When life isn\’t going our way or we are sitting in sadness, we don\’t easily let others know. Empty nesters don\’t like letting others know they are down, disappointed, and can\’t see over the mountain, lethargic, lost.

Parents are role models. Our whole life might seem to have been about our children. We haven\’t practiced taking care of our needs.

Yes we work, we have partners, friends, hobbies, but we are the care takers.

Talking with Cathy, a proud mother of three, wife, daughter, friend and career woman, she talked about her struggles with not feeling motivated, attractive, or joyous. Her three children are out of the house and the space has brought her an inward time to reflect.

She wishes at times she were super busy so she wouldn\’t have to notice these other parts of herself, but what she came to was she truly wants to ask for help by revealing to those she trusts how sad and angry she is about the way her life is going these days.

Cathy‘s new practice is to say to herself, “This is how I am thinking and feeling right now and I am still ok. I am calling……..today for support. I don\’t have to jump to fix myself or deny I am lonely and tired of making everything happen. I just want some tender care and day of being cared for where some one else makes it happen. There is no judgment. Simply it is how you are feeling for right now.

She did tell her husband when he was available to take her in and she had lunch with a friend letting her know she wanted to vent and might even be crying. Saying it ahead of time jump started her while she was feeling safe on the telephone.

Barbara wanted to find a creative passion but didn\’t want people to know she couldn\’t figure it out herself. She practiced getting quiet with eyes closed, breathing and asking her inner selves, “What would enliven me?” What enlivens us also helps us be creative. We get lost in the idea that it won\’t work, or it isn\’t good enough of an idea, or it takes too much effort to make that happen. Change is little steps and yes you get to change your mind.

Sitting with Penny she wanted to explore traveling alone and felt confused about being a grown up and having fears and loneliness. Bottom line, in October she is heading for a week to see fall foliage two thousand miles from home…yes by herself. We laughed when she said she got so tired of complaining about sitting in her empty nest that it was absolutely time for her to leap out of her comfort zone. Can\’t wait to see her photos and hear her stories in our October session.

Karen wanted support to get moving in the morning. She decided to ask a friend who lived miles away to email her every morning with an uplifting cheer. That worked. Her friend was so happy to have a way to help her during this transition. Karen is power walking before she starts work thanks to asking for the help. I loved it when Karen told me she cheats by getting her clothes ready the night before while she is in a more energetic mode. Not cheating. Wise.

I have been fortunate to support empty nesters and those on their way for five years in good and bad times. No one needs to go through it alone.

As you know, my daughter graduated college in May. She has been home for the summer which is another story for later. I am helping my fourth nephew and his dad pack it up for freshman year, 3000 miles from home. They don\’t really need help, but everyone can use time to be heard and encouraged.

September marks new beginnings at any age whether children are dropped off for kindergarten or college. Who can you email or call to help you with your new beginnings?

“When the pond is still the reflection is clear. When the MIND is still the reflection of life is clear. Reflection brings CLARITY” –unknown author

Natalie Caine

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.