Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This Week Marks Another Milestone

This week marks another milestone in my house. It is my daughter's last week of high school (at least at the school). It's a short week, as it is, due to having Memorial Day off yesterday. Tonight is the band banquet, tomorrow is the youth church banquet, and Thursday & Friday are final exams. Next week will be her prom, followed by graduation on the weekend.

It seemed as though every adult she spoke to at church on Sunday said, "Are you anxious?" "Are you excited?" "Are you a little sad?' Her quick answer to every question could have been a simple 'Yes', but she was diplomatic and replied every time with, "There are things I'm definately going to miss, but I'm also excited about new things happening."

How do you let your graduate feel ALL the emotions that they're feeling and let them know they're all normal feelings? This week and next could very well be the last time she sees and talks to some of her classmates. People always write in the yearbook 'Have a great summer!' and 'We'll still see each other.' But speaking as an adult, that doesn't always happen. After next week, the students will move on and attend college or get a job or some will join the military. They will get absorbed into their new surroundings and hopefully soar into the chapter of their lives. They'll most likely reunite on Thanksgiving break and over Christmas. They'll email, they'll swap stories, and they'll share their hopes and dreams. A year from now they'll sit back and make an objective observation of which classmates were acquaintances, which were true friends, and which were soulmates. And that's all o.k. It's just part of life and part of the changes we all go through.

Did you have a friend or two from high school that has remained one of your best friends?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Some Changes We Find Ourselves Not Ready For

Lately my blog has been about change. We've had A LOT of change in our recent weather, the economy and gas prices are constantly changing, and of course clothing styles change just about every season. A lot of these changes we find ourselves prepared for, others not so much. My daughter is currently going through a lot of changes. She's graduating from high school and preparing for college. Those are both HUGE changes. Now ... step into my shoes and just imagine the changes I'm feeling. As a parent we want to raise our children to be responsible and hopefully make sensible and well thought out choices, but being a parent doesn't end when your children graduate from high school. Their lives and our involvement are going to go through some drastic changes, some will be pleasant and others will undoubtedly be stressful. I have 2 children, although the older one is no longer a child - he's a man. But guess what? As parents we still worry and we still get anxious, but that's o.k. It just means we care.
I've heard the term 'empty nester', but I'm not sure if I'm ready for all that that term encompasses. I'm close with my kids (and proud of it) and while I want them to be independent I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm going to miss my daughter (like I already miss my son). Some would say that it's my turn to spend some time on myself and my interests and they might be right, but if this is going to work for me I think I'm going to have to take some baby steps. Being a parent isn't like trying to quit smoking where quitting cold turkey is said to be the best way.
Have you experienced this kind of a change? If so how did you handle it? I'd love to hear your take on how to loosen the apron strings. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Would a map be helpful?

In my last entry I talked about changes being on the horizon ... at least on 'my' horizon. While that particular topic is still on my mind, now I'm thinking about maps. 'Maps?' you ask? Yes, maps.

Recently I was in a Target store near my house that is apparently going through a transformation to become a Target Superstore. Woohoo! (I think.) I walked into the store with my list in hand and literally stopped dead in my tracks half way between the beauty products and the children's clothing. There was an aisle of pet food and supplies. Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against pets, especially my neighbor's dog, Ruby. But THAT aisle used to be the greeting cards. I was overwhelmed and I suddenly found myself lost. Not a good feeling for anyone. Obviously change is underway, but do you ever feel like a road map would helpful? We all need a little direction sometimes, something to make our journey a little easier, a little less overwhelming, and a little less stressful.

I know for a fact that people deal with change and stress differently; some let change wash off their back like water and others feel like it's suddenly created a 50# weight of baggage on their shoulders. Trust me, either way that you react means that you're normal AND not alone.

What changes have you gone through lately that made you feel alone and overwhelmed? Did you think a map or directions would have helped?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Changes Are Underway!

Are you comfortable with change? Now be honest. I'll admit I enjoy being spontaneous at times and enjoy some adventure, but there are times for all of us when the word 'change' can be a very scary word. Some changes are welcomed and others are not. You may know someone who is planning a wedding or about to have their first child ... those are welcomed changes. If your boss tells you that you're going to be laid off or your auto mechanic tells you the repair bill is going to be expensive ... well, I don't have to tell you what kind of changes those are. You probably already know.

Sometimes changes come into our lives like seasons; we can almost predict them. What we can't predict is how we're going to handle them. Sometimes changes are those things that we have little or no control over. We can often plan for them somewhat, but not completely. That's when we have to learn to be flexible and accept the need to 'go with the flow'.

I, for one, have lots of changes coming up in my life. I recently turned 50 (which really is just a number), but my youngest will soon be graduating from high school and going off to college. Just today I realized that my last blog entry about 'prom dresses' was my 100th blog entry. Guess I should have made a bigger deal out of it, perhaps some confetti shooting off your computer screens?

So this entry on 'changes' is #101. Good place to kick off a new season. I've updated my blog format just a bit and have some ideas in the works. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life and there's LOTS I want to do.

What are your plans? Any big changes coming up in your life? Perhaps we can support each other along the way.