This past week, my mom and I took my niece and my daughter to Tallahassee to begin getting my niece prepared for her Fall start at FSU. My daughter will be starting college the following year, so we’ll be touring campuses for her too. So much excitement in knowing they will be starting their journey into adulthood, being independent and responsible for themselves, and having the freedom to make the choices they want, but so scary … lots of big changes ahead for them and for me!
Moving ahead in baby steps
I’m realizing it’s something to take in every single moment as the changes are taking place. At 17 and 19, there’s still a lot of teenager going on. I see where they want to be independent but also want things taken care of for them. They want to take charge but don’t know all the bases that need to be covered. They want freedom but not all the responsibility.
I talk to my daughter about being on her own, self-awareness, awareness of her surroundings, being prepared for the unexpected. She’s doing more daily things on her own as she discovers her independence. She and her boyfriend recently drove several hours out of town for the first time to go to an NBA game. This was a bigger step for me than for her. She took the initiative to use GrubHub to have cookies delivered to her at 1 AM (bonus: with her own money!) instead of whining to me that she wanted something. I’m cautious but I put my fears aside, take a step back to allow her to lead and support her through making her own decisions whether I totally agree with them or not.
We help our children transition into adulthood by providing guidance and giving space for growth, allowing them to make mistakes. Baby steps. Gradual.
Yet, I still find myself with so many questions with unknown answers that will have to be planned and figured out as we go along.
What if I’m not ready for them to leave? How does this change the day to day routine? What about all the girl’s days shopping and getting pedicures and the summer trips to the Keys we do together? I cherish these as it’s been our tradition for the four of us to do together. Is it coming to an end? Will we be able to still find time to do these things together?
But I wasn’t ready!
We instinctively prepare our kids for the next steps as they grow from baby to toddler to teen and into adulthood. But who prepares us as adults?
It seems there is a stopping point. We keep going physically but often we hit a wall and don’t want or know how to go further.
It’s a lot to process and can be overwhelming. Any significant life transition most likely will feel this way.
What do you do once the kids have left? Who do you become when you’re no longer so busy being Mom? How do you spend your down time you longed for but now are so lost with what to do?
Have you felt this way before? Who is preparing YOU for your next season?
Steps to ease a transition
You can move forward gracefully and with a plan. It’s an opportunity to create the life YOU want. It’s your time to make decisions, to take the lead, to know what you want and how it looks and what you want to feel … much like a teenager becoming an adult …
- Recognize the parts of what’s changing that you are trying to hold on to. What are your fears? Are they valid or anxiety taking hold of the unknown? Accept that you are feeling this way, give yourself permission to be a little bit scared and nurture yourself rather than trying to push through. Embrace what you are feeling. Write it down in a journal and/or talk about it with someone. As my friend Lisa had responded on Facebook to a question I posted regarding transitions, “Stay in the moment, expecting the best although not knowing how it will play out. Mentally, I was able to prepare and plan but the emotional hurdles of transition were the most challenging.”
- Find support through a friend, coach, counselor, mentor or someone has been through a similar experience and has reached a positive outcome. Be careful not to get wrapped up in a complaining session. Use communication as a breakthrough rather than finding company in your woes. It’s always easier to meet the lower vibration but you can take the lead here and even be a motivator to someone else. What would you encourage your kids to do in a similar but different type of situation?
- Look to the future. What are you looking forward to as a result of the journey? There is always something waiting on the other side … so many possibilities! Are you going to have more time on your hands? Consider all the new opportunities available to you. What have you been putting on the back burner that you’ll finally have time for? (Give this some thought, journal through some ideas … you may not be used to thinking about yourself first.) Be open to the growth process.
- Let go of any resistance you are still feeling. Know that you are going through a transformation and it can be uncomfortable. Be okay with that and allow it to happen naturally.
- Useful tools. If you have never meditated before, now is an opportune time to start. When I’m going through any kind of stressful situation, I prioritize my meditation practice. With a clear mind, I find I’m able to stay more relaxed and calm, make better decisions, process through my thoughts as I recognize the repeating patterns and let them flow through me, and not be overwhelmed with everything going on.
You got this!
The most important thing is not to get stuck. Take advantage of the opportunity to visualize the life you want on the other side and set the manifestation in progress through your thoughts and actions. This is your time to CREATE THE LIFE YOU DESIRE in this moment.
If you are in a stage of transition right now, what does the process look like for you, how are you moving forward and where do you want to end up? Message me or post in the comments. I’d love to hear about it!
Your Zen Friend,