8.29.2016

Embracing 'new beginning's.......mostly.

I am writing this on a Saturday night.....this blog has been neglected but it is here that I come to pour out what is on my heart as I often did long ago in the early days of this blog.....I feel like this post should begin 'Dear Diary'......

Lately, I have been feeling all sorts of weepy/'ugh' and really unable to put my finger on what exactly is the cause.........It is very unlike me to be so emotional.  Life has been busy, and not so much in a good way, but in a rushy, many balls in the air, not paying attention to the life that is leaving kind of way. When I took some time this week to really THINK about what might be causing my emotional instability (whilst on a spinning bike where I do my best thinking),  I remembered LOTS of big things and little things......life's important events and the insignificant....each creeping their way into my life and in my thoughts - whether I wanted them there or not (mostly not)......

First, my first baby, the girl that made me a mother when I was 31-years-young is turning 18 frickin' years old this week!  Seriously.  Let us just take the time to let that soak in.  I birthed a human who will soon (technically, because if you knew her in real life you would think otherwise) be an adult.  Like an adult that will HAVE to vote in this crazy-ass Presidential election we have coming up in November (don't even get me started)........an adult that can buy cigarettes and get a tattoo without my consent (she reminded me of this).  And if you knew her in real life, you would know she would do neither - I have done something right.



And in addition to turning 18, this 'baby' of mine will be a high school senior as of Monday.  Having a senior, I am finding, brings about all sorts of panic in me.......WAIT! - we never took her on that RV road trip we talked about,  or on that European vacation.   Did I teach her enough about life? Cooking? Hygiene? Good manners? How to do laundry? Balance her checkbook? Navigating an airport? Personal safety? Being a good friend? Have we had the important 'talks'?  Made enough good childhood memories to last a lifetime?  Will she have favorite foods to request when she comes home at breaks? Have I listened enough? Been the best kind of strict and supportive?

This big girl of mine is on to do big things and has already fulfilled some dreams - but her biggest awaits.  She will play division I soccer in college.......many hours away from home.....I am SO happy for her, proud of her, but facing her leaving the nest is something I just can't......right now......

In addition to all that, my baby-baby girl will be a freshman in high school as of Monday.  That my friends is a heartbreaker......My girl is an introvert like her momma - she is an old soul, a creative, and mature for age and jeez, high school can fill even the most confident girl full of self-doubt. I pray she finds her tribe.....that they love her for the wonderful, amazing soul she is........My baby has dreams, goals and unlike her sister, knows what she want to be 'when she grows up' and I have NO DOUBT she will do just that (a career in fashion).  I know these next four years will speed on by, her sister demonstrated that well, so I intend to be more present, not sweat the small stuff and just enjoy....at least that's the plan.

Finally, I myself will celebrate have a BIG birthday in April.....a number that looks like ___0.  I am not feeling it like I was the last one......crap, that decade went so fast!  I am feeling all kinds of 'eh'....'cause really lots of what filled the last 18 years of my life will change significantly in this new decade.   Sure, I know I will always be needed as a mother, that parenting never really ends, blah, blah, blah....but it's the little stuff, the school meetings, cheering on the sidelines or in the audience, guiding, the laundry, making lunches, the talks at the dinner table each night, hearing the car pull-in and breathing that sigh of relief......all THAT ends.....and truthfully, I am sad about that(who knew I would miss making lunches?).  I will miss it immensely - for as scared to death of the teen years I was when they placed my babes in my arms, they have really been the best part of this journey.

In addition, I think these birthdays, at least for me, cause you to reflect and evaluate lots of things in your life.  Recent friendship 'hurts', disappointments and struggles have been weighting heavy - being a girl can be so hard sometimes.  And while I recognize I am far from perfect, I really try to get it right and when I don't and friendships fade, I am left to wonder what I could have done better, different to have made it right.  I don't handle disappointment well and lately, I have been disappointed in people.  And really, this decade has been amazing in terms of my 'career', I built a business doing something creative that brings me immense joy.   But I am left wondering if doing so made me sacrifice in other areas of my life.....and the answer is, of course it did.  That has me evaluating HOW I do business, with WHO I do business and HOW MUCH work I take on.....it is all good, but stressful too in many ways.

One big sacrifice I have made with working more has been my health - particularly working out - and when I am feeling all kinds of mushy, I feel 'eh' even more.......I fractured my ankle last November and getting into a regular workout routine after I recovered was so hard but that has to change and I really must find a way to get more workouts in for me and my __0 year old mushy self.

So there I was yesterday, all these 'first world problems' weighting on me and a big old pity party happening in my head when I stumbled upon this while scrolling Instagram:



I knew that THIS must be my mantra this year - to not see this year as a year of endings but to trust this year to be the 'magic of beginnings'.  'Trust' is a word I use a lot with my clients and often with my girls - I urge my daughters to trust, to have faith, that what is meant to be will be......With my clients, I work to instill their trust in me because when they do, the process is wonderful and the outcome the best.  But you know what?  Seeing these words on Instagram made me realize that I had not considered taking my own damn advice.  What is happening this year is gonna happen, I can do NOTHING to change it - but I can shape how I approach it, what I do about it, my attitude towards it, how I see it and how I choose to spend my time and with who I choose to spend my time.  And this control freak, is gonna control that, like a BOSS.  The time in my life has arrived.....the start of something new.....and I trust it to be the 'magic of beginnings'.

So if you are still reading, thank you.  I don't mean to unload all my crap on you....but I imagine some of you might be feeling the same feels or have gone through the same.  The blog world seems to be filled with youngish momma's posting perfect parties, perfect homes, perfect children, perfect outfits.....And in my past, I hid my crazy and messy well too (cause you know they are!) but I guess I have learned that vulnerability is a strength.  And Lord knows the blog world could stand a little more perspective from middle aged, mommas of grown kids who are struggling with impending empty nests and getting 'mushy' around the middle.  I knew I wanted to take the time to write this post - to put it all out there, it certainly helped me filter through it all.  So thanks for reading....


25 comments on "Embracing 'new beginning's.......mostly."
  1. This is so beautifully and thoughtfully written. My circumstances are similar, so much of this rings true for me as well. :)

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    1. Thank you Heather - you hang in there too! xo~

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  2. I feel your pain. My youngest just moved out and I find myself wondering what in the heck I'm supposed to do now. We started early, so I've had a child in my house for 33 years. To say it's been an adjustment is an understatement. I'm only 53, as of yesterday, so I still have a lot of life left. I recently had a weird thing happen with a friend too, and it's made me sad. Apparently there is no going back so I'll just move on and try and find the message in the pain. Hang in there momma!

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    1. Thank you! Jeesh....it's hard, huh???
      xo~

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  3. Middle aged mama's of grown kids unite! We have had an empty nest for a bit now. It is different but good too. I always say if you do your job right as parents your kids leave...but they do amazing things and we are so proud. Your relationship changes with them in good and grown-up ways. I have actually found that mushy part to be easier than the mush around the middle ha! I am working on it though...Hope your new beginning with a senior and freshman is amazing for you all!

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    1. Hey Mindy! Thank you for your thoughtful words!
      xo~

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  4. Oh my goodness...you just wrote all the "feels" I've been feeling and going through!! But I'm facing the big 5-0 in two days {ugh} and my "baby" baby girl is the senior this year. My first girl moved out in her own a year ago and I'm still "navigating" that milestone. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your feelings so eloquently. We "middle" mommas need to stick together! Best wishes to you & yours. ��

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    1. Leah -
      Happy Birthday! Yes, let's stick together!!! Hang in there - enjoy that senior!
      xo~

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  5. it's funny how we define ourselves as mothers and grieve and wonder who will we be when our children grow up but what were we before we had children? I am almost at the end of child rearing: my baby is 16 (2 older ones in college and one done with college) and I'm hoping I can remember the person and life I had before children. That life was pretty darn great. I love being a mother but having some space in my brain for me is something I'm looking forward to. I'm pretty sure though I'll be sobbing like a baby when that last one leaves...

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  6. I can relate. I'm 51 and have a freshman in high school and a 22 yr old that has moved out and is in college. My kids are complete opposites too. I'm a control freak and closet perfectionist. I won't lie and tell you it's easy when your first leaves the nest. I cried like a baby and felt like a part of my life died when he left. But (after a Xanax) and a pep talk from my mom, things got better and now it feels more normal for him to not live here than to live here. You will never stop wondering if you did enough for their childhood. But luckily, their behavior as adults will surprise you. They will come visit you and love on you and miss you (like you do them) and you will find out that you did enough. You will learn from your mistakes with your first how to do it better with your second too. I have no idea what it's like to be a complete empty nester but I hear it's not so bad. Apparently you get a renewed sense of freedom. I'm looking forward to that while I hang on a little longer to my last child. Hang in there!! It kind of sucks that most women are going through menopause too during these major life transitions! Add that one to your list!

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    1. Xanax! That's what I need!

      Thanks for writing and your kind words!
      xo~

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  7. Jill, I know we've only talked a few times in person, but can I tell you how much I relate to this post?? In every way. I only have one kiddo, but time is slipping away so quietly and quickly and I feel a sort of nauseous panic attack every time I think of the time left. I have always appreciated your honesty and I really hope that you feel good about your goals for the next few months and coming year. It always seems like when you post something like this (usually on IG is when I see it) I am feeling the same way. Hugs to you girlfriend. You are beautiful and talented, and a great mom from the glimpses you show us. Hang in there. xo

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    1. Hi Denise!

      You are too sweet - I hope our paths cross again soon! Maybe in Homegoods??? Ha!

      Hang in there!
      xo~

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  8. This is one of the most refreshing and validating posts I've read in a long time. Thank you! I have been where you are. My "babies" are almost 27 and 24, and I just (celebrated) your same birthday + 5! Double ugh! I understand the blahs, the empty feelings, and the worry. But you are so right in knowing that we've done our best at parenting, and when they fly from the nest they make their own decisions. Enjoy these last years. And don't fret too much. There actually are a few good things about having your children grown up ;)

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and perspective - I sincerely appreciate you taking time to write.
      xo~

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  9. As a mom who just turned 54, I could relate to a lot of this post. My "baby" (who is now 25 - how did that happen?) graduated college this past May and is now back at home! The whole empty nester thing is weird...it was very hard at first, but then we got used to it and relished it being just the two of us. However, when Son came home for visits and then left again, my heart would break all over again. But then the quiet and peace of the house would come over me and all was would be well. And now that he's back at home...well, we're all trying to find our "new normal" again. I think it's even harder than when he first moved out.

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  10. Beautifully written post. Life is real. And sometimes the real just gets a little heavy on your heart. We have been through a tough two weeks with our youngest who turned 36 this summer. They grow up, have families, but you are still all family and very much involved in the journey. I know your chapter for this time will be amazing.

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  11. Bless your heart! This isn't easy stuff and sometimes it just feels like too much, doesn't it? I really don't know where the time went. I think this kind of change can be so hard. I'm sending you big hugs! As for the friend issues, I've dealt with that recently too but I have to say I'm a big fan of fewer but closer friends, especially as I get older. I have certain expectations for relationships and if they don't give me joy then it's okay to let go of them. Hope you work through all that you have on your heart. Be kind to yourself and give yourself some space to grieve the changes. XO, Jen

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  12. Sending you a big old hug, as you can guess, I have indeed felt the same "feels" and am determined this year to savor my second and last senior in HS as well as dream about new ventures and life with my boyfriend, my hubby, who luckily is still my best pal. Cheering you on as we travel this path with grace and anticipation that not only will all be well, it can also be wonderful! xxoo Suzanne

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  13. I have five year old twins and try so hard to live in the moment with them. I am most happy when we have had those special days just spending quality time together, even when it's something small. This is not so easy as we all know...other life responsibilities take over. It is mom's like you who are mentors to us, reminding us of what is important in this life. Thanks for these words of wisdom!

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  14. Jill!
    BIGGEST HUGS TO YOU!
    I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!
    Had our first . . . our daughter . . . two weeks from my 31st birthday.
    It's not easy. It goes so fast.

    What lies ahead, I promise, is wonderful and as magical as the past. Our daughter finished college, worked a bit in her field, married an amazing man, ( nine years after her senior year in high school), and now is a mother of three who sometimes says, "Mom, I don't know how you did it!"

    I began my blog almost one year to the date after her wedding. It's expression helped my with the emptiness I felt at that time.

    There is a new decade for you on the horizon. I strongly encourage to take care of yourself. Make sure you get good sleep and look to others to embrace you. HUGS AGAIN!

    Blessings to all!

    w/L

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  15. I am right there with you...my big birthday is in two months and it has really caused me to reflect on everything!! My boys are 10 and 12 and the 12 year old has been pulling away and being all teenager-like these days. I so miss the sweet, innocent boy that used to want to talk before bed and would actually like when I hugged him. It's a harder adjustment for me than I thought it would be. Luckily, my 10 year old son is a snuggler so I am learning to cherish even more with him lately. I am definitely learning to live in the moment more! Love the quotes too. Best wishes to you on your new beginnings!
    Shelley

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