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
Christine: It is time for a Quick Tips Tuesday episode of the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. I am your host, Coach Christine, and this is episode #66 of my podcast. If this is your first time listening, I invite you to check out my Friday episodes, as well, where I provide bite-sized coaching assistance to guide you along your empty nest transition years – it is an amazing time of our lives but it is easy to forget that through the bumps in the road in our journey. …
[Music: Intro – fades out]
Christine: It is time for a Quick Tips Tuesday episode of the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. I am your host, Coach Christine, and this is episode #66 of my podcast. If this is your first time listening, I invite you to check out my Friday episodes, as well, where I provide bite-sized coaching assistance to guide you along your empty nest transition years – it is an amazing time of our lives but it is easy to forget that through the bumps in the road in our journey. My hope is that you discover how amazing you are and find the excitement in your years ahead.
A reminder that all of the Quick Tips Team members and their contact information may be found on my website YourEmptyNestCoach.com – look for the Quick Tips Team button on the home page.
And if you have a quick tip to share with listeners of this podcast? I would LOVE to share it with them! See this episode’s show notes for a link to record your audio submission for this podcast. Happy recording, friend!
Wait, Christine, where are the show notes? That might help you, huh? You’ll find those in the description of this episode – on Apple Podcasts click, “Details”; on Spotify, Click “See More,”: on Overcast press the I for information – button – Get the idea?
Or of course, visit my website for full show notes with links to everything we discuss in this episode and a full episode transcript – those reside at your empty nest coach dot com forward slash p for podcast and 66 (for this number’s episode). I can’t wait to hear from you.
[Music: Sponsor Music]
Thanks! Thank you. It’s time to thank our sponsor. This Quick Tips episode is sponsored by my community: the Green Popsicle Sticks. Ready to find the GPS of your life? Then sign up for my Thursday Thoughts about email where you will gain immediate access to the GPS Life Principles document, and will receive a link to join our community – and it is all FREE! See the link in this episode’s show notes, or head to my website YourEmptyNestCoach.com and click the Thursday Thoughts About button to get started. See you there!
In this episode, this is the first time you’ll be hearing from our team member, Gretchen Hoffmann, she’s another team member who I met through Instagram – can you tell yet that I like to hang out there?
[Music: Guest Intro]
Gretchen: Hi, this is Gretchen Hoffmann, also known as The Planner Freak. I am the mother of two amazing kids, and in a former life, I was a marketing exec in the travel industry.
When Christine first asked me to be part of her quick tips team, I was honored, but at the same time, I was a little bit panicked. Where would I start? What would be my first tip? How would I go about compiling my tips? I said to myself, “Take a deep breath, sit down and think about it.”
So, my quick tip for today is to clearly know exactly what you are trying to accomplish; write it down on paper; and then break everything down into baby steps. Remember: start at the beginning and break down your steps.
The other advantage to this approach is once you have it laid out on paper, you can also see exactly which steps you may be missing, which ones you need to add, which ones you need to delete, or which ones you are going to need someone else’s help on. I hope this helps. Until next time, this is The Planner Freak.
[Music: Back to Christine]
Thanks, Gretchen! If you are a regular listener of my podcast, you’ve already been introduced to the following three ladies, so I’m going to let them do their magic without interruption. If you’d like to be formally introduced to them, be sure to check our our earlier Quick Tips episodes!
[Music: Guest Intro]
Carolyn: Hi there. I’m Carolyn Caplan, also known as AdmissionsMom, and I’m an independent college consultant.
My Quick Tips Today are about More Mindful, Meaningful College Visits.
Definitely, sign in at the admissions office and go on the official tours and info sessions. Pro tip for you, parents: go with a different tour guide than your child. That way you can feel free to ask as many questions as you want without their feeling like they need to sink into the ground and disappear.
And, If your child has learning or mental health issues, be sure to visit student support and counseling services and ask questions.
Then, I want you to get lost. Just wander aimlessly, but try to pay attention to what’s going on around you and your child. Put your phones away for a few minutes, and be mindful of their surroundings. See anything beautiful? Overhear any interesting conversations? Do the students look happy?
Head to the dining halls and try the food — your child might be eating it for the next four years!
Wander over to the gym, the library, the student union, an academic building or even the religious organizations if your child has a spiritual side. Can they picture themselves working out here? Studying here? Hanging out and making friends here?
Go to the bookstore and check out the gear. I like to add to my magnet collection, but maybe they’d prefer stickers or snow globes.
Ask questions. Lots of questions. Don’t be shy. Odds are they’ll never see these people again, and college students remember what it was like to be in their shoes. Ask current students what they like to do on a Saturday afternoon or a Wednesday night, or what their favorite spot on campus is.
Most of all, encourage your child to imagine how they’ll fit in on the campus. Can they easily picture themself here, happy and excited? They might need some space for this, so don’t hesitate to wander away and give them time to absorb and learn more about what feels right to them.
Good luck! Happy Visiting!
Christine: Next up is our traveling light expert, Katherine.
[Music: Guest Intro]
Katherine: When I carry my 28-liter day bag that weighs 11 pounds on my back, I’ve got everything I need. I have my capsule wardrobe, my toiletries in tiny jars in travel size containers, I’ve got three pairs of shoes – one of which I will be wearing, and other things like a rain poncho, a headlamp, a tiny first aid kit and lastly my very important hair straighteners.
I know, that sounds ridiculous, but to me it’s not. I have uncontrollable curly hair, and I like to make some effort.I sacrifice other things, like a fourth pair of shoes so I can take my essential straighteners. When I simplify my packing, I simplify my life. I’m not carrying extra stuff that I don’t care much to focus on.
Everything I need to survive and have fun with is on my back. I’m compact, comfortable, warm and safe with just the basics. So, my tip for today is take what you need. As in, you need to take what you need. If you have a skin care regime that uses five products, take all five of them but in little containers. If you have medicine, take enough for the time that you are away. I would never leave home without my asthma inhaler.
If you feel cold, take extra layers, just make them lighter versions, like a down filled jacket, rather than a bulky coat. And if the forecast is for rain, take a light rain coat, a rain poncho or a travel umbrella. And if you are going out to nice restaurants, include something that you feel good in for going out, but instead of taking multiple outfits, mix and match tops with skirts and pants. Taking what you need in smaller or lighter amounts is absolutely key for traveling light. Happy light travels!
Monica: Hi, everyone, this is your scholarship mom, Monica Matthews with another quick tip for you. My last tip introduced the SMART – S – M- A-R -T method of applying for college scholarships, and how you need to start right where you are, no matter how old or young your student is.
Let’s go into detail about each part of this method starting with the S in smart which stands for Share personal details. Scholarship judges have a great desire to learn more about each applicant, and the essay is usually the only chance a student has to share personal details that are not included when filling out the boxes on each application.
They want to know exactly why the student would be the best choice in representing their organization, and their final choice for a winner. Students need to view the college scholarship essay as an opportunity to set themselves apart from the many other applicants. Their goal should be to prove to the judges that they are the very best choice and deserve to win the scholarship money.
To do this, students can tell a story, in their writing, about how they’ve overcome personal obstacles in their lives, making sure to share specific details including feelings, lessons learned, and life changes made. Every effort should be made into avoiding turning personal details into a sob story, however, as this could have a negative effect.
Students need to write from their hearts in a mature fashion and use their personal stories to answer the college scholarship essay question completely, keeping it relevant to the prompt provided. Sharing personal details in the scholarship essay is something that each student trying to win money for college must do. And the bottom line is that students will win more scholarship awards by sharing personal details in their essays.
Don’t miss my next tip when I’ll share the second part of the SMART applying method: the M – market yourself.
Another great way of standing out from the crowd and getting noticed by the judges. Have a beautiful day!
[Music: Back to Christine]
Christine: My empty nest friend, I have a special bonus guest for you today! Leah Carey has stopped by!
[Music: Guest Intro]
Leah: Hi! I’m Leah Carey from the Good Girls Talk About Sex podcast.
If your nest has recently emptied, you’ve probably spent the last few months or years imagining how much fun you and your partner can have in the bedroom once the kids are gone.
But now that your nest is actually empty, it’s not unusual to discover that you’ve spent so much time and focus on your kids that you forgot to keep up the intimacy of your relationship … and now you don’t know how to get back into the groove in the bedroom. It’s time to re-learn how to be intimate with your partner.
Most important: don’t try to jump in all at once! If you and your partner are more like roommates than lovers, don’t surprise them with a big romantic gesture with candles and rose petals. Chances are good that you’ll both end up feeling even more awkward because you’re out of practice.
Instead, focus on initiating small bits of intimacy every day. Put your hand on their lower back as you cook together in the kitchen. Whisper a compliment in their ear before they leave for work (the specific compliment doesn’t matter – it’s drawing your partner into a moment of quiet warmth that is special for just the two of you.)
When we’ve gotten used to one way of doing things for a long time, it can be hard to wrap our mind around change – even if it’s change we want! So treat the re-establishment of your intimate relationship with your partner the same way you would a skittish cat – no sudden moves, no loud noises, let them sniff your hand and run away several times before they gain the confidence to inch closer. Here’s to your better sex life!
[Music: Back to Christine]
My amazing listener, if Leah has piqued your interest, be sure to check out her podcast because, let me tell you, she has a whole lot more to share with you – definitely. She will be back with another tip in the upcoming months but in the meantime, find her on her podcast: Good Girls Talk About Sex. Thanks for stopping by Leah!
[Music: Guest Intro]
And from me, today, I’d like you to consider discomfort.
[Music: Guest Intro]
Recently, what have you done – that you’ve chosen to do – that has made you uncomfortable?
Life has discomfort, whether you look for it or not, so why not choose discomfort as you work toward something you want?
It has been saying, “yes,” to requests to be a guest on other people’s shows. Audio is one step – video, well, that is a whole ‘nother level of discomfort for me. I know you are probably wondering, “Why is that even a problem for you, Christine, you’re on Instagram all the time in video?”
I guess because I don’t have the power to hit delete – not that I do that often for my posts, I actually rarely do it, but having that ability there, as an option, kind of gives me an out. It’s like an insurance policy, I guess. Knowing that, that isn’t there when I guest for others, that has the potential to drive me to inaction.
But, what’s happening is that I’m not being who I’m meant to be and I’m not serving those who need me.
And, here’s the thing, each time I step out of my comfort zone, it does get a little bit easier.
I’m thankful I chose the discomfort, and am learning from it.
See my show notes for a link to one of my first full video interviews with the lovely Amy Waterman and if you haven’t already heard my guest appearance on the fantastic podcast Hot Flashes and Cool Topics, pop over there, too – links are in my show notes!
[Music: Back to Christine]
I am thrilled you listened today. If you enjoyed this episode, and want the next quick tips episode to make its way to you in your favorite app, take a moment to subscribe to this podcast – it’s free, after all!
My next episode is titled “Becoming the CEO of Your Life: Part 3 of 5.” Did you hear the first two? Are you curious? Well, I hope so! If you are subscribed to my podcast, you’ll find it in your feed on Friday by 6 AM. You can start that series right now by listening to episodes 64 & 65. As always, I invite you to take a listen.
[GPS Exec Thank you music]
Thanks! Thank you! A huge shout out to my GPS Execs: the executive producers of my podcast! Visit my website or see my show notes for a link to learn how you may become a GPS Exec, where you will gain bonus access to me – and more!
If you aren’t driving and are able to do a screenshot of this episode and share it on social media to help others to find it, that would be super helpful to me and the team. Tag me @emptynestcoach so that I may thank you. OR if you can think of one other person who would enjoy this podcast, please, don’t keep it a secret.
And before I go, please remember that YOU ARE AMAZING!
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!
Receive periodic newsletters from Coach Christine, and get instant access to the free training:
As a courtesy, I will email you a link to the training. After all, sometimes we think we have 33-minutes, but life has other plans. I get it. 💚 Enjoy the adventure, and always remember that you are AMAZING!