“Life\’s Challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they\’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” Bernice Johnson Reagon

If you were to make time to venture inward to find a moment in your life, what memory would you visit? What emerges when you close your eyes and scan for something that touched you this year? Something that made you proud of your self, brought a smile? Don\’t think too long. Just let it surface and then write about it. Who cares how the words fall on the page? Just get it down and then read it out loud to yourself.

If there is one thing I hear over and over in speaking with empty nesters, it is that they had no idea the emptiness, the change of their role with their children, would be this difficult or painful…nor did they think it would re-emerge month after month or year after year. I want to tell you that it takes a long time for some people and there is no judgment about that.

“I\’m tired mom,” says my visiting daughter as she lay in her familiar bed. I climb in to give her a cuddle. Twenty-two years old and I appreciate just being with her. “Mom can you rub my back a little?” I remember that has been a relaxer for her since she was a pre-schooler.

Memories will float up and bring a smile when you shift your perception into appreciating the good times of your life.

End of another year, changes, losses, celebrations, boredom, confusion, disappointments, mistakes, leaps, and the list goes on. I think we just have trouble getting started in the process of reflection. It doesn\’t have to be a big deal…just a moment, just a beginning to drop within our chatty heads, lists, mailings, decorating and cooking.

Winter, hibernation, inward connection, seeded by past memories, family gatherings, laughter and appreciation are lit at this time of year.

“That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” Emily Dickenson




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Gathering for Empty Nest Women, Feb 1-3, 2008 http://www.emptynestsupport.com/events.htm

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.