the nest

the nest

Monday, January 13, 2014

so it begins...

This weekend was the beginning for me.  A recognition that Katy is really heading to college next year; a long way from home.  A REALLY long way from home.  It seems like Andy just got back from his "Luther" visit in January of 2011.  Somehow we've sped to 2014, and while Andy decided against Luther, Katy is more sure than ever that it is the place for her.

I can't disagree and I'm sure I will blog numerous times about the merits of my Alma Mater, but today is about the recognition that the next 8 months are going to fly by.  If I'm really honest, it's only 5 and a half months before she heads out of "the nest," first to Calumet and then Luther.

The first time around (launching Andy), I was weepy from January on as I prepared myself, prematurely, to send my firstborn out into the world.  By the time he actually graduated and headed off to work at Calumet for the summer and then into his dorm at UConn, I was alright.  Granted he was 30 minutes down the road.  We don't see much of him, but just knowing that if he needed us or we needed him, we could get him home in a matter of a lunch break, has made it easier than I expected.  In fact, sometimes it's hard to believe he is halfway through his 3rd year!

This weekend when Katy was at Luther, I remembered how very far away it is.  While we have family and friends nearby who will step in if she ever needs "family", visits from us will be few and far between, and I will mostly be able to "be there" via phone and internet.  I won't be able to just drive over after work and take her out for lunch, or pick her up for a quick visit home.

I have no doubt that she is up to the challenge ~ She is far more independent than I remember being when I went off to college.  She has connected already with professors, coaches, peers, and admissions counselors with no prompting or guidance from us.  She knows where she wants to be and what she wants to do when she gets there.  The only tricky part will be making choices about how she spends her time.

I'm not sad yet.  We have months to go and I know that some of that time will be spent with her pushing us away; it's how it works.  I'll be ready to send her off when it's time.

I'm envious of the experiences she has yet to have and while you couldn't pay me enough to revisit middle school or high school for a minute, I would go back to college any day!

Like her brother, she is growing into an amazing, passionate, thoughtful young person with the potential to change the world for the better.  I'm looking forward to following her journey.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Fresh Start

2014 ~ a fresh year, a fresh start.

I didn't write yesterday because I wasn't ready.  I planned to start the year with a post on January 1st focused on moving forward and taking charge!

I couldn't do it.  It felt hypocritical.

At the beginning of vacation, I had a conversation with my son that started me thinking.  We were talking about school and his plans.  He has not had a great college experience, and while he has toyed with the idea of dropping out or taking a semester off, he's decided to plow through, finish his degree, pay off his loans and then get on with his life.
This seems relatively responsible - a college degree does increase his chances of getting a job in the future, paying off his students loans would be a load off and then moving forward would be exciting.  He could "get on with his life."

Today as I was bringing him back to his apartment, I struggled with this and what I realized was that HIS LIFE IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.  If he's not happy with his life now, why wait?  why not change it now?  I wanted to tell him to either find a way to really engage in school, or quit and move on.  Why waste time and money doing something that you feel no passion for?  Sometimes you just have to slog through something unpleasant.  If that's the choice you make, fine.  Do it.  Put your best effort into it.  If you just can't do it, then move on.


One of the lessons I've struggled with as a parent is how to convey to my children how important it is to live the life you have.  I'm perpetually looking towards the next "thing".  I have a terrible time being "in the moment".  I constantly think about "what's next?" without really attending to "what's now!" I do not set a great example for "living in the moment."

Business is tough right now.  Numbers are down, I'm struggling with how to set up the studio in a sustainable way with partners I have and those I haven't found yet.  I've thought about ways to do it, but haven't followed through.  I spend time mulling about "what if I just can't do it?" instead of just doing it.  I think about other possible directions for my life to take, but have a hard time doing what needs to be done RIGHT NOW.  I'm not sure owning a business is my passion - teaching children and families is, but the business part is harder for me.  I'm the queen of "what if?"

I want this to be the year when I stop wasting time.  The year that I relish the "here and now".  I want to sent an example of "just do it."  Either run my business or don't.  Find a way to do the work I love in a way I can be successful.  Either dig in or move on.  I want to tell my son (and daughters) that while there are times when you just need to plow through something in life, it's also ok to say "ENOUGH! Time to move on!"  What is most important is that you find work that not only pays the bills, but fills your soul.  If you don't know what that is, figure it out.  Stop wasting time on things that don't matter to you.

I want 2014 to be the year when joy returns with a vengeance.