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How to Have Fun After the Kids Are Grown

        Health | Empty Nest

Tips for Having Fun at Home After the Kids Are Grown

Relationships require work. When you have kids, it's easy (and understandable) to get distracted and focus on them. But when they're gone, relationship troubles can get magnified. Take some of that newfound time and reconnect with your spouse [source: Schmitz]. Just remember, you're not the same person you were 20 to 25 years ago, and neither is your partner. The idea isn't to recapture the past, but to write a new future together.

Reclaim your house. Renovate or redecorate. Your children are creating a new identity -- it's OK for you to do the same (just let them know if you're commandeering their bedrooms). Those extra rooms make for great hobby nooks. If work allows, you can even set up a home office with a computer station. Get on the Internet, and reach out to other empty-nesters at places like the parenting forum on the American Association of Retired Persons Web site [source: AARP]. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the community of people in the same situation.

Pursue your passions. For example, eat better. Remember all those exotic dishes you wanted to try but your kids complained? Now is the time to expand your culinary talents. The same goes for any hobby you always dreamed of doing. Join a book club, an investment club, an art club, a music ensemble, a signing group, a wine club, or a garden club, to name just a few.

Exercise in front of the television -- nobody's watching! Take up an instrument -- nobody's listening (plus, it can be incredibly beneficial for reawakening long-dormant neural pathways). Relish in your newfound freedom.

Of course, you can also find fun outside the home.