the nest

the nest

Friday, May 19, 2017

The first day...

Today is the first day of my 50th year.

Today my youngest child will attend her Senior Prom - as a family, this is Prom number 9.

The "lasts" are coming fast and furious this month! The last HS musical last weekend, the last Chorus Concert yesterday, the last Prom today...

This time is full of mixed emotions. I am so ready to "graduate" from High School. 10 years has been a good run, but I'm ready to move on. At the same time, these years have been full of music, friends, community and love as my children have grown into amazing young people, both because of and in spite of the community they grew up in.

I'm ready to shift my volunteer focus away from school events and committee's towards community events and committee's. I'm ready to dive more deeply into life as an entrepreneur. With fewer "mom" demands on my time I will have fewer excuses and look forward to holding myself accountable for using my time well and growing my business.

I'm sad to leave these days behind. I'm not sure if it's because I've loved them or because I'm afraid I didn't love them enough. "The days are long but the years are short." I don't know who said it first, but it's true. I've always been guilty of looking ahead ~ just look at birthdays! 29 was harder than 30, 39 was harder than 40 and I suspect 49 will be harder than 50.

This year, my 50th, I want to continue to focus on being in the moment. Planning for the future, but really seeing what is happening around me and being PRESENT. Rather than fretting about being almost 50, I want to enjoy 49.

As the "lasts" continue this month and next, I will enjoy them all. I will cry and laugh and probably take too many pictures. I am so proud of the children I have raised and enjoy them more and more as adults every day ~ the years to come will be different for sure, but I'm excited to follow the journey's of each of my "chicks" and am excited to continue my own journey as it diverges from theirs.

Here's to a new year of taking risks, learning new things and enjoying every minute!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Don't mess with the Mama

In our backyard we have a pavilion - picture a 3 bay carport with a fireplace at one end. It sounds like an awesome outdoor living space, but really it's on it's last legs. What it does best is house the 10-12 nests that are built in it each Spring.

Every Spring my husband fights a losing battle with the Mama birds. They build the nests, he takes them down, they rebuild them faster and quickly lay their eggs. Before you know it there are baby birds cheeping away and I won't let him take the nests down anymore.

Those Mamas are a force to be reckoned with! They are absolutely confident that their nests belong in the eaves and no matter what happens they successfully launch dozens of baby birds every year!

As I'm working on developing my focus as a coach, I find myself looking more and more at ways to empower and strengthen women. Right now in our world it can seem terrifying to be a woman. The current political climate threatens to pull us backward. At the same time it is so exciting as more and more women are finding the confidence and strength to jump into the political fray. I'm confident that the current assault on women's rights and protections is a last gasp from an old guard. 

Women are like those mama birds; persistent and determined. No matter how many times we are pushed back, we will come back stronger than ever. We will become more efficient and connected. We will support each other, sharing ideas and resources to lift everyone up instead of stepping on others to move ourselves ahead.

This is the community I want to build. One that supports and empowers. One that reaches out to women of all demographics to give them confidence and support to trust themselves as they create a life for themselves and their families that feels good.

It's time for us to stop following rules that make no sense. It's time for us to create work and family structures that make sense in our world today, not try to fit into ones that worked 50 years ago. It's time to ask the question "why?" whenever someone says "because that's how we do it" or "because that's the rule." It's time for us to stand together as a community to make the world better for everyone, not just the privileged few at the top. Don't mess with the Mama.... She is stronger and more determined that you will every know.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Happy May Day!

May is here!
May is always a big month for me. There is something about the new babies, flowering trees, warmer temperatures and new energy that gets me going.

May is my birth month. It's the month of Mother's Day and the birth month of child number 2. It feels celebratory and inspiring. It feels validating.

This May will include a series of "lasts." Our last Prom. Our last HS musical production. Our last HS concert. While we are ready to graduate from HS for the last time, I would be totally lying if I said that each of these "lasts" weren't tinged with a little sadness. I want to relish each of them. I want to fully experience them with my child so I can really and truly say goodbye to this chapter of my life.

This month I also dig deeper into creating a new professional path for myself. My Music Together work just gets richer and more satisfying and will continue on. In addition to this work I'm beginning to explore the world of Life Coaching. I'm in the early phase where I'm creating an identity and a focus. Who is my ideal client? What can I teach them? How can I support them? What do I have to offer? Lots of questions to answer! Having a coach to take me through this process is certainly the only way I would actually make it happen, but at times it feels indulgent. I need to own the investment and take full advantage of the opportunities to learn and grow if I am to be successful. I don't have to do it by myself.

While my momentum is building, I'm still finding myself "hiding" in my nest ~ putting off my list of "to-do's" in favor of snuggling with the dogs. Watching netflix with child number 3. I don't quite trust my wings yet. To feel safe I need to build my network of support. Those who will catch me if I fall. Isn't this what parenting is all about?? I feel almost as if I'm 18 again and ready to leap... but not quite.

As parents, we create a "nest" for our young ones. A safe space to learn and grow. Some children can't wait to jump out and others need a little more time to feel safe. Either way, we want them to know that they can always come back if they need to ~ to re-group, re-charge, re-focus.
Sometimes they jump before they are ready ~ we want to catch them when they fall, but some fall too fast.
Sometimes they get stuck and refuse to jump ~ a nudge becomes necessary to get them moving! If they don't trust themselves, we need to help them along by making it clear that WE trust them. We know they have what it takes to create a life for themselves. If we have done our job as parents, they will trust US, take a breath, spread their wings, and fly.
One way or another, our children will grow and go. When that happens it's back to us. Deep sigh.

In less than 6 weeks, Helen will graduate from HS. Both girls will spend the summer working at Camp Calumet in NH as they have before, and then will head to college; one for the first year, and one for the last year. My truly empty nest begins soon.

Here's the thing though. There will always be room in my "nest" for anyone who needs a place to re-group, re-charge, re-focus. Sometimes it will be my children. Sometimes it will be friends. Hopefully it will be future clients. A "nest" isn't just a physical home for me. It is a metaphorical "safe space." A judgement free zone where you don't need to apologize for resting your "wings."

Through the season of new life, new energy and new beginnings, I will be taking time to sink in to my "nest." I will continue to develop my skills and "muscles." I will continue to soak up the "lasts" with Helen and will be available to her as much as I can be to enjoy it all.

In June, she and I will both fly out into the world.