Here we are almost at the end of September.
The fresh fall scent in the air, warm days and crisp cool evenings. Perhaps you are enjoying sitting by an evening fire. Are you the type that enjoys watching the fall line up on TV? Are you finding your house a little on the quiet side? The kitchen does not have endless dishes. The fridge has finally been able to cool properly without the ever ending opening and closing. Your gas gage on the car has maintained a lovely setting of almost full all week long!
Are you in the first phase of the blush of empty nesting?
A few short weeks ago you may have made the trek to transfer your beloved darling child to their greatest adventure of all time. Which may be studying at a university or college located in another city, province or heavens…country.
Or are you an old hand at dropping off the new academic to start their wildest dreams.
This might not be your first rodeo at the #student #study #party #needtokeepfocused.
It however may be your first rodeo of #theygraduated #theyhaveajob #theyhavemovedout #nowwhat!
That first while is like being on a honeymoon. Remember back when? Just the two of you sitting in the evening and have deep meaningful conversations. Holding hands and gazing into each others eyes.
Well, I sure hope this is what it is like for you!
In my experience our empty nesting was different.
Yes, I was totally jazzed to finally get the dark grey walls of my sons’ room painted something airy and cheerful. I was looking forward to the zen meditation room I could create in my daughters room.
What I had not anticipated was the no buffer of children.
For a couple of decades the conversations my husband and I had may have started out deep and meaningful but quickly descended into something around one of the children.
It was a constant distraction and over time we lost the ability to really connect.
And there we were sitting next to each other looking at the other person and wondering “who are you?”
And then the even more curious and perhaps even scarier question “who am I?”
Wow! Both those questions kinda knocked me on my butt!
I was so wrapped up in the excitement of the kids growing up, their new adventures in studying, the great new jobs, the new partners in their lives
I had forgotten about my own dreams. I had lost my identity along the way. I was more than a mom, wife, chauffeur, shoulder to cry on when life seemed unfair.
I was a woman who had dreams, bursting with creative ideas, opinions (just ask my husband he will agree on that one). I needed to reacquaint myself with, well myself!
That was when I began my journey, a transition of “who I thought I was” to “who I truly am”.
Yes, some may say it is spiritual which I agree. My thoughts on spirituality is about discovering self love, self acceptance, self awareness while connecting to the oneness of the universe.
I was able to accept that I could put myself first and that did not mean I did not love my family. It meant that I would get more energy and be able to more present and show up as my authentic self.
This was an opportunity for an ending to something, while I transition into another phase of my life.
It was exciting and scary at the same time. Would I change so much my relationship to my husband would suffer? It was difficult I will not kid you on that but it was not about failure or success it was accepting each other as we were. We had grown so much and our view on life had taken on deeper values. We still had our sense of humour. We could still trigger each other but most importantly we respected each other for the people we had become.
I love learning all the different aspects of myself.
My children oscillated between GO MOM and WHERE DID MOM GO?
I was ready to explore who this grown up woman was and to really understand my early beginnings.
The life experiences that shaped my views and outlook on life. I was excited to learn that I had a blueprint for my life.
That all the components of myself were placed strategically to optimize my growth experience.
Now that was exciting!
I was able to see how different patterns would help me in my relationship to my self and relationships to others. It is an ongoing journey with no particular destination in mind, but man I love the scenery along the way! Even when it feels like there are boulders on the path. I know I have the ability to choose the ease to walk around the boulders, or the more difficult to climb over them.
Yes, my relationships have changed, some have deepened, some have fallen away.
My husband and I have experienced some difficult challenges during our transition time of empty nesting. Having the knowledge of our patterns and who we truly are helped rediscover our relationship. We maintained our sense of humour, we connected with each other in a new way and we started to embrace and enjoy our children as adults (although they will always be my kiddos first).
Transition from a full house to empty nesters can be sometimes exciting. It is the transition from I knew “who I thought I was “ to “who I truly am” that is exhilarating.
I am happy to help!
I can’t help you choose what to make over your child’s room into.
I can help you discover the answer to your question of “who am I?”
Until next time,
From the minute we bring a child home we are planning their future. And here it is the day you have been waiting for. What a ride! The day has arrived your little precious child is all grown up and heading off to his or her excellent adventure that perhaps requires secondary education.
An adventure that will probably cost about $30,000.00 or more per year.
Yikes! That will cause some nights of, did we plan enough to pay for it all? Will they actually study or will it be one expensive party year? Will they use that degree in the studies of:
• Politicizing Beyonce
• David Beckham
• Zombie Studies
• Simpsons and Philosophy
• Arguing With Judge Judy
• Harry Potter and The Age Of Illusion
• Star Trek
Yup these are apparently degrees one can choose from says Google. So if you have an aspiring wizard or they have argued with you since their first word which was NO in a language that sounded Klingon, they are certainly covered.
What an amazing time in both of your lives.
The transition from carefree child to child that has to make decisions based on an interest in the moment, to hope that there will be employment in 4 years.
No pressure there right?
The transition from cheerleading, hovering parent to “so you do understand that you will have to get up on your own and go to class all by yourself”. Right?
Perhaps you are saying, “been there done that and got the graduation picture to prove it”.
Our 34 year old son loved coding from a very young age. In fact he helped me design my first website when he was about 13. I was sure he was going to be the next Bill Gates. Nope, that was not happening. From the age of 4 to this day he is a Lego fanatic as creating and building was a passion of his. When the time to choose his secondary education, he chose College with a degree in Electronics Engineering. It was the best of both worlds and he still loves what he does.
My fondest memory is our daughter who is 3 years younger than her brother debating with him if she could or could not read a chapter book. She was in Kindergarten at the time. Her hands firmly planted on her hips she won the debate with a “I can read words and chapter books are just a bunch of words.” She checked out her first library chapter book and her love of words took her to University graduating with a degree in English. Her career is helping others find their words to market their business. This journey was an interesting one of many career changes. One which lead her into the trades for over a year as a apprentice glazier. At the time she felt it was the hardest job as it was very physical and she learned a lot about herself and her “true grit”. However, her love of words kept calling until she answered it to follow her true passion.
Ah yes, life transitions no matter what, they alter our lives and our perceptions of ourselves, and how we view the world.
Think back over situations that felt transitional.
Did you ever wonder why you chose to receive that particular degree or training…before you knew there was one on Harry Potter studies?
What felt right in that moment that this was the path for you?
Did you choose for yourself?
Did you choose out of family obligation? (or after a long line of Podiatrists the change to Zombie studies was made.)
What was the deciding factor?
Did the choice continue to satisfy you or after some years a change in studies or career happened?
Did you graduate with a degree or training to say "nope, I do not think this is for me"?
We are hard wired for certain experiences and learnings. It comes in our soul design of what will help us grow expand and fulfill our souls purpose, as it explores the human journey.
When a life transition comes into play having deep knowledge of our blueprint helps the navigation.
When making the decisions based on how we are designed, they can be made with a clarity, focus and confidence.
Yes, of course we still may want to change our minds about studying philosophy according to Homer Simpson to Politicizing Beyonce, but we will understand why learning each of those topics are of interest, and why it was required in being who we are designed to be.
It supports our decisions and we can release judgment of failure, and embrace the truth that at our core we are perhaps curious by nature. It may be that changing midway allows us to receive various world views that are important to our growth and how it relates to our contribution to the planet.
Understanding your soul blueprint will help you see the patterns of why you chose a particular path, how you are designed to make your decisions and where you will apply your unique abilities to fulfill your purpose.
Whether you have a small child just starting school, a young adult heading off to write their own adventure, or you are questioning the next chapter in your own life, having a guidebook will help along the way.
I am happy to help!
I can’t help you study for the Harry Potter exam.
I can help support you while you make choices “to boldly go where no man has gone before..."
Until next time,
Summer is over and everyone is getting back to schedules and routines. This year is a biggie as you may be having a child entering into the school system for the first time, or, it could prompt a walk down memory lane of past years.
The excitement of the shiny new backpack, lunch kit and outfit soon turns into crying and resistance…and that is just you! Your child may be having the easier time.
It is a huge life transition that first time we see out little precious child off to school. Having the anxiety of will they be ok? Who will they sit with at lunch? Will they make friends? Are they prepared enough to be without our help? (aka hovering) And if they have to take a school bus, well that is just a full blown parent meltdown right there.
Does any of this ring a bell? (No school bell pun intended.)
Well, let me tell you a true story about the resilience of a child, the strategy of a parent and the success during change.
Despite my helicopter parenting our child did manage to grow up and have a well adjusted life. Our son is now 34 years old. He has a great career, lovely partner and lots of friends. He is our first born and like most first borns a cautious child. Yes as a first time parent I hovered, I did enjoy seeing him play in the park but I was always on high alert for something that might harm him.
And then it became THAT DAY.
In our area they had just introduced Junior Kindergarten and so at the tender age of 5 he would be attending morning school. I was a stay at home mom which meant he did not have any daycare experience. I did go out and have babysitters however it was not all day every day. We began the introduction of school. The chats about how amazing school is, the fun and friends that would be experienced, all of this to alleviate my anxiety more than his.
Then the unspeakable happened.
Three weeks before the start of school he fell ill. I rushed him off to the hospital one morning, my husband remaining at home with our younger daughter. I stood in a sterile room with a young intern who announced our son had diabetes.
It felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. The room felt devoid of any oxygen and the voices seemed far away. My mother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer several weeks earlier and I had just returned from spending time with her. I announced I can only deal with one disease at the time so no I don’t think I can do this. In that moment the Paediatric Endocrinologist entered took one look at the wild eyed woman and announced find this woman a seat and a cup of tea!
In that moment I began to breathe, I sat down, drank the tea and waited for my husband to arrive. It was quite the whirlwind of activity that day. Our son was admitted to hospital for about a week. In a blink of an eye we were to transition from being parents to become experts on diabetes, nutrition, psychology and every medical practice known to man. Well...it felt like that!
As we met in the Paediatrician’s office to discuss all things diabetes. She started to discuss schedules, routines and the importance of eating on time, preplanning outings and the list got longer and longer. My husband starts to laugh at which the Dr. says in a rather stern voice, “Mr Ptak, this is a very serious situation you know.” The chuckle gets louder as my hubby wraps his arm around me in a hug and replies “Ya Doc, meet the Queen of Routine, nothing in our house is about to change.”
Yes I am that woman. I love being organized and planning and schedules… lists, and routines, and colourful sticky notes everywhere till everyone around me is driven mad.
Yup, a truth bomb right there folks!
Well, our son came home and we did settle into a new norm. It was not without challenges, tears, frustration, bouts of overwhelm and waves of fear. But as time went on it did get easier and as I said earlier he did grow up and is healthy and happy.
The school year started and that first day was mixed emotions, happy, fear, anxiety, joy, excitement and it cycled to each one several times. Now remember it is only the morning school so from 9:00 till 11:30 and he was in the awesome care of a seasoned Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Cooper. We had met before hand to come up with a strategy that we could all agree upon and our main objective was kid first, diabetes second. It was in that moment in the hospital when our son asked was this forever and I replied “yes and you can control your diabetes it does not control you.” (in a more kid friendly way I recall.) It must have worked because he has always managed his diabetes in a balanced way (somewhat like a cautious first child he is) while not letting it stop him from having a full life..
I did not know then what I know now, but it is my stress pattern of being organized that helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life. The routines and schedules that I loved was actually helping me parent a diabetic child through one of his most difficult life transitions.
I could see it was helpful. It became my barometer as to how overwhelmed I was when I only wanted to make lists and organize stuff….the busy work so I could stuff down any emotions that were bubbling to the surface. When a situation that was not planned (or on the list) I could either go into a tailspin of trying to control it or allow it to unfold. Sometimes it flowed sometimes I held on so tight my hands hurt, either way I got new understanding from it. That new understanding helped propel me forward and take action.
We all have a pattern that we default to during stress time.
Stress can be sending a child off to school for the first time. It can be a parent deciding which lunch kit will be easier for them to manage. It can be standing in a room having the air sucked out of you as life altering news is delivered. It can be choosing which sticky notes will look best as you design and plan your month.
It is all about how we view stress, deal with it or choose to ignore it. The truth is that stress is there for a purpose. It will propel you into taking action and even not taking action. Which is still an action! Ponder that one for a while. (insert large smile)
I would invite you to ask yourself:
If you seem to have a “pattern” to your stress times in the questions you ask, and the behaviour in the response you may benefit from learning how stress helps you. How it motivates you, or, how it can prompt resistance that will create more opportunities for understanding your stress strategy.
I am happy to help!
I can’t help you pick out the coolest lunch bag.
I can help you understand your strategy pattern for stressful times.
Until next time,