I’ve been dealing with an empty nest for a couple of years now. Initially it was tough to not have my son around as my mind was always focused on anticipating and meeting his needs. Then I started working on a project that I had shelved earlier due to lack of time. I noticed that a larger part of my day was taken up with thoughts around the project and it helped me a lot to stop feeling listless and lost.
So my suggestion would be to take up a project – it could be a passion you had but could not pursue, it could be something you wanted to learn but did not have the time earlier, it could be getting more involved with your community or a club, it could also be starting an online venture. Just figure out what gets you totally engrossed and makes you happy. Once travel opens up, add in those holidays and visits to family. So go on and figure out what works for you.
Why not think of adopting a dog. They are great companions. Dogs love routine and as a result ensure you have a purpose beyond yourself.
You could connect to a local shelter and see if there is a dog you connect with. Do discuss your current lifestyle and be upfront on your limitations, so they can suggest accordingly.
The plus of adopting is you are helping a soul in need, no potty training.
There may be a need to socialise with the dog with the help of a professional dog behaviourist.