Are you settling into your back to school routine? Unless this is your first year of kids going off to school, you’re probably starting to remember how life feels when you’ve got some time to yourself during your day. Many of you may have been totally prepared, ready to roll, to-do lists made out weeks in advance, projects lined up, appointments made, and ready to catch up on all the life stuff that fell through the cracks with the lazy days of routine-less summer. And you’ll just be hitting your stride in adjusting to your daily rhythm at about the time when the first cold or flu hits and that routine gets thrown out the window because you’ve got kids at home! It happens every year when you put a bunch of kids into a warm, stuffy classroom. They’re like little incubators.
If this is the first year where you’ve sent one of your kids, or your last kid off to college, your daily life rhythm is bound to feel really different! I think it’s fair to say that when something in our life feels different, we fall back into familiar behavior patterns. One of the most common? Stay BUSY! If you stay busy, you aren’t going to have as much time to notice what is feeling a little off. Being busy provides comfort and it gives us a sense of purpose.
In spite of being busy, when you do have those moments where everything stops for a second you will likely notice some changes in the way life is feeling. Parts of it feel good and parts of it may nudge you just enough that you … notice. It’s a good time to explore those nudges.
What kind of exploring? Start by checking in with yourself to learn a little about who this new self is! That’s where your Life Beyond Kids process starts. It’s a process that is going to take some time. It’s likely that this is literally the first time in your life (or at least a long time) where you haven’t been in survival mode with blinders on, just getting from one day to the next with the demands of being Mom, holding it all together for everyone in your life. It’s a big job, and it comes with a pretty clear job description. It doesn’t require a lot of definition from you. You know what the job is, you know how you do it, and you just do it. The thing that’s really interesting about this Life Beyond Kids time in your life is that although you knew it was coming, nobody thanked for your years of faithful service, handed you a new job description with a promotion, and offered to provide you with on-the-job training to make the transition to your new position go smoothly.
So now what? Good question. Did you get the memo that says you have “permission” to explore new opportunities? If you did, you’re light years ahead of where I was because I somehow missed that memo. The Life Beyond Kids stage all came as a bit of a bewildering surprise. I didn’t have anyone in my circle of friends who had gone through the kids-going-off-to-college phase to tell me here’s how it’s going to feel. I was busy working and my assumption was that all would continue status quo. That part of my life did. But this other part – the Mom part – it all changed. The requirements for that part of my life were completely different and it created quite a gap. It took me a long time to realize that it I seemed to be waiting for permission to look for a new job description. Hmmm. Ok. Once that epiphany registered, the next question was: where is that “permission” going to come from?
The answer? Are you ready? It’s going to come from YOU! I know! This is your moment. This goes way beyond self-care. We’re talking full-on soul care. It’s your turn to shine! Are you ready to start?
Your biggest fan,
Image: Back to School in Bhutan in the village of Laya, 12,632 feet