leads us to make a decision. For example, taking stock of your health, 401(k), or career. You are either on track - healthy, financially in a good place, and happy where you are career-wise, or you are not. And when any of these things fall into the ‘are not’ category, then you have some decisions and potential changes to make.
Taking stock of your Empty Nest relationships is no different. You are either on track or you are not. In the empty nest relationship bucket I would include your relationship with yourself, your child, and your spouse. It could include your ex, your marriage (different from your spouse), and potentially family members and friends. As you move from active parent to Empty Nester, you can invest, divest, or stay on autopilot in each of these relationships. There is no right or wrong answer to any of the above choices. The transition will give you the opportunity for introspection. With that, you get to decide what you want each relationship to evolve into and assess if you are ready for the changes ahead.
This is essentially what The Empty Nest Blueprint is all about taking stock of your relationships and making decisions to evolve, enhance, and potentially improve each one. Even if everything is lined up and in a great place with you, understanding how others experience and may react to this cycle can help you be a more supportive spouse, friend, or family member. In the end, don’t put your relationship on the back burner. Don’t let the unattended yet valuable relationships slowly burn. As an Empty Nester, you can pull everything forward and focus on what is essential. Build your blueprint today.