The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust

During our third phone consultation, Kate was talking about how she was doing with her free time.

She is single with two kids thousands of miles away and loosely holds the number 56.

She couldn\’t see how to have chickens on her property. She couldn\’t figure out what to do with all the eggs if she did have chickens. Long story short and I imagine you saw this coming . . . drum roll for her . . . She hooked up with a neighbor that she never knew before. Chicks, eggs, and making lunches for teachers using the eggs.

Add on more fun . . . she delivers the extra eggs and lunches in her pajamas. Why? because it is playful and she is exploring making one of kind pajamas.

Woman to woman … empty nester to empty nester … spring is in full bloom.

Starting over includes ongoing changes in the empty nest. Kids come to visit or they don\’t. They move back in for awhile right when you have your rhythm clicking. Your adult kids aren\’t the same as when they left and you aren\’t either. It takes holding paradoxes, negotiating, seeing the bigger picture of life, and keeping your life vibrant.

Our voyage is complex for our kids and for us.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge. ”
–Martin Luther King Jr.

SPRING:

  • Ask yourself: What surprise is headed my way that would engage me and enliven me? Write down what you hear after you ask yourself that question.
  • Answer: If you don\’t hear an answer today, can it be ok with you to not know and graciously say, “Part of me is clueless these days AND I am still open to a positive surprise.”

We too have been thrown out of a familiar nest. Empty nesters are going through an initiation called being in the unknown and the uncertain.

You have left the coziness of what you have always done and needed.

New perception … “I won\’t be left behind, dissatisfied, nor lonely. When I do experience those feelings I can carry myself through them. I am in a new cycle of life so of course I feel different than before. I don\’t have to have it all figured it. Treat myself as I would treat others. Advise myself as I would advise my best friend.

Diane, whose kids are married and off to college said during our time together, I am so sick of hearing myself whine, be lethargic, and irritable with my husband. I am like a hamster on a wheel telling the same complaining story. I have had it. Enough. I can\’t stand myself.” She is so adorable and real. We have all had that voice in us and so we help each other with this voyage. What would you tell Diane?

May spring gently bring you to a garden of wonderment.

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Natalie Caine is the founder and facilitator of Empty Nest Support Services.She received her master\’s degree and board of medical examiner\’s license in speech and language therapy, in 1972.

After 15 years of offering therapy and workshops to Los Angeles Unified School District, she opened a private practice to serve her community.

Since 1982, Natalie creates and facilitates women support groups in the areas of life changes, including dating, careers, marriage, divorce, parenting, illness, loss, and dreams coming true.

When her daughter was in high school, she realized that this emptying of the nest life transition was a major change. She did not want to go through it alone nor did she want her friends jumping into the abyss without support.

Natalie began Empty Nest Support Services which grew into a new career and business.

Empty Nest Support Services helps anticipating empty nesters and empty nest families through the joys and challenges.

She never imagined this passion would lead her to speaking engagements, consulting, support groups, and a lively growing web called, http://www.emptynestsupport.com/ . The web offers, articles, teleseminars, blogs, newsletters, story of the month, art gallery, a lively free forum and more.

Natalie has been interviewed, live for the launching of Lifetime Radio Station for Women, which can be heard on her web.

In 2008, her first of books, EMPTY NEST – LIFE BEYOND PARENTING, will be published. Natalie lives in southern California with her husband and cat. Currently, her daughter is a senior in college preparing for graduation. She is the southern California representative for The International Women\’s Writing Guild. Natalie is a member of The National Association for Women Writer\’s and for California Speech and Hearing Association.

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.