Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Correct Route
Is there a correct route? In life there are many ways to get from point A to point B. We've all known people who take the scenic route a.k.a. the long way 'round to get launched. Many of us were such kids and now we have kids of our own who insist on doing things their way, not paying much heed to our sage advice. Though finding our own way is truly a big part of life's journey. But how do we let go and let them carve their own path?
Much of it comes from trust, trusting the values you demonstrated will be sufficient.
Our kids absorbed our core values by watching us live them daily, just as we did with our families, good or bad. Now our children have to make their own way, their own mistakes and successes. Admittedly, it is hard to watch them take a step in what we feel is the wrong direction. Then again, what is the right direction? Understanding that there are many roads to travel, and though the path we took may be right for us, it may not be right for them. Beyond trusting ourselves to have parented well enough along the way, being there to listen, encourage, and yes lend a hand financially when we can, will bring some peace of mind.
Now, as an empty nest couple, preparing for the potential potholes will make the transition much smoother. You may find it helpful to explore your own past before launching into a discussion with your mate. Often, we need to understand our own feelings; what detours did you take that made you stronger, did you resent your parents/family/friends for their advice, are you guiding your kids based on old theory or real knowledge?
Once you've sorted through your personal feelings, discuss this together, giving each other uninterrupted time to speak. If you find part of the discussion anxiety-provoking, taking a walk while talking allows excess energy to be burnt in a positive way. Keep in mind this is new territory for both of you, unexpected fears and anxieties will surface, be as honest and open as you can. There isn't a right, wrong, or exact path that must be followed on this empty nest journey, the less strident you are, the easier it will be to navigate.
Make this a fun time, create new rituals, explore new places, take time to pamper each other. Enjoy your empty nest and all the freedoms it allows you.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Mariah and Byron, once again, you come through with profound clarity. We all find our way, based on what we learned from our parents--more from example than anything. It's our responsibility to sort all this out, to be sure our direction is sound.

(As has happened before, it turns out we're thinking about similar things. A few days I posted a similar thought.)

Every time I swing by here, I always wind up kicking myself for not making more time to get by more often. It's always a treat. Thank you!