The Middle

%22If you find yourself stuck in the middle there is only one way to go, forward.%22Richard BransonA couple of weeks ago I wrote about the idea of finding myself. I listed all of the places that I wanted to be over the month of August; the gym, the trail, a place of gratitude, etc.. They all involved healthy habits and I am pleased that I actually have been spending a lot of time in these places.  What is interesting is that the best laid plans always bring about things you weren’t expecting or at least were not on your radar.  For example, while I have often planned my day around getting some miles in or working out in the gym I have also found myself smack dab in the middle of a lot of other things.  I found myself in the middle of helping my daughter move, not once, but twice.  I also found myself in the middle of back to school shopping, anxiety over volleyball tryouts, laundry and perhaps most disturbing…the middle of my life!
To be fair, the idea of being in the middle of my life was rolling around somewhere in my subconscious as a client was just discussing this idea a couple of weeks ago.  However, it hit me squarely between the eyes this week while talking to all three of my girls.  My oldest is preparing to apply to PA school and planning her future to the best of her ability.  There are a lot of unknowns as she prepares for this journey, most importantly where she should apply and where she will be living.  It’s difficult for her knowing that she could be accepted to schools in North Carolina, Kansas, Georgia, Oregon or Denver.  She spoke about apartments, applications, roommates, dating and the possibility of moving home temporarily between leases.  When I suggested we could help her with some of the decisions she looked at me and said, “why?”
My middle daughter hit her one-year mark in Nashville and had her own epiphany.  She began to realize that her music journey could take years and that she needed to prepare for the long haul. She spoke a lot about HER independence and HER plans for the future.
What struck me most about both of these discussions though was that neither of them had anything to do with me.  Sure, they still consult us and they still need some financial support, but their future plans?  They don’t include us.  I know this is how it is supposed to be, but when it happens it knocks you off kilter.  When did they stop including us in their planning?
So what does this have to do with being in the middle of my life?  Well, besides the fact that chronologically I am somewhere in the middle of my life I also have 2/3 of my kids out of the house.  It made me think that perhaps it was time to start thinking about the next chapter in my life. I was daydreaming about what I would do with all of my free time, extra money and space in the house when my youngest came in all excited.
Reese: Hey mom. What are you doing?  Look what I did to my hair.
Me:  Hi Reese.  I was just sitting here thinking about what I am going to do when you guys are all gone.  Your hair looks adorable.
Reese:  Oh, you don’t need to worry about that mom, I am never leaving you.  I am not even sure I want to go to college.  I think I might want to go to beauty school and live at home.  I did my hair and Kyria’s hair today and it was really fun.  I love doing other people’s hair.  Of course, I really like getting my hair done, too.  Maybe I just like going to the salon…
I was suddenly catapulted back to reality and realized while I may be somewhere in the middle of my life I am also still in the middle of raising my youngest, the middle of high school and the middle of a lot of decisions that still need to be made.  I may only have 4 years until my youngest graduates but, let’s face it,  I still have a lot of work left here in the middle.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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