I love when people want to live again. We live in a world where we have lost our way and only can react to what fearful messages are thrown at us. This causes unnecessary worry, anxiety, and leads to depression and a sense of hopelessness. But, when someone chooses to live, to find a purpose, and take control of their life, it's amazing! They feel like they can move forward in life and not just exist.
An employee came into my office this week and said proudly, "I'm on a quest and I'm up to the challenge." When I asked her what she was talking about, she shared that her oldest son recently left for boot camp and her youngest son was now driving, "I didn't know what to do with myself. Everything is changing." She said she was binging TV over the weekend and saw a story on a woman with an amazing story. The show is called The Lost Kitchen, and the story of Erin French resonated with her, "She only takes reservations for her restaurant by postcard and then there is a lottery. I'm going to eat there, even if it's three years from now."
We talked about the transitions she is entering into and compared how some people will fall into sadness when their children leave home. The Empty Nest syndrome is not something to be expected and don't believe you can't avoid it, it's a scam. You have the ability to determine the outcome before your children leave home. When you prepare for the transition, you can be proactive in participating in your life. Yes, the changes that follow, the quit in the home, the feeling of being alone are real. But also, the constant yelling to pick up your clothes, do your chores, and turn off the phone will also be gone. You get to shape your relationship in a way that allows you freedom to appreciate your adult children in a way you couldn't when they were your responsibility. Letting go of the reins and letting them grow up is hard only if you never gave them the ability to fail at home. They need to try to fly before they leave the nest. They need to know you've got their back if they fall. They need to know even when they leave, you'll always love them. They need to know the expectation of perfection is gone.
We all need to accept that we don't have to be perfect, but to accept we are perfectly imperfect. Success is not measured by our perfect attempts, but by our attempts that missed the mark and we still attempted again. If every day you improve a little more than where you were yesterday, then you're already a success.