Positive discipline, like going for a run, or studying, or writing a first draft—THAT I can do.
But negative discipline: NOT eating the chocolate, or having the second martini, or sleeping with the guy on the first date. That’s harder.
Then there’s accepting, moving on, whether it’s positive or negative. Integrating things I didn’t want to have happen and letting them change me and take me in new directions. The death of a child. A divorce. Like a lot of people, I’m not so good at that.
What I suck at most is allowing the good stuff to happen. What if it turns out I didn’t mess up my kid? He’s at college right now and apparently doing fine. He just got a National Science Foundation scholarship. He’s composing interesting techno music—a former perfectionist, he’s not afraid to put works-in-progress out there for the world. Not to brag; these are his achievements. However, it seems they might be at least partial evidence that he’s alive and well.
What if he’s all right in spite of the fact that I wasn’t the perfect parent, or the perfect wife?
I know. It’s a banal realization—there have been whole novels and movies on this topic—but there it is. I’ve been sitting stunned in my house since my son drove off to school last fall.
What if it’s okay for me to move on, too?
That’s the scariest for a mom, now an official Empty Nester. Setting the Mom Hat aside and struggling to finally concentrate on ourselves. I know it can be done, but I wish there was a book or school to help redirect all this hollowness that is ME.
You could write that book, Kim. Or a blog… 🙂
Go for it, Claudia! You will soar. And if occasionally you get tripped up, eat some chocolate and move on. 🙂
My sons have moved out off the house, in college and pursuing life. It is actually a release, the coda to a fugue written badly and performed with determination, diligence and ignorance. The way we all play life.
It is time to rewire your brain to focus on you, new events are waiting for you to witness and share. We are blessed with pain and sorrow as well as joy. Thank you for helping me to find places in me that are always there, but unrecognized.
Thank you for checking in and for sharing personal details from your life as well, Gary. I’ve appreciated the connection over the past year.