Sometimes you don\’t have a friend to go out and about. Your inner voice whines about the traffic or the loneliness, which are actually true, and you just can\’t seem to gear up.

How about if you go for just an hour and before the traffic?

Last weekend, I wanted some inspiration and entertainment. I had a busy weekend of shoulds and still needed something just for me. I actually wanted to go SOLO because of my schedule and rhythm. At the last minute, I went to a museum, even though, PEOPLE say don\’t go on the weekends. It was so easy and fun. I stopped in an outdoor food court for unusual and quick food.

So many different languages from people ordering food that I felt like a foreigner in my home town. I love that feeling of newness.

At the museum, I lucked out. By the way, did you know, museums often show old favorite films for free? I went to the museum just as they opened. I wanted to see a photography exhibit by Catherine Opie. Only four people were viewing this exhibit. As I sat on a bench in front of the photos, two women were chatting about the discomfort of the Image of the photos and what that was all about. Long story short, IT WAS THE PHOTOGRAPHER TALKING ABOUT HER WORK. Now if I hadn\’t gone, I wouldn\’t have had that surprise. That is what I remind myself when the whiner comes out and tries to stop me from an adventure.

So there is more to the story. I braved up, as I say, and approached Catherine, stranger to me, woman photographer I admire, what anchored me in the photos. It was the horizon for her. It was the faces in the rocks I could see in that moment.

Ok more….I wanted to do the corny thing. I don\’t know why I wanted to, but here goes. OK, I do know. I just wanted her autograph as a reminder for me to stop the chatter that sometimes happens in my head and go for what I really want. I didn\’t have paper or a pen which is crazy for me because I write and seem to always carry paper and a pen along with my camera for this very reason. I remember earlier walking into part of the museum where kids can make art. I dashed over there. Got cream paper and pen and said I would be right back to return the pen.

BRAVE UP, Natalie, “Excuse me, Catherine, may I get your autograph?” She wrote my name and hers. Yes, my heart calmed and I was smiling big. I don\’t ask people for their autograph even though I live in Los Angeles.

I wonder what surprise will come to you when you are out and about this summer? Share with us.

Make time to play,

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.