As if that doesn’t keep Nancy busy enough, she has recently joined the Kuel Life Community as our TRANSITIONS Expert. Her first article for Kuel Life, Transitioning In An Unsettling Time is a great reminder that gratefulness and gratitude can be life changing.
Please help me welcome, Nancy. Week 39 in our Share Your Story series.
KUELLIFE: What are you pursuing now, at this stage of your life, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it comes out of left field?
NANCY: I am surprised that I am “just doing it” and am trying everything that sparks my interest. Taking the first step is always hard but I feel empowered by the fact that I have created three professions for myself and have taken them from ideas to real actual businesses.
KUELLIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
NANCY: No day is typical but balancing three jobs always requires planning and work at my computer answering and generating emails. I try to always do something fun each day which means either meeting a friend, taking a yoga class, tennis (my favorite), or spinning. Some days I coach my clients, others I am busy organizing the logistics for Stand Up! Girls, or I am busy researching or editing for MT Nesters podcast. It’s a juggling act but I am passionate about everything I do.
KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?
“I still struggle with saying ‘no’.”
NANCY: I still struggle with saying “no”. I am very social but I now have significant time constraints so I can’t do everything even though I would like to. I am also still struggling with my adjustment to becoming an empty nester despite a very full life. Saying goodbye to those wonderful years of having my family home filled with my kids and their friends is something that I miss dearly.
KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
NANCY: I am very passionate about the work that I do so motivation is not an issue for me. I guess when you love what you do, it really doesn’t feel like work.I became a life coach because I really enjoy helping people and it is very gratifying working with my clients. My podcast MT Nesters is co-run by myself and my college roommate Felicia Madison and is really a lot of fun. We interview guests who offer advice and inspiration to empty nesters who are transitioning to this “next stage” or trying to pivot. We also bring on experts who can help with physical and/or lifestyle changes; such as aging parents, nutrition, skin health, finance, and travel – just to name a few of the many topics we have explored. Lastly, I am the Executive Director of a non-profit called Stand Up! Girls which was launched three years ago. The mission of this organization is to provide stand-up comedy classes to underserved teen girls in the five boroughs of NY in an effort to help them develop confidence and learn how to express themselves through comedy. It has been extremely gratifying watching how the gift of learning stand-up comedy has empowered these young women.
KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
NANCY: My advice is to be kind to yourself and to appreciate who you are. Today is the best day you have. As I have aged into this next chapter, my friends have really sustained me on an emotional level. As we age, I encourage women to invest in spending time with other woman. Join a book club, exercise with a friend, play canasta, or do something that allows you to form bonds with women on a consistent basis. Laugh a lot. The crinkle lines beside our eyes can be a sign of beauty.
KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
“Vulnerability is the ability to let people see you try something new but without a guaranteed outcome.”
NANCY: Vulnerability is the ability to let people see you try something new but without a guaranteed outcome. I think I have had the ability to become more vulnerable as I have gotten older because I have become more comfortable with myself and less judgmental. I am also way more confident about what I need for a happy life so I am not as affected by other people’s opinions.
KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
NANCY: My marriage, the birth of my three children, and going to the University of Pennsylvania which gave me a lifelong social and professional network.
KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
NANCY: I think my beautiful mother, Judy, has had the most influence on me. Even though I only had her for 36 years, I learned so much from her. She was wise beyond her years and a constant source of comfort for me as I went through different transitions in my life. I always think about the things she taught me and they have become a foundation for everything that I do.
KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
NANCY: Just do it. Have confidence. Don’t wait for the right time, just start.
KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
NANCY: I am inspired by my sister-in-law who struggles daily raising a special needs child. While he has brought great joy and love into her life, it is nonetheless challenging. My sister-in-law, who is an advocate for the special needs community, always has a smile on her face and has taught me about acceptance. She recently told me she focuses on what she has and not what she doesn’t and I continue to be so inspired by her amazing attitude and her coping skills. She really is a hero to me and to so many people who are coping with kids with special needs.
KUELLIFE: Are you grown-up?
NANCY: I can honestly say yes, I am grown-up, and I believe that because I feel a sense of clarity and an understanding about how I want to live my life. I am very comfortable with my values and try not to worry about things that aren’t important (I wasn’t able to do that in my youth). Despite feeling grown-up, I still am silly a lot, love to laugh and still feel like I am in my 20’s even though I am now into middle age.
KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?
NANCY: Besides eating well, I love to exercise because it makes me feel good afterwards and sets my day off with the right intention. I try to spend time with friends, who make me feel happy and loved, and people that make me laugh. I also work on my mindset pretty regularly and try to always be grateful for what I have and to remember what is important in life.
KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
NANCY: I still want to visit Asia, make a lot of money, and I would love to meet Roger Federer.