Do You Know What You Want to Do?
Empty Nesters, women and men who have been in a career for decades, stay at home moms, parents retiring, college grads and people returning from service, are all asked, what do you want to do now?
Are you asking yourself that question? Have you come up with some ideas but …
I know what it is like when you are burnt out, can\’t figure out what to do next, or feel you just can\’t do it all by yourself.
Over the years, I have heard stories of desire and confusion when it comes to what to do next.
I was fortunate, sitting in my daughter\’s high school college meeting, that my idea to start Empty Nest Support Services came to me, motivated from not wanting anyone to go through this major life transition alone.
I knew nothing about websites but I did know how to teach, inspire, and learn. I made a list of what I was good at doing, what compliments I had heard over the years, example, “You make communicating so easy. You just are able to stay hopeful even when you have no idea how to solve your problems, you say it like it is but you aren\’t a punisher. I have never met anyone who follows their gut feelings like you do.” I am not telling you this to brag. We all know what we are good at doing. I am telling you because it sticks when others share what they know about you.
I am telling you also because here is a way to find out what people think your talents, skills, and gifts are that you could offer to others. No one told me math.
1. Invite them to your home
2. Feed them
3. Give them paper to write how they have helped you, how they have seen you help others, what they think you would like to do, and finally what short phrase they would say about you, example, “Kathy, you are the best organizer.”
4. If a friend can\’t come, email them the questions to fill in and have them email them written back to you. Put a return date on the email. People complete with deadlines and structure.
5. I still remember how vulnerable and how much fun that evening was for me. It actually is not ego. It takes courage to ask for help.
6. Write what you aren\’t good at doing. How much would you pay someone to help you or how could you barter your needs with someone who has the skill? I have bartered computer skills for my teaching, workshops, consultations, and more.
7. Have the courage to ask for help. You can research online or in your community in the local papers, throw away magazines, and papers to get support.
8. Have someone interview you. One of my favorite things is to interview a new client of mine. Call me and you will see how that ignites what is next for you. It is quick, easy, and gives results. A surprise is revealed and you will be smiling. A key is looking at who you are and who you aren\’t as of today and then having three steps of how to pull yourself up to what you want to become. I am simply passionate about revealing your dormant selves to you. I remember the six calls I had with a mother who, long story short, discovered by letting her talk about her joy in watching soap operas, that she really wanted to teach acting to elementary children. She just forgot that part of her through the decades of being mom and working in a bookstore.
No one wants to make changes alone. You don\’t have to. You need someone to ask the questions, really listen, and check back in with you. I for sure had professionals and friends on my path of building my new passions. I say passions because there is more to life than work.
When we are thinking about what is next, it doesn\’t only mean work. We simply get seduced into thinking we aren\’t enough if we aren\’t working, giving back. Not true. What\’s next could be making time for new relationships both in partnering and friendships. I have seen where women want to date but are spending time with their friends and not making time to meet a partner. It is a comfort zone. Single parents feel overwhelmed, out of practice, and insecure about their looks, interests, and ways to connect.
Don\’t you wish we could just say what is to ourselves and then others? It is freeing.
More than anything, I know people want connections with likeminded others. They want a community. They don\’t want to always be the initiators and planners. Sound familiar.
My reminder to you is to not go through these transitions alone. If there is one risk you can force yourself to take, write what compliments you have heard about yourself over the years and ask your friends to email you or come over and write that list with you. OK, that is two risks.
Just do it. Stop that chatter in your head. Do it.
Email me Natalie@emptynestsupport.com and let me know what showed up on your list. Call me if you need support for what is next for you.
I know times are tight with finances and I know we can work something out so you can feel the hope and excitement of where to be heading.
Let\’s get going so summer is filled with something just for you.
- Do you want to write a book?
- Start a vegetarian cooking class?
- Grow a garden?
- Volunteer abroad for a week?
- Mentor at a library?
- Take a six week course?
- Play tennis or golf?
- Get out your guitar?
- Take a vacation?
What do you think you need just for you?
Toll free 800.446.3310
Change is inevitable. Get ready. Get support
Natalie has been featured in NYTIMES, LA TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS, RADIO, USA TODAY, and more