Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Letting Go”

Empty Nest

Empty nesting time. It is a reality for almost all parents at one time or another. Notice I don’t say “all” parents because I can suppose that some 30-year-old adults are still living with their parents somewhere ( for good or bad).

Empty Nesters

My wife and I can recall some of those days when they were very young. We’d wish for them to be a bit older and provide us some quiet nights sleep and a bit less chasing them around to keep things out of their mouths.

As they grew older we started to realize there were just “different” levels of challenges. Dating, distractions, puberty, peer pressure that leads to all of the moments when you ask yourself ” is this really my child?” ¬†During their teens it was sometimes hard to distinguish how they would totally forget the lessons that we would have hoped the had learned in their “formative” years. But yes, they did forget. Often in some cases.

But mistakes will happen ( hopefully not catastrophic or life threatening… each which I have learned can be different) ūüôā

We had one child who left abruptly when he turned 18, and didn’t look back. We didn’t really interact with him at all but after ¬†12 years we have finally come to ¬†know him again thank fully.

It is hard to let go, but they all have to find their own course in life, and what you have taught them (and they retained) has to be good enough.

My advice to my kids ( if they read these now, or later) is to be centered in who you are spiritually, remember the fundamentals between right and wrong, it’s okay to make mistakes, its okay to be frustrated and angry with life- but you need to make something out of those pitfalls. Apply the lesson to what’s going on ahead in your life.

So here we are – with our empty nest. But honestly we have 4 great kids who ¬†we love more than anything, and they are ¬†out on their own making a “go” of it. We’ll embrace them the best way we know how. ¬†Yup, and here I am ¬†at tracks in the dust still trying to share advice. Guess we can all learn no matter how old we get. I am learning how to be an older parent.


Letting Go

Let go!

Let go!

There is a lot of comfort in “status-quo”. There are reasons that you like “the way things are”. ¬†Being firmly entrenched in the pattern you are in can sometimes feel good.

A lot of people thrive on change. In fact for me when things DON’T change it kind of makes me think that something might be wrong. I know that sounds like I am always waiting for the “other shoe” to drop… which is sort of sad I guess. But change is okay too, it has its ability to provide the kind of variety that keeps life interesting, and makes one be more aware of things along the way.

But for others I guess there is that comfort of keeping things the way they are.

As my kids got older I think my wife and struggled for a long time understanding that our children were looking outward on their lives and not focused on the “family” that made up our history. We realized we could not center everything on them, as we had in their younger days growing up. Not that they didn’t want to be part of our family, just that they were looking for the next-thing and needed to work it on their own. After all that is part of growing up, and although the flexibility to change is more difficult later in life due to so many of the anchors and roots we put on ourselves. There is likely always the “next-thing” around the corner – if we were looking for it.

But those others who are comfortable, they aren’t always looking for the next thing. The needs of the next thing may not be evident, and they may be frightening or mysterious. But that comfort can be constricting. The next-thing may very well come without warning.

A job goes away, health, finances, catastrophe, or just a change in the simple pattern of daily life can be devastating and make that comfortable life seem to slip away so quickly it leaves no time to pause. That alone can be constricting. It can stall out what will need to happen next, it can lead to depression and denial.

So it is important (I think) to get accustomed to “letting go” things and taking courses in life that could be risky or unfamiliar. Letting go can lead to changes that you don’t expect, that you can’t even imagine.

Letting go is hard. No promises, but lots of promising prospects. Is it time to let go of something?

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