the nest

the nest

Monday, September 4, 2017

true confessions

I've been avoiding blogging since my last post for many reasons. The biggest? I've been fooling myself for the last year and didn't want to admit it. For over a year I've been building up to the launching of my last "chick" into the world. I went on and on about how ready I was to graduate from HS. To be done with driving to activities. To be done making breakfasts, lunches, last minute trips to school. To be done with committee's. To be done with raising children.

What a load of crap. For the last 24 years the most important work I've done is raise my children. I've done lots of other things too, but to be honest, they all came second. In fact, I used my children as an excuse any number of times for not doing "more." I needed to be available to them. THEY CAME FIRST.

A week and a few days ago, we dropped the girls off at school - Katy for her Senior year and Helen for her first year. We've talked and texted several times since then, but for the most part, they are living the next part of their life. I'm drifting a little.

It doesn't help that this time of year is always a challenge for me. I love the colors of fall and the cool temperatures, but my mood takes a tumble every damn year. Never so far that I can't function thanks to a little medicinal help and my Happy Light which I'll begin using soon, but far enough that I feel like a fuck up. My mouth sinks into the gutter. Sorry mom.

I don't need anyone to tell me I'm good at anything. I know I'm good at many things. I know I'm respected and loved. I know all of these things. What I don't do is believe it. I'm almost 50 and while I love what I do professionally and believe it to be important work, I've treated it like a hobby. I've made very little in terms of money. I've run my business in a haphazard way. I've given away huge amounts of my time to excellent causes and I've wasted even bigger amounts of time on things I can't even remember at this point.

I've spent time building up others while hoping that no one realizes that I can't seem to finish anything I start to save my life. I have fantastic ideas! I start awesome projects! When I get bored or distracted I either let them fall apart or I try to get others to take over. Most of the time they eventually fall apart.

The truth is I'm a Mom. I'm a really good Mom. I know I have more to offer the world, but right now I'm mourning the end of chapter. I knew what I needed to do. I knew what was important. I knew I was needed. Now I'm drifting a little.

Last Spring I jumped into the idea of coaching. While I'm not throwing it in the trash I am rethinking what shape this work will take for me. It was a giant distraction from the transition my family was going through. I didn't want to see that the intensive part of parenting was ending for me. I didn't want to contemplate what was next; I just wanted to jump in. Not only did I decide to start coaching, I joined a town committee and then a commission. I filled up my life with more "busyness."

I've avoided thinking about the seismic shift in my life that has taken place. When I was in college and graduate school I had every intention of being one of those women who did it all. One who successfully juggled a career and a family. When the reality of raising children clobbered me on the head I realized that I couldn't do it all. I felt like I was failing everyone. Something had to give. I came across a book called "Sequencing" by Arlene Rossen Cardozo. The idea that I could have it all, just not at the same time spoke to me ~ LOUDLY.

We figured out how to make it on mostly one income and I dove in to mothering. Because I am who I am, the actual amount of time I was strictly focused on parenting was probably 2 months, but in terms of priority, it became my first priority from then on. Now when I can fully shift back to myself and my career I'm terrified. I've been working all along, so the fact that I'm a little paralyzed right now pisses me off. I should be thrilled!  I can work uninterrupted on all the marketing and staff development projects I've thought about and talked about for years! I can explore adding Coaching to my work life as I am excited to share what I've learned with others about creating your own life. I can clean my house and know that it will stay clean.

The fact is I will miss the chaos. I will miss the constant interruptions. I will miss the demands on my time. I will miss the hugs and snuggles and "I love you's". I will even miss the drama that went with raising teenagers.

I am looking forward to the ability to get more done and grow my businesses. I am afraid that now there is no excuse if I fail. Before, I could blame my lack of focus or productivity on the never ending distractions that go with working at home with children. Now I'm the only one distracting myself.  I'm turning a bedroom into an office space for myself in the hopes that if I have a room to "work" in that is separate from the rest of the house, it will be easier to ignore things like dishes in the sink, or laundry or dogs. Only time will tell.

At the end of the day I know I have a pretty great life. I love being a mama and I know I will always be one. The reality of my empty nest was way more emotional for me than I expected. I raised my children to leave me. That's the whole point! Raise them up and send them out to make the world a better place. While their adult journey's are just getting started, all three of them are on track to do just that and I couldn't be prouder. I'd be lying though if I said that I'm not sad to see them go.