Jemma's Tales

Collecting Experiences Not Things

May 18, 2018
Hello Dear friends and thank you for the cheery welcome home wishes from Puerto Rico. I arrived home on Tuesday and traveled to another daughter's home on Saturday. Traveling to spend time with family is one of my favorite things to do. I love that one on one time with my family; it gives me and them the opportunity to really get to know one another. Amazingly enough they haven't booted me out early either...yet!

I returned from both of my visits INSPIRED! My girls inspire me to be a better human being and woman, they are role models for me. Their passions and focus on living life intentionally remind me to do the same. Our seasons of life are diversified, but nevertheless similar. So with that in mind I have turned a corner in my life where my internal being is craving to collect experiences-not things. My goal is to use those experiences to recharge my mind, body and spirit and in turn use all of that to grow, create and serve.

I've sort of waffled back in forth in life when I became a empty nester. Not really knowing how to cultivate my time in a rewarding way. Seems as though I was stuck in the muddle of life; sort of like an old truck that sinks down in a pothole and doesn't' have enough gas to reve up it's motor. It's time to let go of the "what if's-could have's-I wish and why's." I am really honing in on this concept and I am sharing my simple list of some tools that are working for me.

  1. Keep a routine everyday (make the bed, water the plants, feed yourself and the dog) you get the idea.
  2. Keep social media to a minimum (you don't need me or anyone else telling you how to live your life) if someone inspires you well then read their blog or FB or Instagram post. If not hit unfollow and move on. What works for me may not resonate with you.
  3. Make a list for each day on what you are going to accomplish-it really does keep us on track.
  4. Exercise daily. It clears the mind, is good for that old ticker and stimulates the mind.
  5. Smile-smiling makes you feel better if when you are down.
  6. Take time for YOU.

So in a nut shell this is my life and I am going to make the most of it. I am going to rock the sixties and beyond. I am not that old truck that is stuck in the mud, I am an empowered woman who is going to forge the bumpy path of the next season of life with a grateful heart and fire under her belt! Oh goodness, I might even turn out to be a real pain!

Thank you daughter's and grandchildren for loving me, inspiring me and encouraging me to be all that I can be in the next Season of Life.

I love you all!

Mama Mia

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  1. These are just such fabulous guidelines, Jemma, and I think I do pretty well with all of them, so in your camp to the max!

    I'm glad you had a wonderful time (thought you would!). Surrounding yourself with those you love is indeed the best!

  2. Oh Jemma, I can't imagine anyone throwing you out, LOL!!! Your family enjoys you as much as you enjoy can tell by all the beautiful smiles in the photos!! I agree with the "collect experiences--not things" idea, especially at this point in my life. I am still trying to navigate this "empty nest thing" but I'll get there!!! It's not that easy....I mean, it's been a year since my youngest left and it still feels a little icky! ;) Counting on you for inspiration--but no pressure! xx Linda

  3. Beautifully put Jemma. I am feeling a lot of what you wrote about here. I think it is hard to transition into being empty nesters when for a really long time you have been the wife, mom, caregiver, uber driver, etc. etc.
    and now it is about you and what you can do. That is the beautiful part but sometimes it takes us a little while to figure that all out. I am still figuring that all out. Happy Friday. Glad you are safe and back home and your trips to both daughters were wonderful.

  4. I will confess, I never experienced empty nest syndrome. Perhaps it was simply because I only had one child and she was always extremely independent. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve always done the things you suggest and it just flowed. Whatever it was, I’m thankful.

    It certainly sounds like your family visits have given you a slightly different perspective, but I will admit I have always thought of you as the woman you now say you are. I think she’s just been hiding for a bit and is coming out of her shell ;).

  5. Like Doreen, above, I've always thought of you in this way and you certainly are a role model to me.

    Looking forward to wherever your path takes you, Jemma.

    From one pain to another,

  6. Jemma, I really love this post! The empty nest has been a hard transition for me, especially since two of my three kids and my only Grand live out of state. I know you can relate ;) Interestingly, I've applied some of these same principles and a resounding AMEN to your thoughts on social media! Blessings, Cecilia @ My Thrift Store Addiction

  7. Very sweet, heartwarming post....I'd say you have this day to day life figured out! It's so hard not to have regrets for some things but tomorrow is always another day to redeem and move forward. Love the pictures of you and your daughters.

  8. Oh yes! I love this post. Wonderful words of wisdom from a wonderful woman! It's hard when we hit that empty nest - we have to figure out who we are apart from raising children. I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggled with that. I finally feel like I'm settling in to who I truly least for this season of my life! Thank you for sharing!
    hugs, Cecilia

  9. Great guidelines!! Of course I love this & it speaks to me!! The empty nest adjustment is a strange thing. I think the thing I wanted the most was to be a Mother & I never thought about what came after I worked myself out of that full time job! Now it’s all shifted into something new & wonderful but it does take some getting used to! Thanks for the tips!

  10. Good morning Jemma! It's Saturday morning, it's quiet, and I can finally come to enjoy the fellowship and kinship I've always felt in your presence. What you are saying resonates well with me, though I don't have daughters to teach me; the funny thing that has been bringing me to the same threshold from which you speak are actually the struggles and changes that SOCIAL MEDIA has brought into my life. In my early days of blogging, I felt (and still do) that I had found a goldmine of friendships and artistic discovery. Over the years, the inevitable has occurred: many of the people who had contributed to a community of fun and discovery have moved on. I do have at least 3 women however, who still keep in very close contact with me, and that is precious to me.

    I almost however, pulled the plug on my IG account yesterday. We all go through this, moments where we ask, "Why am I doing this?" As an artistic person, I always come back to the gift that God has given me, to wade in the cool waters of artistic expression. But the trends and popularity games that seem to be what many people are after on social media is not for me. So, in the negative and challenging moments of social media, I have learned what you are expressing here. I have a wonderful life, I have many things that make me wake up early in the morning, HAPPY and excited to get the day started, even if it's just to water my garden, teach my students or find that perfect photo or poem to start writing.

    We must continue to create what is based on God's plan for us: to love, to live boldly, humbly, bravely.

  11. This is a nice post Jemma. I'm glad you have found some inspiration for a new chapter in your life. Funny how our adult children can suddenly offer advice and personal challenges. Mine do the same thing. You have a nice simple routine to follow. Keeping it simple keeps it achievable. Since clearing clutter from my home, I'm also thinking a lot more on enjoying experiences rather than things. (I say this as I almost came to tears when
    a favourite mug slipped from my hands this morning and chipped the rim ... thrown out.) I think more and more what I want to leave for my kids, and I think memories of happy times together will last longer than a favourite mug! I'm so glad you had nice trips to see your daughters and grandkids. I'm soon heading out to visit my brother and his two pre-teen boys. I can't wait!

  12. I am heading toward an empty nest, Jemma and I totally get it. My master's degree has been gathering dust since the day my first baby was born. I left my career behind to be a stay at home mom and now that they are older and independent sometimes, I feel the same way...but every day I do try to find new experiences and try to learn something new. And like you said, sometimes it's from them!! Wonderful post.

  13. Good thoughts and words Jemma. I've been wondering what it will be like come August and my youngest moves out for college. I am going to take these suggestions and be the real pain! LOL. We need to get together again soon!

  14. This is an odd and kind of hard stage of life...don't you think? Thank you for doing the hard thinking and sharing your thoughts. My tendency is to roam through the days without enough of the deep thoughts. I do most of the things on your list (don't exercise enough) just because they are my comfort zone. Time flies and we have to make the most of it!

  15. I love your spunk and zeal, sweet friend! I think Jesus wants us to live an abundant life, in spite of all. My family and I have adopted the same mindset...experiences over possessions. Possessions drag you down and enslave you and control your life. Experiences create precious memories and moments with the ones you love. Thank God for opening all of our eyes to this fact and reality and showing us what is most important in life. You might love my new blog about minimalism...I am just getting started on it, but am hoping to share some beneficial thoughts there, by God's grace. Sending love and hugs your way!

  16. Great tips.. lovely post.
    Is that a Hobby Lobby photo shoot I spy?

  17. "Take time for you" that seems to be getting harder and harder to do in our busy live but we all need to do it.

  18. What a wonderful relationship you have with your daughters! We got a taste of the empty nest when Tim was away at school for three years, but now he's back at home. However, we've given him a deadline date of Sept 1st to move out, so we'll see how that goes. I'm actually looking forward to being an empty nester again, though I know there'll be times I really miss my son. As long as he doesn't move far away, I'm all good. ;-)

  19. What a positive post and such cute pictures of your daughters, Jemma. I could appreciate when you said that your girls inspire you because I spent the whole weekend with my girls and just loved it. It was baby Francesca's Baptism and such a special day for all. I want to thank you for always exuding much joy and creativeness and sweetness on your posts. You inspire us all, dear Jemma. The picture of you and the girls look like you're deep in the jungle with the softness of the sun shining on your faces. How clever.... and Amanda's smile gets to me every time. : )



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