We all know it’s true – Everything Changes. This weekend my daughter, Megan, leaves for college. While I’m not going to be an empty nester (with my son and grandson still here with me), it’s definitely a change – both for me and for her.
At the moment I am feeling pure joy and excitement for her as she embarks on this new chapter of her life. My thoughts are filled with my memories of when I left to go away to college, the strong sense of independence, the feeling of being grown up and all the fun I had … Yikes! Well maybe she won’t have that much fun – thankfully, she’s a lot more sensible than I was at her age.
Granted, I may well be in total denial of how much this change will affect me emotionally. It could easily turn out that on the car ride home from Tallahassee I will be crying my eyes out, but at the moment I am in a total space of happiness and joy, both for her and for me as we begin this next phase of our lives.
It got me to thinking about change … both the ones we wish for and those other ones – you know the ones that feel like things that happen TO us or that appear to be outside of our control. I have come to realize that everything that happens in my life is my responsibility and that the quality of my life – my joy and happiness is determined by how I respond to these changes in the present.
When change happens we are often triggered back to a similar experience we had in the past and how that change affected us, or we are propelled into the future as we attempt to predict and prepare for what comes next. I invite you to embrace change with a mindset to glean from the past lessons learned that will empower and equip you to step into the future with clarity. I encourage you to prepare for what comes next by looking at the best case scenario of possible outcomes – rather than focusing on the worst case scenario.
It’s interesting to observe my own and other people’s comments when change occurs. Years ago I shared the news of breaking up with a boyfriend with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. Most people I told about the break-up either said “Good riddance” or “Oh, I’m sorry.” But this friend said “And how is that for you?” He didn’t presume I was feeling good or bad about the situation and created the space for me to let him know how I was feeling (which quite frankly was a mix of both). Since that day whenever I’m with a friend or coaching a client, I do my best to create that space for them, allow them to first express what they are feeling without presuming or imposing my thoughts on them.
In dealing with my own changes, I do my best to stay in the present and enjoy what I have now. For the past few days I’ve had lots of time with Megan, shopping, packing and getting ready for the trip — this I am grateful for. If I were to focus now on how much I’ll miss her – I would diminish the fun and excitement we’re sharing today.
So for the moment, I focus on this last day at home with Megan and enjoying a wonderful farewell dinner with the entire family. It’s an exciting time and ooh…look at the time! Time to start cooking (of course she requested special Mom foods that she won’t be having for a while … favorite chicken and homemade macaroni and cheese.
Enjoy this beautiful day. Celebrate each moment and remember to see every person you meet as if they were “The One” – because they are!