By Natalie Caine M.A.
NABBW’s Empty Nest Expert

 

natalie caine newWhen my daughter went 3,000 miles to college, I felt a spread of feelings.  Happy for her, excited that I, her mother was a part of her journey up to this door and empty from a role I loved and knew was shifting.

I had a career, husband, friends, family, and lovely home.  I tell you that because I wasn’t void of a good life.  I was void of being with my daughter.  The daily, ordinary days of parenting and challenging hours of differences came to a sudden stop.

No longer did I start my day attending to her needs and schedule.  What I surprising held in my hand at 6:00 am, after I settled into my parenting shift, was a digital camera.   If you had asked me if I were interested in owning a good camera or doing photography you would have clearly heard me say,  “NO, thanks.”

I had always used a throw away camera to capture moments.  I was the last in my group of friends to buy a digital. I wasn’t motivated to learn something new since my plate was full and clouded with “tech-y” fears.  I went past that fear by building a website and that was techy enough for then.

Finally, the pressure from friends and strangers and stories changed my mind.  I bought silver digital.  Silver changed my mornings.

I couldn’t wait to touch the cold morning floor, grab SILVER, and see with it how my small veggie and flower garden were growing.   Then I walked my neighborhood, taking photos and meeting other walkers, dogs, kids with back packs, and strangers asking, “What are you doing?”  My response, “having fun.”Caine Purple_Flower

Silver became a new best friend.  She helped me see what I didn’t make time to stop for.  She got me out the door on weekends to places I wouldn’t have seen nor people I probably wouldn’t have met.

Coming back and printing gave me instant gratification and that element of surprise.  What did I see?   What will I keep, toss, frame, or sell.   Yes, I have sold photos.  I became part of a new community of people with cameras .

I am not a professional photographer.  I am a happy photographer.  It is still SILVER and I with a lot more batteries and memory cards.

Caine Pink_PetalsA camera changed my life.  100 cameras is changing lives.  When people ask me, “Where can I volunteer or get involved somehow now that I have more free time, I suggest, 100 cameras.  Check them out.  Read their stories.  See their happy people who didn’t know what a camera in hand would show them nor connect within them and their communities.

100cameras empowers marginalized children to document their lives through photography and to create positive change in their own communities. 100% of the money from the children\’s purchased prints is used to raise awareness and capital to meet physical needs and empower sustainable growth within their community

 http://www.100cameras.org

 

Thanks, Natalie

Natalie Caine M.A.

Life In Transition, What\’s Next?

Empty Nest Support Services

(800) 446-3310 or (818) 763-0188

Los Angeles

Featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, MariaShriver .com, Better Homes and Gardens, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Lifetime Radio for Women, Chicago Tribune, Sirius, Associated Press, Miami Herald, and many more.

Natalie Caine is the founder of Empty Nest Support Services. When her daughter was a senior in high school, she realized that as a soon-to-be “empty nester,” she would be undergoing a major life shift. Not wanting to confront this transition alone nor have her many friends face this abyss without strong support, she created a support services group, which quickly grew into a new career and an exciting full-time business.