About two months ago, I made a promise to you. It was a promise to open up and share my heart with you in a genuine way. I told you I wished I could sit down and have coffee with each one of you, and we could have a good long chat. So, In the spirit of those old SNL “Coffee Talk” skits with Mike Myers as Linda Richman, let’s have cawfee, and let’s tawk! Here’s what’s on my heart this month.
The Comparison Conundrum
Comparing ourselves to others is something we all do. Sadly, we do it pretty much constantly. My friend is a counselor, and she tells her clients that we all play the “one-up” or “one-down” game with everyone we come in contact with every single day! What does she mean? Apparently, when we see another person, we instantly think about how we either “one-up” them because we are _________________ (fill in the blank with anything from more successful to better dressed, more physically fit, etc.) OR we “one-down” ourselves because they are “beating” us in one of these ways. We make these comparisons instantly, and without even realizing it. Evidently, we can’t really help it because it’s wired into our DNA. (Christians call this the sin nature of man.) Pause a moment and let this sink into your heart. That’s some seriously ugly stuff, y’all. Hopefully, by making ourselves aware of it, we can work on it and through it.
No matter how we appear to others, we all feel inadequate in some way. Truthfully, I go through a crisis of confidence every single day when I look around at other people.
So what can we do? In her book, Presence, Harvard social psychologist (and renowned TED Talker) Amy Cuddy, cites evidence that individuals who adopt expansive postures—legs spread, hands on hips—for 2 minutes can increase their confidence and lower their stress. In other words, just “power posing” like superman fools your body into having confidence. The TV show Grey’s Anatomy even wove this into one of their storylines.
Have you tried this? Does it work? Maybe when the daily doubts creep up on me, I’ll try it! When we took the photo at the top of this post, I explained to my millennial photographer, Megan, what I was doing. (The poor girl typically shoots with all the glam style bloggers and she’s pretty much slumming it with me.) After she took some shots of my “power pose” she asked me if I felt more powerful. Honestly, I just felt kind of silly! We had a good laugh about it.
I think I’ll just keep doing what I know works to combat those insecure feelings: reminding myself who I am and whose I am, and reminding myself why I do what I do (hopefully to bless and encourage you all). What helps you when you feel inadequate or discouraged? I’d love to know. 🙂
Social Media Frustrations
You’ve probably heard that Facebook and Instagram have changed things up a bit. As they make posts from your friends and families a priority over posts from businesses (which is what Empty Nest Blessed is considered), unfortunately, it means my posts probably aren’t showing up in your feeds as much as they used to (if at all). I feel terrible about this! Here are a few things you can do to be sure you see my posts in your feed.
- Be sure you’ve liked and you’re following Empty Nest Blessed on Facebook. Just liking my page (although I appreciate it!) isn’t enough. When you go to the “Follow” drop-down box at the top of the page, choose “See First.” If you don’t choose anything, then “Default” is checked, and that means new posts may not show up in your feed. If you already follow me, but you haven’t seen my posts lately, you might want to double check this setting.
- Another way you can make sure you continue to see the people you follow is to make sure you like or comment on their posts. If you don’t, the Facebook algorithm assumes you aren’t interested, and they won’t put them in your feed.
- Things are kinda similar over on Instagram. (We have lots of fun over there because I post lots of exclusive content in my feed and I share a lot about my life in my Instastories, so please follow me if you don’t already!) If you want to make sure you’ll see my posts in your feed, make sure you like and comment on my posts. (Even just an emoji is good!) It sounds crazy, but you need to show Instagram that even though you’ve chosen to follow somebody, you want to see their posts! To get things moving in the right direction, you might want to go back and like the last several posts on both my Instagram & Facebook pages. 🙂
- If you really want to go all in on Instagram and make sure you’re not missing a thing, you can click on the three little dots at the top right of my Empty Nest Blessed profile page and choose “Turn on Post Notifications” and/or “Turn on Story Notifications.”
- If you already follow me on Instagram, you probably know all about LiketoKnow.it. It’s a cool and convenient way you can shop my Instagram posts straight from your phone or tablet! Before Instagram’s updates, you could simply “like” one of my photos and receive an email with shoppable links once you’d registered with LiketoKnow.it. Now, you have to do things a little bit differently. If you have the free LiketoKnow.it app, you should follow “Empty Nest Blessed” in the app. Then you can screenshot my photos (press the home button and the on/off button simultaneously for one second) and you’ll get shoppable details in the app (or get an e-mail— depending on what settings you choose). If you’re confused, don’t worry, because you’re not the only one! (I actually wrote an entire post about it, because it’s so confusing!) Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
- Finally, if you don’t want to worry about catching my posts via Facebook or Instagram (I’m also active on Twitter & Pinterest if those are more your jam.), you can always just sign up for my email list so that you don’t miss a thing! (Honestly, it might just be the simplest thing to do!) I send out emails when I publish a new post (2-3 times a week), and you can always unsubscribe if I get on your nerves. 🙂
Back to a Full Nest—For the Summer
Our 25-year-old son, Connor, will be home studying for and taking the Bar Exam this summer before starting work in the fall. Our 21-year-old daughter, Becca, will be back performing in two shows at Dallas theaters and working this summer as well. Bob and I have been surprised/shocked/appalled by our somewhat mixed feelings about this! We’re excited to have them home, but also a little concerned about their invasion of our lovely and peaceful empty nest! As he and I discussed it, we realized that the real issue is the independence that all four of us are used to having these days. This summer, we’ll be four adults (who love each other a lot) sharing a space. We’re going to have to be respectful, kind, and patient with one another. Bob and I have spent significant time talking about how we’re going to address this with each of them at the beginning of the summer in order to get everyone on the same page. In Friday’s post, I’m going to share our plan with you.
A Few Final Thoughts
You’ve probably got friends or family members who will be new empty nesters this coming fall. Remember how that felt? I hope you’ll send them this way! I’ve got resources on my blog for Soon-to-be Empty Nesters, New Empty Nesters, and even Long-Time Empty Nesters who may still be struggling with the adjustment. You can find all of them, along with an entire section full of all the things I’ve written about The Empty Nest, at the top of my website on the navigation bar. (On your phone or tablet, click the “hamburger menu” that looks like three lines on top of each other to access this navigation bar.) BTW, if you typically read my posts on your phone and you’ve never actually checked out my website—like on a real computer—I’d love for you to do that sometime! I spend a lot of time making it user-friendly and beautiful, and you just may discover content you never knew existed.
So that’s what’s on my heart this month. What’s on yours? Please leave me a comment and let me know! I’m so grateful for each one of you, and your sweet comments and encouragement mean the world to me. Thank you for reading and following Empty Nest Blessed.
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(My shoes are sold out. I’ve linked similar.)
Photo by Megan Weaver.