THE FIVE THINGS I GAINED FROM MY EMPTY NEST
1. I can get through missing my daughter and not being able to speak with her for weeks as she traveled with a professor to Ghana , Africa , her sophomore year of college.
2. I do trust my relationship with her and know that if she needs comfort, brainstorming, or simple connection, she will call.
3. I LOVE MY ALONE TIME away from the everyday role of mom.
4.I keep finding new parts of myself that are sweet, sappy, sexy, and sour.
5. I love the life I have for now and I am not giving up on dreams.
Children will come back and go away and what we parents have is a great teacher of love, our children. Children are meant to attach, separate, wrangle, flip the pages, fall, rise, love, lose and LIVE THEIR OWN LIFE.
We as a community of parents, I hope we choose to help each other through the celebrations and disappointments. I am passionate about offering a hand while you sort, stumble, and re-invent who you are beyond parenting. Once a parent always a parent but children need to grow taller and fill their lives with other hands to hold.
Just keep the softest Kleenex in your pocket and remind yourself that feelings of tears or anxiety or loneliness are simply feelings. They aren't the monster under the bed. They are your precious feelings. They won't flood you forever and they for sure aren't fun but are part of change.
Children leave. We have been tossed to compost something new for ourselves and you just might find a freedom and joy you didn't know existed before.
I am practicing being brave from the trite idea of wearing sleeveless and yes, letting people see I sag…ok you can laugh now, to the more empowering idea of asking people for help and knowing I can handle, “You must be kidding me. The answer is no.” I ask for help often and there is always a higher ladder for me to climb in my vulnerability yard. What if they feel used? What if they think I should be able to do that already by myself? What if they think I call too often? What if they thought I was powerful, smart, and now think I am a weak fool. Oh so many voices that can scream in my head when I am reaching beyond my comfort zone, but I have decided to reach anyhow. I won't be around forever so I might as well flip on the lights and show myself today. And, also give myself permission to curl in the comfort of my covers if I feel wobbly.
I just love the word AND…paradoxes, opposites are a good awareness to hold.
So what braveness are you, ready or not, going to bring into the light?
Happy back to school for all of us on the path of learning and letting go,
Featured in TIME Magazine, Lifetime Radio for Women, NY TIMES, USA TODAY, LA TIMES, BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS, Washington Post
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