best transition ever: grandparenting
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with Natalie caine

I Count Myself “In”, But…

July 3, 2020 | by Natalie Caine | 3 Comments

She gave me permission during this Covid time to share, changing her name.

I’m always the one in the room who raises my hand to help, to say I’m in.  Well, since sheltering at home and living solo, I don’t want to raise my hand.  People don’t get how much self-talk of cheerleading I do to make it through day and night and repeat for months, with no footsteps, no voices in the kitchen, no door opening to a hello, I’m home and no one to push me to go out for a walk.  How long could they endure this journey being solo? Do they ask themselves that before they want me to count myself IN? Sure, they say they feel badly for me and wow how do I do it day after day. It ends there.  No action plan.

I have been through hard times before, many. I never married, but I have had live in partners of love. I don’t have kids.  I believe in giving back, opening my heart, rising up, kindness, and participation.

Who hasn’t had hard times, really?  I get that.  Sometimes getting that people have had it worse than me has put my hand in the air, over and over.  This time, this hard, enduring time, this pain, has stopped me from joining IN. That is embarrassing to say out loud. I don’t think I am a selfish person. I’m not. The world needs a ME, a YOU, more than ever now, or that’s how it feels.  I know this. I am gratefully well-educated and youthful in energy, but this is my but.   I DON’T HAVE IT TO GIVE RIGHT NOW.

It is not because of this, that, or the other because that is limiting in thinking. It is not only a feeling.  Feelings aren’t always true.  This is a in my body knowing and a consistent knowing even when I have tried to get to a yes I can. Yes, you can count on me. Still.  I DON’T HAVE IT TO GIVE RIGHT NOW.

Friends and families are mad at me for my NO.  They judge me for sure. I hear it in their words and tone.  Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying I don’t wear a mask and social distance with conviction. I do 100%.  I am talking about participating in causes, right causes that have risen loud during this COVID. I have a heart and it breaks for others.   I am talking about ZOOM calls, Face Time that I don’t say YES to. I am talking about not getting in the best shape of my life because I have the time. I am talking about not cleaning out to someday donate. I am talking about not being on a committee right now to get out the vote, to help minorities have equal opportunities, for homeless to have shelter, for enough food for all, for jobs not to be lost, for children to be separated from their families, etc. 

So why did I call you today for a session?  I just want to say what is up for me. I want to know that I am connecting with someone who I believe will listen and remember what I am saying. BE A WITNESS OF ME.

Kate wept.

Take good care,


3 Responses

  1. Gayla says:

    So honestly and well written! Resonates within me!

  2. Thank you, Gayla. How are you doing these days? Take care, Natalie

  3. Julie says:

    I just found this group and what you said strongly resonates with me. feel exactly the same after my last child left. I’m a single empty nester- and am in the same mindset, although not by choice, I’m just tired, and my children were the motivation behind me being IN. Now, I’m spending time trying to figure out why my Why is now, what I Want. It’s hard to figure out what you want when all you’ve wanted for 30 years is to be with your children. I’ve been grieving – it took a while to actually identify, but once I realized I was grieving I was able to learn about grief. It’s been 3 years for me, and I’m a lot better in some areas, but still struggling in other areas. I too like you with pure joy put all my energy and time IN, and now, it’s just time to rest. But I’ll be back soon, giving with pure joy, when the time is right..

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Natalie Caine, M.A.