Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.
I’ve been trying to find a word for what I’m experiencing lately. It’s a need to secure some things, free up others. I’m preparing for something. I’ve been letting go of the past while preparing for the very near future. I realized today what I’m doing: I’m Empty Nesting!
On May 30th, I will have been divorced for 2 years. These past two years have been the most incredible time of change. It’s sad that we only get to go through this focused time on ourselves after a divorce.
First, I found myself focused on my teenage daughter. When we left the marital home, she was 13. (We left 6 months before my divorce was final).
I focused on her health and happiness while I began working on my own. First, I did some work on my exterior starting with a blepharoplasty on my eyes. Then, I shed 50 pounds. And the following year I got a hysterectomy (medically required) and a breast augmentation (I promise you that I did that for me and not for a man. I haven’t even begun to date. I wanted a better hanger for my clothes.
At each phase I was also working on my emotions, my mental clarity, and began to note what brought me please and pain in my life and in my business.
I would pay close attention to times when I caught myself smiling or humming or “dreaming”. I also paid close attention to when I was feeling a knot in my stomach, pain in my neck and shoulders, or “hopeless”. Luckily, “hopeless” didn’t come often even though I’m predispositioned to depression.
When my teenager turned 15, I started really beginning to think about the future. I wondered where I would be, who I would be with, and what life would look like.
And then I realized that it was time to begin shaping what I wanted it to look like. This was one of those defining moments.
I started thinking about my age as well, heading towards that big 50 and realized I hadn’t truly protected my daughters the way I want to. So I got life insurance.
It was a celebration because I had always been denied or had to buy expensive insurance without a great pay off because of my health. I used to smoke, was overweight, and had stacks of medical files from pain management and stress issues.
I passed with flying colors and got the policy.
Then, I began sould searching and really looking into my businesses. I was startled at what I found. The same pain points over and over again. I was miserable being the boss.
As much as my nature is to be a leader, it’s lately become much quieter. I’m happier alone most of the time. When I’m alone, I don’t have to worry about what I say or how I say it or how it lands. I
When I looked back over all my years in business, since I was 21 years old, I was the boss. And I have never been happy in that role. It’s gotten worse over the years. My constant battle to change my fast moving, blunt personality has always been a tough internal war.
I’ve always been a wife, a mom, and in-charge. I’m ready to wind down the “responsibility” of being needed daily. Don’t get me wrong, I’m helping my daughter through college and supporting both daughters as a mother forever. I just mean the day to day responsibilities of other people’s livelihood.
Now, in this “empty nesting” phase, I decided to begin preparing for what I want my 50’s and 60’s to look like as far as work is concerned. Luckily, I sort of accidentally built a great affiliate marketing business that is going to serve very nicely in this next chapter.
I recently changed my Las Vegas real estate team to fit a model that is more appealing to me. And I love it. I generate the leads and my team works with the clients. They are self-sufficient and don’t need me to do their end of the business. I’m happy to keep that going and growing as long as it works.
I gave my marketing agency to my brothers. I founded Ballen Brands a few years ago to serve as a web development and marketing company for real estate agents. It functioned much like my real estate model in that I didn’t have to physically be anywhere and rarely did I work with a client. My brothers did.
And in looking at where I want to be in the next 24 months, I realized it wasn’t serving me and caused me stress in being “the boss”. I’ll hold revenue share as long as the business exists, but it requires nothing of me other than lead generation if it were to grow.
My internet marketing course The Ballen Method is great. It allows me to work in it when I want and since I love teaching, I’m in there a lot. Yet it demands no physical location for me to work in it and no employees.
I’m also enjoying the growth of my Keto for weight loss blog and training.
Traveling and Teaching is certainly something I’d like to do more of especially with having more and more freedom with each passing day. And in 23 months, I’ll just need cat care to travel. (since Gideon the doorstep cat adopted me).
The ultimate reward for my years of blogging, making video, and building influence is that I now earn 6 figures in affiliate commissions. I’m digging my heels in and building. I’ve got multiple websites going as well as youtube channels and love, love, love this world. My passion for content, search engines and social media lends to my perfect business for today and the future.
I’m done with the stress of trying to “be” what someone else wants me to be as a leader. I’m over the rat race of trying to compete my way to the top. Don’t get me wrong, I’m competitive. Now I do it by competing with my own scoring system rather than with others. I want to be better than I was yesterday not than anyone else.
I’ve gotten rid of everything from my past. I have no photo albums, no wedding dresses, no “stuff”. Everything I need to remember is in my heart and in my mind, not a keepsake in a boxed frame.
This is freeing.
I’m noticing the need to simplify, to get rid of anything that doesn’t serve me, and not collect anything for the sake of collection.
Last month, while I was on a cruise with my daughters, I hired someone to come re-do my apartment. My requests? Neutral colors, a water fountain, a fireplace, a glider chair. Simple. Peaceful. Clean and Open.
It’s gorgeous. It’s perfect.
The Plant Club - $73.95
While I’ll admit I struggle with the “aging” part, or rather, what aging does to our body and image, I’m loving today more than I have ever loved life. I love peace. I love the freedom. I love the energy this all brings. I love the creative process of my work.
And over the next 23 months, I will continue to obsess with paying off those darn back taxes, getting debt free, and having complete freedom to choose. I’m so blessed to have this time with my daughters as they grow into their own identities and follow their passions.
Choices. Freedom. Travel.
Yes, I’m going to love the 50’s!!! (I’ve still got 2 years till I reach that decade by the way. As I said, I’m empty nesting)