Empty Nest Success Evangelist specializing in coaching mothers entering the empty nest. ★ Master Motivator ★ Podcast Host ★ Together we'll channel your freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy! ~ Christine, Your Empty Nest Coach
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 25: My Partner is Driving Me Crazy!! … I’ve run into multiple people, recently, who are looking at their first or sometimes, their last child heading off to college, and they are freaking out about their relationship with their partner. The big one I’ve heard, from multiple people, is, “They are driving me crazy! Oh my gosh, Christine, everything about them is driving me crazy.”
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 25: My Partner is Driving Me Crazy!! This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:36 Hello, my future empty nest friend! Tomorrow is my birthday! Not right now, when I’m recording this, but when this episode goes live! I guess I should plan now what I want for my birthday because I do not need to wait for others to read my mind. Who has the time or energy for that? Not me. You know what you could do for my birthday? If you haven’t already, give my podcast, assuming you love it, a five star rating on Apple Podcasts. That would be super of you. Thank you. You are the best!
00:01:23 What is with this episode’s title? I’ve run into multiple people, recently, who are looking at their first or sometimes, their last child heading off to college, and they are freaking out about their relationship with their partner. The big one I’ve heard, from multiple people, is, “They are driving me crazy! Oh my gosh, Christine, everything about them is driving me crazy.” This is what I’m hearing. I get it. I want you to think about what is happening in your life right now. You have had some sort of routine, I bet, for your family for quite some time. Changes have happened, yes, but it’s been slow over time. Suddenly, you, all of you, are confronted with an impending change that takes you completely out of everything that has been normal for the last few years. You won’t see it coming. Remember, your mind, that likes things to stay the same, is freaking out.
00:02:19 Guess what? Your partner and child have the same thing going on. Since our minds want things to stay the same, but our minds also know that things aren’t going to stay the same, our minds now get busy creating all these stories for how things are going to go. It likes to be all sorts of creative here, doesn’t it?
00:02:41 Suddenly, the idea of your child not being where they have been is horrifying. You now have time to focus on emotional work for yourself that you may have been hiding for years under the guise of taking care of your kids and your family. It can easily be overwhelming and frightening. Did you even realize that all of that was going on? I sure didn’t when we went through it.
00:03:04 Here’s a question I’ve heard, how are we going to get along? Some tough love here. You are going to get along by doing your thought work. Trust me. Another question, why is he acting so weird? I have the same answer for you here. The things that youare currently finding weird or annoying, another person on this planet might find completely adorable. Think about it. I know.
00:03:32 Another question: are we going to make it? That is up to you. You probably want me to tell you that, yeah, they are being annoying and you have every right to be annoyed, blah, blah, blah, blah. My friend, we all have days like this. Me, too. It happens, and well, hormones, too. Can I get an Amen? As your friend over a cup of coffee, sure, I’d say that sucks. But as your coach, that kind of support doesn’t allow for any progress in your life. I want to see you progress. I want to see you grow, I want you to become every bit of the amazing woman you are meant to be.
00:04:12 When you notice these types of thoughts that I mentioned often, it is a sign that you have work to do. It isn’t a sign, necessarily, that you need to leave, or a sign that your partner has lost their marbles. It could be. But first, you need to figure out what work you need to do to be happy with yourself where you are today, before you make any drastic changes. I’m not going to tell you to stay with your partner no matter what. That’s something for you and your partner to decide. I’m also not going to tell you to leave your partner. That is also for you and your partner to decide.
00:04:47 I’m here to just make you think, and challenge you a bit. I am going to ask you what do you think you would have if you weren’t with your partner right now? How do you think your life would be different and why are you making those differences dependent on them? Because, right now, let’s be honest, you are miserable, and that miserable you goes with you to a new relationship, or to no relationship if you choose to leave. Yes, you are still there. There was actually, a very timely and funny, on Saturday Night Live, there was a sketchwith Adam Sandler that speaks to this recently. It was about vacation, but it has a lot to do with the same thing I’m saying here. I’ll put a link to it in my show notes.
00:05:30 If you had decided that everything would be different if you left your partner, I want you to understand that by declaring that statement you have given your partner complete control over your life and emotional health. Is that the way you want to live? Do you want to leave on those terms? First off, is your partner reallyresponsible for your happiness? Do you wantyour partner to be responsible for your happiness? What if you, and only you, are responsible for your happiness, and then you come into the same relationship? How does that change where you are? How does that change how you show up? If you show up in this new way, do you think you’re going to notice a change in your partner as well?
00:06:10 When you are fully responsible for your own happiness, you gain control of your life 100 percent. Who would you rather be around? Someone who rides a roller coaster of feelings and thoughts reacting to your actions, they yell at you based on something you say, or cry based on a look that you made? Or someone who shows up in life in complete control of who they are and who they are meant to be? You might yell at them and they listen and understand. I know who I want to be. I wish I could tell you I’m there all the time. I’m not, but I’m working on it, and this is my goal.
00:06:44 It is amazing that when our thoughts change, when our inner world, our mind changes, then our outer world flows with it. Eventually, even those around us change. Sometimes, those around us will freak out a bit from the change, after all, this is incredibly important work you are doing. You are becoming an emotional adult. When that happens, people around you may not know how to respond. Give them some time to really take in the change in you. The next time your partner does something that drives you crazy, I want you to try adding, “and that’s okay,” after your thought. Here’s two examples: “He interrupted me again, and that’s okay.” “She’s doing that thing that drives me insane, and that’s okay.” When you get to a point where you can handle the, “and that’s okay,” then you’re ready for the next step. “He interrupted me,” and the “again” isn’t needed, or the “and that’s okay.” You’re getting down to the circumstance. The other one: “She’s doing that thing,” and just end there. “That drives me insane,” and “and that’s okay,” are no longer needed. You’re making progress. Then, you can move on to thoughts that create value in your world. “He interrupted me,” he’s excited to share his news. “She’s doing that thing that brings her comfort.” How are these even the same thoughts, right? They’re not. Do you feel the difference?
00:08:07 The first thing you have to do is to embrace, “and that’s okay.” Another good one is “So what?” Sometimes that is a great question. So what? “He interrupted me. So what?” What are you making that mean? I bet you have a dissertation on the subject. Don’t you? Somehow he represents all of the injustices of the world, the women, how they’re treated, blah, blah blah. Really, I ask you, he interrupted you, so what? Really. So what? Try that one on this week, and see how that goes.
00:08:36 What if you’re thinking about leaving? You can absolutely think about leaving. Play it out in your head because when you play out all of the details, it isn’t all roses and daisies. Actually, if you are having those thoughts, I would encourage you to go through my Finding Future You program and play out the details of everything with that idea in mind. See what else comes up. It probably doesn’t have as much to do about your partner as you think it does. Trust me. Do the work on you. Find your happy where you are, and then, if you still want to walk away, you can walk away with feeling confident that it’s the right thing for you.
00:09:16 Your child heading off to school, or any number of circumstances that may change, not only impacts you, but it impacts your partner and they are dealing with that, and you are, at the same time. Be patient with your partner. While you have a big change ahead, so does your partner. You might be dreading it, while they may be super excited to spend more time with you. They may be confused on why you don’t feel the same way.
00:09:40 This is a great opportunity to get to know each other all over again. You aren’t the same people that began the parenthood journey together. Life changes people, in all sorts of ways. Before you make any big decisions, be sure you’ve done the work you need to do on yourself. Most of the time, that is where the work is needed. As you know, your thoughts about a situation are just that, your thoughts. Just as you can make a circumstance mean whatever you want, so can those around you. Talk to one another, be kind to one another and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Really, try that on and see how it goes. I believe in you. I believe in both of you, together, or apart. You both deserve to be everything you are meant to be. Figuring out that together, will be a journey that is worth taking, no matter where the destination leads.
00:10:52 Why should you join our group? The adjustment to having your kiddos at home full time isn’t always easy, as we know, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. If you are ready to begin the journey to find Future You and use her as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Discovering Future You. Episode 13 covers that program as well.
00:11:16 The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) How are you and your partner doing?
2) How has parenthood changed you, and has it impacted your relationships?
As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find show notes for this, and every episode, on my website.
00:11:43 My next episode’s title is: Changing your mind is OKAY! Change is OKAY! If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too! You’ll be giving them a free gift! Or take a quick screenshot of this and share it on your favorite social media site. Tag me, and I will say, “Hi!” Thanks for your time and energy with that and thanks so much for listening my empty nest friend! Remember, you are amazing!
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 24: With My Child Heading to College, Are the Thoughts I’m Having Normal? … My future empty nest friend, I want to talk about the normal thoughts that you may expect to have, as you prepare for your child heading to school. But first, a story. I wear glasses.
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 24: With My Child Heading to College, Are the Thoughts I’m Having Normal? This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:37 Hello, my empty nest friend! A quick reminder that this and all of my episodes are brought to you by my free seven-day program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering Future You. Hop on over to my website and sign up today. My website? You guessed it, youremptynestcoach.com.
00:00:57 My future empty nest friend, I want to talk about the normal thoughts that you may expect to have, as you prepare for your child heading to school. But first, a story. I wear glasses. I used to wear contacts, but my eyes didn’t love the contacts entering in and out of my eyes, day after day, after day. One year, I decided just skip paying for the extra contact exam, and only get glasses. I haven’t looked back. With glasses, there is the issue of them getting dirty. Say a drop of water gets on my glasses, like when I walk to work and it’s raining. Or maybe, hypothetically, I get really messy with my coffee, my bulletproof coffee, in particular, in the morning. Say I were to, hypothetically, shake my travel coffee mug before the lid is on tight, and now the coffee’s on my glasses in a few different spaces. I wish I could tell you that I’ve only done this once before. I so wish I could tell you that, but I can’t.
00:01:59 Anyway, with coffee drops on my glasses, I have a few options. One, is to leave the coffee drops on my glasses. Have it be noticeable from time to time, it probably bothers others more than me, and it kind of stays in my line of vision, reminding me it is there, and that I should be a better human and clean my freaking glasses. My second option is that I could not clean them, and focus on the coffee drops, complain about the coffee drops and not take my eyes off the coffee drops. How productive do you think I would be in life, for as long as I do that?
My third option is I could pick up a cloth, quickly clean them off, and go about my day. Which would you do? It seems obvious with coffee drops on glasses, doesn’t it? But how about our thoughts? Does this apply to your thoughts about your child heading off to college? Let me tell you. You might have thoughts like these pop into your head in the upcoming weeks, or maybe, they’re already there. Will my child ever bathe in college?Will they find a community that welcomes them? How will they focus enough to study with the many distractions available on a college campus?What the heck am I gonna do with my time? Will they eat well?What if they party too much and drop out of school? What if they take seven years to get through college? Motherhood is over.
00:03:25 You could have those thoughts. You could just as easily have thoughts like my child is going to thrive in college. My child will make so many friends in college. I’m going to find my purpose with my newfound time. Right? But our minds run to those first batch of thoughts. Those coffee drops on our glasses. Thoughts that make us feel all queasy inside. Remember in episode 3, I shared with you how your thoughts are in boxes, being delivered to your mind, or a house? You may choose to accept the delivery and do something with it, or you may refuse the delivery.
00:04:04 These coffee drops are simply another visualization alternative for you. Your thoughts are like drops of coffee on a pair of glasses. Glasses that you need to see to function in life. You can choose to focus on the drops, or thoughts, and have them keep you from moving forward in life, in a clear manner, or you can choose to pick up a cloth and quickly clean them off. Two seconds. You see the thought, identify it, and clean it away, or refuse the delivery, especially if it makes you feel all queasy inside.
00:04:36 Catch your thoughts and use your amazing mind to decide if it is a thought worth keeping. I didn’t answer the question, yet, did I? Are your thoughts normal? I’m going to ask you another question. If I have a thought like my child is going to fail out of school, let’s say that thought pops into my head. If I then catch my thought (Yay, me! Step one is complete!), but then, I think that is an awful thought. Do you think the queasy feeling is going to go away? Probably not. I want you to treat all thoughts like they are perfectly normal. No matter what they are. Rather than beating yourself up over a thought that pops into your wonderfully creative mind, I want you to notice it, and think why wouldn’t I have that thought? You can even add why wouldn’t I have that silly thought? If it makes you smile. All we want to do is identify the thought. That is the first step to allowing it to lose power in your life. Then, we disregard it, and it will be like a balloon with a hole in it. The power will deflate.
00:05:47 Yes, your mind might fight you. With enough practice you will get better and better at all of this. You, my friend, are perfectly normal. Your mind is creative and you have many, many thoughts. Some will provide you with the ability to create value in your life, and in the lives of others. Other thoughts will slow your actions, as if you’re stuck in a bucket of molasses. Don’t you have days where you feel that way? I know I do. Next time you feel that way, check your thoughts.
00:06:17 In episode 20, I shared the idea of someone making a comment, and you treat it as if you just told you that you’ll wake up tomorrow and be a turtle. Remember that? Try that with your own thoughts. Don’t let your bossy mind boss you around. You need to use your incredible mind for good, for good in your life. Create fantastic thoughts. Create incredible actions. Create tremendous results and value in your life, and in the lives of everyone around you. You can do this all by noticing and adjusting those boxes, those drops of coffee on your glasses, those thoughts. You can do it, my friend. They’re all perfectly normal. Don’t think otherwise. I can’t wait to see how you change your world and the world around you. If you are ready to begin the journey to find future you, and use her as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Discovering Future You. Episode 13 covers that program, as well.
00:07:17 The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) What silly thought does your mind like to present to you?
00:07:42 Why should you join our group? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with the thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find show notes for this and every episode on my website.
00:08:04 My next episode’s title is: My Partner is Driving Me Crazy. Yes. Exactly like that. If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, my friend, and thanks so much for listening. Remember, you are amazing!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 18: How to Get Rid of Guilt. … I appreciate you so very much. Let’s dive right into this episode, Mom Guilt: How to Get Rid of Mom Guilt. This doesn’t need to be a long episode.
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 18: How to Get Rid of Guilt. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:36 Hello, my empty nest friend! Thanks for listening today. I appreciate you so very much. Let’s dive right into this episode, Mom Guilt: How to Get Rid of Mom Guilt. This doesn’t need to be a long episode. Guilt, my empty nest friend, this is one more thing that you control. If you have guilt, you’re making yourself feel that way, through the thoughts you are having. No one is making you feel guilty, and end of episode.
00:01:13 Was that too short? Maybe you don’t believe me. Maybe you were raised in a house that oozed of talking of guilt, or even a religion that encourages guilt. Maybe you’ve told yourself that you are making things better if you feel guilty about something in the past. Your guilty feeling is something you are choosing, by having thoughts that led you there. You having feelings of guilt changes nothing about another human being. You can’t control them anyway, so while you’re at home with mom guilt about doing something for yourself, or something that happened in the past, the only person you are impacting in that very moment, is you. You, and only you. Whether the guilt is that you didn’t clean the house for three weeks, or your guilt is over something that is quite serious that happened in the past. You having feelings of guilt serves no purpose other than to make you feel bad in your current moment.
00:02:12 Do you like feeling bad? Why are you bullying yourself like that? Would you let someone talk to your kids the way your thoughts are talking to you? You don’t believe me? Next time you catch yourself feeling guilty, I want you to take a piece of paper out and write down the inner dialogue, the thoughts, that you are having. Write them all down. Of course, no editing. I want you to read them as if someone else is saying those thoughts to someone you love. Are they kind? Are they true? Would you allow yourself to sit there while someone else said those things to another person? Do you want to keep those thoughts? This is the best part. You don’t have to keep them. You get to choose. Remember to observe your thoughts with fascination and decide if they are something you want to keep.
00:02:58 Whatever you do, don’t decide to choose thoughts that make you feel guilty about the thoughts you are having. We do this to ourselves, too. Look, you are having thoughts, just because they pop in your head, doesn’t make them true. Observe them, and figure out if they serve you. It is this simple, not easy, but simple. If you have guilt, you are choosing thoughts that make you feel guilty. No one else is making you feel that way. Choose something different, my friend. Find thoughts that give you a different feeling. Thoughts that you believe and feelings that you consciously want. Choose you. Choose kindness to yourself.
00:03:37 Feel like you’re missing something? Head back to my Empty Nest Prep episodes, they start in episode 3, to learn more about your thoughts and feelings. The questions that I have for you in this episode are:
1) Do you have mom guilt?
2) is there something you want to do, but you are afraid of feeling guilty about doing?
00:04:09 Why should you join our group? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I’m able to provide you with thoughts that impact your life in a positive way. My next episode’s title is Let’s Talk About Extracurriculars, and I have a guest. But first, remove that mom guilt, please!
00:04:40 Can you do me a favor? If you could take the time to subscribe to this podcast, that would be fantastic! It is free, and you’ll be notified when a new episode goes live. If you have an extra moment to give this podcast a five-star rating, it will help other future empty nest mothers to find it when they need it. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!
This episode has taken more energy than most others!
It took me weeks to gather my thoughts and then a few more additional weeks to put them together and even assemble it. The result is a fable I created for us! It is my gift to you. Let me know if it resonates with you. In today’s episode, I introduce you to Greenlee the green popsicle stick.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll all the way down ⇓ so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
Want to subscribe to this podcast? Great news – it is free!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, episode, #17: Green Popsicle Stick. … Thanks for listening, today. I’m so proud of you for making time for yourself! I am about to share a fable with you that I created.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, episode, #17: Green Popsicle Stick.
Hello, my empty nest friend!
Thanks for listening, today. I’m so proud of you for making time for yourself!
I am about to share a fable with you that I created.
I would like to introduce you to Green Popsicle Stick, we’ll call her Greenlee for short.
She feels the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Why wouldn’t she? She knows that she is the piece that holds other popsicle structures together in many ways. She fully supports them. She is the KEY piece.
Her position in all of this, she feels profoundly.
Honestly, it is ALL she knows.
Each structure that she supports has a primary point stick, similar to a point person. Some point sticks communicate well with Greenlee – and others…well, not so much.
Greenlee is the ONLY green popsicle stick in her supported structure group.
All of the other popsicle sticks, and their point sticks, don’t seem to understand who Greenlee is outside of her duties of supporting the rest of them.
They all simply know she’s there. ALL. THE. TIME.
Let’s be honest, most days, Greenlee doesn’t even know who she is.
Hmmm… did she ever really know?
She’s been so busy filling the needs of all the other sticks and their structures that she doesn’t have time for herself.
Greenlee would think: How could there be anything else? What could be more important than what she does now?
She knows that as long as she stays where she is (safe and secure), that she won’t be disappointed.
She won’t be disappointed by the reactions of others to a change she might make. and, most importantly, she won’t be disappointed in who she is when she isn’t in her comfort zone.
So, up until this moment, she has done what she’s always done. She changes nothing because, after all, everything around her may crumble if she were to attempt to discover a new role for herself.
But then it happened. One day that was as normal as any other day, she noticed a bit of green off in the distance.
Greenlee’s interest was piqued.
Could it be? Could that be another green popsicle stick?
Seeing that flash of green gave Greenlee the ability to dream about what it might be like to do something for herself.
But she CAN’T move because she MUST stay in place for her supported structures.
She quickly reminded herself of her important role where she was and that thinking of anything otherwise was impractical and well, nonsense.
Nonsense. That’s what any other thoughts were. … Yes….. Nonsense.
Time continued to pass. From her stationary position, she noticed a few green popsicle sticks gathered together. ALL without their structures.
Greenlee was shocked. … So many of them left their structures? How COULD they?
As she internalized thoughts about how much more protective she must be of HER structures – she noticed that one of the green popsicle sticks in the group appeared to be upset. A tear fell from her own eye when the other popsicle sticks leaned in to comfort and support the sad one.
On yet another occasion, one group member looked to be telling a story while bouncing up and down with what could only be excitement. As the excited one bounced, the others began to bounce happily with her.
Greenlee continued to observe gatherings of the green popsicle sticks that included a variety of energies: calmness; thoughtfulness; kindness; sadness; and, yes, even some arguments.
“How could this be?” she wondered.
Greenlee thought she might know the answer: Well, their structures must be stronger than mine OR their structures must be crumbling OR those other green popsicle sticks don’t care about their structures as much as I care about mine.
Yeah, THAT’s it. That is why I am here all alone while they gather together.
While Greenlee wasn’t 100% sure she loved her role in life, it was all she knew. And it was comfortable. There is a lot to be said for comfort.
After all, she couldn’t be anything like those other green popsicle sticks. Could she?
It took witnessing oh so many gatherings of the green popsicle sticks chatting, catching up and supporting each other for Greenlee to gather up the courage to do a tiny little wiggle one day.
She wiggled from left to right. Ever – so – slightly.
Her supported structures didn’t notice at all. Not a bit.
Why would they? Any slight movement they have had in the past has been handled by Greenlee, after all.
Her supported structures’ inability to notice her wiggle, allowed Greenlee to grow in her bravery.
While her supported structures definitely noticed the new sway that was happening … they found a bit of enjoyment with the new ride and some freedom that they gained for themselves.
Well, a few wiggles and a sway was enough for one day.
Greenlee oozed of exhilaration and nervousness. She decided to try again the next day.
Days of sways delivered Greenlee some enjoyment but it wasn’t until the momentum of one of her sways caused her to slip from her position that things got interesting.
Much to her surprise – nothing crumbled.
Oh, YES, things moved. And, yes, that was horrifying, initially.
There were complaints from some of her supported structures: they couldn’t figure out why Greenlee was changing things.
And yet other supported structures slid right into a new position and enjoyed the view.
Greenlee was fascinated. As she took stock of the slip aftermath, she found that each supported structure slid together to form a design that was different. Not Good. Not Bad. Just Different.
She didn’t have to stay where she was stationed for the other structures to be who they are meant to be?
Wait, does this mean that they don’t need her at all?
Now that thought STUNG.
As time passed, Greenlee decided that she had to explore life outside of her supported structure fixed location. She wanted to experience a green popsicle stick gathering.
She wanted to ask them questions.
Greenlee ramped up her sways to the point where she could slip entirely out of position again. Now that she was looking for the opportunity, she found that when the time came, she slid COMPLETELY out – and found herself – EXPOSED!
She flipped over so she couldn’t see the damage she had done by walking away.
She couldn’t look.
She heard murmurs for sure – and one LOUD complaint.
As she turned to steal a quick peek, she saw that her supported structures were all still standing and they were supporting EACH OTHER!
She took it in.
With increasing intensity, she became aware of her own occupation of space outside of her supported structures.
Who she was without them – she wasn’t sure – actually, she had no idea. She wanted to run right back to her comfortable spot to hide who she really is. She COULDN’T be this version of herself – whatever it was – she didn’t know it well and she wasn’t sure she wanted to go any further.
But before she could jump back in, she glanced back to where she had seen the green popsicle stick gathering and much to her surprise they were running toward her.
Big smiles. Faces of concern. Upon their arrival, they held and comforted her. She leaned on a few as she cried – she cried a lot. The emotion was raw and real.They picked her up and gently pulled her in among them.
It was there that she discovered that all of them had their own similar journey to get where they are. Some were forced out, some inched their way out and others just took the leap and ran.
Greenlee had three questions for the group. She first asked: 1) Why didn’t you come to me earlier? She was told she had to take the first step. They’ve been waiting for her all along. While she was watching them, it turned out that they were watching HER as she made her journey and couldn’t wait for her new freedom – that is why they came running to her – they were waiting – for her. And they were excited to have her there.
2) Her second question was: Why are you all brighter than I am? It was something she didn’t even realize until now. They explained that it was due to them spending more time figuring out who they are outside of their structures. It happens to all of us, they said, and you’ll be as bright as us, in time!
3) Third Question: What do I do now? Greenlee was told that THAT was all up to her but the first thing to do is to take a deep breath – enjoy the time with her new friends and then go back to her supported structures and let them know about her new journey – that she is interested in learning who she is meant to be, so that she can be the best version of herself (her brightest version) this will allow her to be the best support she can be for them, too!
She was scared. Her new friends shared that they understood, as they have all been there. Most of them had supported structures that were excited about their journey ahead but a few had supported structures that balked and said, “Nope, I just want things to stay the same.”
Each of them had to decide what was more important to them – finding themselves or staying where they were. That is a decision each green popsicle stick has to make, she was told. No one will make it for her.
They also shared that all of the green popsicle sticks have found that as they have become closer to who they are meant to be, that not only did their color get brighter but that they began to build their own structure around themselves – that made them stronger. Sometimes it worked well, and sometimes the structure would fall but they always could rebuild and figure out a new design. They also shared that their supported structures did a similar thing. They updated their design and became clearly who they were meant to be.
Greenlee then noticed writing on some of the other green popsicle sticks which led her to one more question that day, “Why do some of you have writing on you?”
The brightest green popsicle stick with the boldest writing said, “Those of us who have found our purpose, it is clearly written on us. It shows up when we have found it. For some of us it never changes, for others it changes over time. When we have a purpose, we feel it in everything we do.”
THIS is what Greenlee wanted: a purpose. As she headed back to her supported structures, she knew she would find it.
My friend, you are a green popsicle stick. That is the REAL you.
When you allow yourself to be alone outside of your many roles, and take the time to discover who you are – to get to know who you are – you will find direction in your life through your own GPS – yes, look at that, it stands for Green Popsicle Stick.
And GPS is the key to future you. Find future you and you have the GPS to your future. How about that?
I believe in you. I KNOW you are worth taking the time to use the GPS to your future. To find you. To uncover future you, and claim the life you are meant to have.
You have the directions on how to get there. You always have.
If I handed you a green popsicle stick in person, and you came here to find out why – thanks for listening. I hope you got something out of it. If that isn’t you, and you meet me in person, definitely ask me for a green popsicle stick. I’m happy to give one to you – or I might beat you to the asking and just hand it to you.
And challenge you to find your purpose.
The Questions I have for you in this episode are: 1) What structures are you supporting? 2) Where are you in green popsicle stick journey? Do you have your GPS?
I have a special thank you to Beth and Michele for reviewing this fable and providing great input. You two are the best!
The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends!
We look forward to seeing you there!
As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend.
My HOPE is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that impact your life in a positive way.
My next episode’s title is: How to Get Rid of Guilt
Can you do me a favor?
If you could take the time to subscribe to this podcast – that would be fantastic. It is free, and you’ll be notified when a new episode goes live. And if you have an extra moment to give this podcast a 5 star rating – it will help other future empty nest mothers to find it when they need it. Thanks for your time and energy with that and thanks so much for listening my empty nest friend!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 12, The Power and Understanding That Life Isn’t Supposed To Be Perfect. … Today’s episode is definitely inspired by Byron Katie, and this quote of hers, “If you argue with reality, you will lose 100 percent of the time.” I will link to Byron Katie’s site in my show notes, which you will find on my website.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 12, The Power and Understanding That Life Isn’t Supposed To Be Perfect. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy with volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that’s been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it’s freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend! Episode 12. How are you today? I hope you are feeling amazing, because you deserve to feel amazing. This is really fun. I don’t know if you can tell, but definitely from my first podcast episode, the sound quality is slowly getting better. I’m in my official podcast booth, which I think, hopefully, you will enjoy. It is an umbrella, with a sleeping bag over it, on top of my laptop, so I don’t have the sound waves reverberating all over the place. A little cramped in here, but I love it. I’m slowly improving.
Today’s episode is definitely inspired by Byron Katie, and this quote of hers, “If you argue with reality, you will lose 100 percent of the time.” I will link to Byron Katie’s site in my show notes, which you will find on my website. The gist of this whole thing and what really hit me, was what is happening, whatever it is, is totally supposed to happen. Why? Because it is happening. Arguing with the reality of the situation is absolutely pointless. Life is sucky 50 percent of the time. It is. It’s called life, not called the magical perfect world, where everything goes your way. Welcome to life. Congratulations! You are alive.
Why do we believe that life is supposed be perfect? That is a lie that serves none of us. If your automatic thought when something bad happens is well, this shouldn’t happen, and then you continue to spin out of control and not do much but complain about it. I want you to understand that in that specific moment, rather than dealing with a situation, you’re clearly choosing to argue with reality.
You are arguing with reality. What do you think that’s going to get you? Oh, Christine, but I’m just saying that, thinking that, because it’s comforting. Is it? Let’s look at an extreme example. Imagine that you just got into a car accident. There is an emergency situation to deal with. What is the best thought to go to once your brain understands what has happened? Cars crushed, I’m still alive, let me assess the situation and figure out what to do next, or this is awful, this shouldn’t have happened, why do these things always happen to me? I get it, this might seem like an extreme example, but when you see the importance in an extreme situation, and then realize that you are doing this all day, every day, in tiny moments of your life, how do you think that compounds, and what do you think it creates in your life?
Are you constantly arguing with the universe, with reality, that things shouldn’t be happening a certain way? Let’s say your child doesn’t get a scholarship they were hoping for. Do you spend three days complaining about it, calling the school to find out why, and fighting it? Or do you realize the competition must have been really intense, let’s see what other scholarships are available? Here’s another one, your child’s guidance counselor didn’t get a paper over in a timely fashion. Do you complain about it to everyone, or do you figure out how to solve it by making an appointment to confirm the counselor completes the task?
We see this in movies all of the time. Something tragic or unbelievable happens. There are a whole bunch of people freaking out about it, and one, typically, the protagonist, the hero of the story, quickly assesses the situation, figures out what to do and saves the day? What did they do? You could say they were trained for this, or they are a born leader. They were born that way. What is the real answer? It is that they spent no time arguing with the true circumstances of the situation and got right to work.
What if I tell you, you can be the hero in your own life? You can. If you’ve been listening to my podcasts since the beginning, you know there is power in observing your thoughts. This week, I want you to observe your thoughts and look out for how often your thoughts lead you to argue with reality in either complaints, or arguing, or saying that shouldn’t have happened.
Yes, the situation might be unfair, but if it happened, there really is no “shouldn’t have.” It already happened. Unless you can time travel, it’s a done deal. Arguing with a circumstance changes nothing except for how you feel and how you show up in life.
I remember the first time I really grasped this. It had to do with our cat, Lego. He has three legs. We rescued him from a shelter when he was two years old. He’s pretty chill most of the time, but he has issues. He is missing a leg. It’s really cute when he has itch on his left ear, his back-left stump tries to scratch it. It’s kind of sad and cute at the same time. He lost his leg when he was a kitten, so our best guess is he only remembers ever having three legs. The only thing he doesn’t do well is jump, and that’s not really a problem for us. Anyway, I digress. He has this habit of doing the butt scoot after he poops. Don’t worry, we’ve had him checked out by a vet. It seems to be a habit he’s developed at this point in time. Fighting the reality that we have a cat that does this, gets me nothing but frustration. We’re not going to get rid of him over something like this. He does it and now, when he comes out of the litter, I wait for him to do it, clean it up and it’s pretty much routine now. We come home after being out and look for the streak. It’s our reality. It’s so much easier to find it, clean it up, and move on, than to show up any other way. Let me tell you, when this first started happening, I did not show up pretty.
Another example from our life, as a family, is my husband, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer, he was 38 years old. He was the best example of someone who didn’t argue with reality. He simply did what he needed to do. He did the treatments, continued to work, and certain things became his new reality. Many of those new things aren’t pleasant, but he doesn’t spend time arguing with it. He figures out how to work around it and with it. I guess, he’s a bit of a hero around here, really. Let me give you one more that kind of does rear its ugly head in my life from time to time.
Before I had my daughter, I worked in tech. I spent 15 years out of the work force, full-time. While I stayed up-to-date on technologies, a 15-year gap is big on a resumé. My day job now, is an admin coordinator, and it took me months to find an employer willing to give me a chance. I also work in a place where if you’re an admin, you’re pretty much an admin there for years on end, which doesn’t fit my usual profile. While I’m not overly challenged in this role, it has its benefits. I can walk to work. I have a boss who’s flexible with my building of this business, and it is an income that we need as a family. There are days where I see areas that I can help so easily. There are days where I’d like to be challenged so much more. Just throw a huge project at me and let me run with it, and it gets to me.
It got to me last week. I was arguing with my reality big time. The funny part is, other than knowing I can do so much more, do I really want that responsibility anyway? Not really. I have this business I’m building, and I love it. I spent more than a few hours complaining one of the days last week. It’s not the version of me I am most proud of, but I’m human. Then, I took in my reality. I was out of the workforce for 15 years. I have a flexible job now, where I can help others. I get to coach all day long. I really do. It isn’t part of my job description, but I definitely got to work on my coaching there, and that is free training for me. I don’t get to do big tech projects, but I also don’t have to work those stressful hours any more. Why am I even fighting with reality, really? Seriously, it’s so not worth it. Better to come up with a plan to change it, or just be okay with it. Anyway, notice your “that shouldn’t have happened” statements. Observe them with fascination and then process through them. They have the power to stall your life completely. Who wants that? Not me. I choose moving forward and processing through things. Once I catch my “should have’s,” that is the key. Noticing them, and then, changing them.
The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) Who are you in life? Are you the hero solving things, or the person crying hysterically about their circumstances?
2) How do you feel when you think about the fact that life really isn’t supposed to be perfect?
Fly on over to our Empty Nest Flock Forum at youremptynestcoach.com/community to share your answers with the entire flock. The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that impact your life in a positive way.
My next episode’s title is Future You Has All the Power. Don’t forget to sign up for my free Thursday Thoughts About email. Sign up and every Thursday you will receive a thought from me, and I also share Your Empty Nest Coach updates.
It is listener feedback time. This one’s titled Life Coaching Based on Self-success, “It’s always impressive when the life coach has succeeded using the techniques herself, and Christine has big time. I’m eager for the next episode.” This is by reviewer 1946. Thank you, reviewer 1946, who may or may not be my father. That’s the best. Isn’t it?
I would love to read your feedback or review here in an upcoming episode. Either provide a review on Apple Podcast or tag me on social media. If you have a question you would like me to answer on the podcast, you may submit it in my Empty Nest Flock Forum or email me at podcast AT youremptynestcoach.com. Include your question and how you would like me to refer to you, meaning, should I use your name, a pseudonym, like empty heart in Erie, or anonymous.
Thank you so much for listening, my friend, and remember, you are amazing!
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