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The Way We Were. How Does that Help Me?

The Way We Were. How Does that Help Me?

By Natalie Caine, M.A.
NABBW’s Empty Nest Expert

Do empty nesters and boomers remember the pressures they lived?  A client shared with me that she doesn’t use her past experiences as a tool for her new. What is helpful about looking in the rear view mirror is the ability to reflect what challenges you did over come and how you did that.

A starter, which is often missing  in beginning, is to ask yourself:

1.    What comes easily to you? For me, communicating is easier than learning a new gadget operation.

2.    What distracts you? “I have too much to do, so lots of days I get nothing complete because I feel overwhelmed.  I dabble,” a mother told me about raising her children, keeping up with her home and work life.

3.    What punches your buttons? “When people tell me how I should do something. I feel they don’t see me. They see themselves in the room,” a woman told me in response to her wanting to make changes in her routine.

"Spring Reflections"

I have noticed people spend time on their challenges with  panic and negativity because of habits.  Look for the habits that DO WORK for you. Say STOP IT to yourself when you jump start your story with the same content, perhaps something like:

  • “I never get help.  I do it all.”
  • “I can’t get it all done.  I need a break.”
  • I can’t do it right with my kids.”
  • “My partner likes to lecture me and I want to slam doors, so he gets the impact of not listening.”

I imagine you get bored with the same complaints and no new practices. Say, STOP IT to yourself and begin a new way to say what you want to say:

  • “I get overwhelmed and am going to make a list of what really matters today.”
  • “I am going to ask him to listen and not say anything until I ask him a question, like \’What do you think?\’ or \’Does this make sense?\'”
  • “I am great at…. and now I need help with….”

You know this: the way you TREAT YOURSELF affects your whole day.  Why not try new practices and gentleness?

  • If you need to give yourself a sticker, do that.
  • If you need a TREAT for gearing up for the new, pick one.

I admit when I have to get my teeth cleaned and don’t want to cancel, I tell myself, \’ When it is over, you can always get a magazine for a treat.\’  I just need to quiet that inner one who is terrified of dentists and to let her know,  \’I  got this one. You don’t have to do anything. It will be fine and over soon.\’

Self talk gets you out the door and a way to get the job done.  We all have our fears to move through. My other self chat is, \’You have been through worse than this.\’

What is your self chat that motivates you? What in the past did help you with your challenges?

Take care,


Invite Natalie to speak in your community or bring her workshop to you.

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1 800 446 3310 Los Angeles, Ca.


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Natalie Caine Founder of Empty Nest Support Services

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.

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