What's Next


A big hello from Texas! I spent the holidays in Utah, met up with Annie for a Nest & Launch breakfast in Midway, and I'm currently itching to get this space warmed up and moving.

At our storied (but un-Instagrammed) breakfast we talked about Nest & Launch -- how it started (mid-stage parenting blog), where we are now (empty and almost-empty nesters), and where we want to go (a place with donuts - jk). A large part of our goals for N&L involve widening the net. We want to hear and share where you are, what mid-stage and empty nest lives look like for you, and how you are making the most of your particular circumstances.

This stage of life for me, means repeatedly asking the question WHAT'S NEXT?* After the babies are raised, and middle school has been endured, and you've made the junior year Physics roller coaster four dang times, THEN, what will you do with your one "wild and precious life?"

And will it involve donuts? 

My own 'What's Next' has been a revolving door, which is both frustrating and ever so slightly exciting. For so long I thought I'd be an English professor. Case closed. Order me up three cats, some reading glasses, and a case of red pens. But that dream is proving problematic, the biggest issue being the difficulty of securing a tenure-track position (the other part being finishing my dissertation).

I gave corporate marketing a try. There were some things I really liked about it (the money) and some things I really didn't (too much admin and not enough writing). Somewhat befuddled by my own lack of direction, I resigned my position in December. My thoughts swirled around possibilities: I'll open a Sodalicious! I'll start a party business! I'll write free-lance! I'll watch Netflix full-time! My sister and I started framing our 'What's Next' with Hallmark Christmas movie standards -- Sterling would teach school, and I'd work at the bakery down the street. Yes - that's a Hallmark Christmas movie.


Three days after we returned from Utah, I found myself rushing downtown at 7 AM for a job interview. My stomach was in knots. I was rehearsing smart things to say -- none of which I actually used. I was cursing myself for leaping into this uncomfortable position AND elated that I had the opportunity. All of this to say, working out the 'What's Next' is gut-wrenching and scary and exhilarating, but I think it's something that deserves careful attention. For maybe the first time in my life, I'm unmoored. My daily life will be my own, and I want it to be designed by me. I want it to be deliberate and productive and joyful. 

What about you? How's your 'What's Next' coming? We really want to know.

*'What's Next,' of course, being a nod to the best television show ever made. Can you name it?