Life After Kids TV – 2/8/11- Being Your Own Boss

On the next “Life After Kids with Marla Schulman,” meet an accomplished business woman, “solopreneur” and a wonderful woman I am happy to call a friend, Rebecca Quinn.  She’ll be discussing life after working for a big corporation, how to become a solopreneur and offer you some insight as to the joys & pitfalls of being your own boss!

Also, she’ll be giving you some great tips on starting over, networking and how you can find new clients ! So tune in to Life After Kids tonight @8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific!

Here’s the Link to the Live Show  And don’t forget to get your free Stickam.com account so you can log in & chat with us LIVE !

Emptying The Nest or the Re-Organization of Marla

Marla's Messy OfficeSomehow I got my dates mixed up, and thought Mercury was going into retrograde today, though I should have known my bestie, Zoe Moon, and THE best astrologer I have ever met EVER, would have sent up the smoke signals to let me know.  So, working on that assumption, I decided to re-organize my office which has been in a total state of disarray since it was primarily being used to house my foster pups and boxes of papers, files, books, magazines, old batteries, power cords, cell phones – all waiting to be recycled, photographs waiting to be put in albums, business cards waiting to be scanned in, and office supplies I keep buying because I can’t find the ones I bought the last time I couldn’t find them.

Okay, I admit, I have a problem with throwing things out – probably because my dad was a depression baby and he saved everything for a rainy day – I learned to hang on to every thing cause you never know when I am going to need that little piece from the thing-a-ma-whatcha that I can’t find now, but I will some day.

I hate living like this, but I do and I don’t do anything about it until Mercury is in Retrograde, when I would then tear apart my drawers, my office, my garage and make some headway….but there was always that few boxes of stuff that I could never part with that has gone from move to move to move to room to garage to closet.  You get the picture.  I am not a hoarder by any means, but I just feel comfort knowing I have my stuff there for a rainy day. In fairness to myself, my back injury did not allow for any physical activity and I was able to hire a local handyman to handle some things for a while, but he can’t got through boxes and files, and I wasn’t able bodied enough to do it.

But my back isn’t getting better, but it’s not getting worse and the time has come to really empty out my nest, and let go of whatever it is that I am holding onto…to clean out my closets, garage, files and life of those things that I really don’t need anymore….

What don’t you need anymore and how are you going to handle it ???

Let’s talk about this tonight at 9pm ET/6pm PT on LifeAfterKidsTV!

Independence Day

Independence DayAs your children grew up and became more independent, did you find yourself holding on a bit tighter? And when they were finally out of the house, how did you deal with their departure, with a sense of dread or a burst of independent spirit?

In honor of July 4th, Independence Day, let’s think about how we dealt with our own independence and how it shaped our relationships with our spouses, significant others, friends or children!

Staying Connected

Perhaps the hardest part of the empty-nest syndrome was, for me, letting go of a routine of brief, but meaningful moments with your children.  Whether it was breakfast on the run, carpooling them to school or an urgent trip to the shopping mall for clothing that they grew out of over night.  You still had a consistent connection and the ability to know what was going on in their lives.

Now, you’re lucky if you get a phone call every few days and even then it’s interrupted by another call that is more important than you.  Certainly you know they need money when they linger on the phone and ask you all about your week, your day and how you are feeling!  In either case, neither is satisfying your parental need to know and feel connected.

How do you navigate the choppy waters of a parent-child connection when they’re on their own?  I have some ideas to share on the next edition of Life After Kids on Mingle Media TV Network!

How Empty is Your Nest?

Life After Kids
Please Join me for the debut of the LIVE Web Series LIFE AFTER KIDS this Sunday at 9P EDT/6p PDT on MingleMediaTV.

Sunday’s show will begin to explore what is known as empty-nest syndrome – the time when your child or children have grown, are no longer living home and have begun their own lives – very often not including “you.”

It doesn’t matter if you are a single parent, or a couple, this change in parental status can have profound effect on us,  for some it may be a traumatic time filled with loneliness and for others, it maybe the long awaited freedom to be an “adult” again.

I want to hear from you. What was your experience? How did it affect you? or your partner or spouse? What did you do to deal with it? I will share my experiences and I hope you will share yours.

Sunday is just the beginning of an exciting journey we can all take together to find and follow our bliss!  So, let’s start that conversation Sunday @6pmPDT/9pmEDT on MingleMediaTV!

Tending My Garden

Stop and Smell the Flowers!I  love my garden!  It has always been my place of refuge and renewal and now as spring has sprung, the energy is palpable as everything is starting to bud and bloom. So today, I took some time to sit in my backyard and surveyed the new palette of colors about to spring forth. The lushness of the green grass, the bursts of magentas, reds, pinks and yellows bursting forth and and thought how my garden had evolved since I first moved into my house three years ago.

Until I injured my back over a year ago, I was the sole CGO – Chief Gardening Officer of a large, but barren backyard I acquired I bought my house.  It was one of the main reasons I fell in love with this property.  I saw the possibilities in this brown patch of earth that was now all mine.  Before I settled in this house, I had to move 7 times in ten years (that’s a story for another time) so I would plant flowers and herbs in containers and take them with me when I left.  After all, these were my creations, living art, as it were, and I could not bear to leave my masterpieces behind for someone else.

Anyway, from the moment I settled in and until my back injury of ’08,  I would always find something to plant all year ’round.  I reveled in trying all sorts of flowers, shrubs and grasses and learned along the way why some varieties made it and some didn’t.  Was it the poor soil that needed enriching, was it the sun – too hot in some areas – too lacking in others, was it what fertilizer I used or was it too much water or not enough.   I would not be discouraged when some plantings wouldn’t take, because there were others that did, or, surprisingly enough some would come back from the dead the next season.

Nature like life is very unpredictable.  So today as I surveyed my pride and joy, I felt that my commitment to experimentation, in the face of failure, had finally paid off.  I felt a hint of sadness since I would not be able to do any planting this year and there are so many more varieties left to be tried.  But, for now, it is not to be.  Instead I have been made to realize, that it’s okay not to do, but to be.  Stop, as they say, and smell the flowers and be satisfied in a job well done.

What is your “garden”?

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Reflections on an Empty Nest

My nest feels empty at the strangest moments.  Like when I open the refrigerator to see a half-consumed bottle of wine, some coffee creamer, leftover Chinese food and way too many individual packets of soy sauce instead of a refrigerator overflowing with homemade and healthy foods, sandwich fixings, power drinks and granola bars that you packed ever so carefully your child’s backpack daily.   I mean, nowadays,  it’s cheaper to eat out or call in then to shop and cook for one.   And when your children were young, of course, as filled as your refrigerator was, there was always something one or the other needed that you didn’t have, and as a dutiful mom, you would run out at store closing to make sure they had exactly what they wanted, when they wanted it.  That was then, and this is now.

Okay, so now that they’re gone,  I promised I would write something everyday, just for me, as I would have so much more time on my hands not having to cater to boys’ the daily needs, but I have been sorely remiss.  I had been feeling joyful and happy  in my phase of  life after kids,  loving not having a strict routine, and loving being more in the moment.  But in the past month, that seems to have shifted a bit and with all the time in the world to write, it was the last thing I wanted to do.

Having moved seven times in ten years, I had accumulated more stuff than any ten people should be allowed to collect in one garage, so with my bad back, I decided to hire someone to help clear the clutter out of my life.  She would do the heavy lifting and I could sit there and pass judgment on every item.  Keep. Toss. Donate. File. Shred. Maybe. Keep. NO – Toss!

But as we dug in, the more we tossed, the heavier a fog of melancholy weighed me down.  Was it the impending milestones my sons were about to reach tugging at my heart?  My eldest was going to graduate from college and my “baby” was going to graduate from high school. Where had all the time gone?  Why are they so grown up and I am still so young? What am I to do now?

Oh the joy and the pain of it all.  I miss my babies.  I missed having them depend on me for mostly everything.  I missed feeling like  I was the only one who can give them what they wanted and needed.  But of late, the heavy lifting  as a parent is done.  I have loved, nurtured and guided  my boys in the best way I knew how. I have hoped and prayed that I have supported them and taught them enough to fly the coop and someday make a nest of their own.  I have given them everything from the bottom of my heart and sometimes from the very bottom of my wallet.

So while the media swears my nest is empty and I will attest to the fact that my cupboards and refrigerator are pretty much bare, the fact remains that my nest will always be full.  Maybe not with the pitter-patter of little feet or the wretched smell that emanates from a soccer backpack after a big tournament, or teary faces to be wiped, but full of the promise of what these boys have now become as they take the next step on  journey to become men and the pride in knowing that I didn’t do such a bad job after all and maybe I did help them a bit along their way!

Originally posted 6/9/09