Thriving Women: Letting Go...
Posted on June 6, 2006 at 11:02 a.m.
Dearest Thriving Women,
I know women who rearrange their living rooms and bedrooms on a regular basis. This is a phenomenon that truly amazes me. I, on the other hand, go through an initial frenzy of speculating, searching, choosing, decorating and placing. I put all into place, survey the results incessantly for a week, readjust, add to a bit, and then, with a contented sigh, happily let the whole room be finished. At this juncture, I appreciate my work of art with daily appreciation and all stays exactly as is, for years. My office space, a cozy haven, has remained virtually unchanged for ten years.
I sit, one of many, in Folsom Field as a new batch of college soon-to-be graduates sit shoulder to shoulder ready to embark on LIFE. My youngest, my baby, the heart-of-my-heart, sits somewhere in the middle, tassel yet to be flipped to the “Wow, I really made it!” side. I gaze around at the incredible back-drop of the Boulder Flatirons and try to bask in the delight of the warm, height-of-spring sunshine. Under the vast Colorado sky I feel like a tremulous speck trying to grasp the reality of my new status in life…Mother of Grown Children. I am aware of desiring the comfort of my lovely, welcoming, nothing-changes-unless-I-change-it living room. I want to be in charge of this process…..I want to slow the whole thing down and maybe even put it in reverse a few years. Yes, I DEFINITELY want to rewind the clock and be in the comfortably hectic routine of carpools and never-ending laundry. I KNOW how to do that life. My usual reaction to change is stubborn resistance. I kick and scream and dig in my heels wanting to keep everything the same. I push against the idea that anything positive may actually come from this imposing new direction.
In my spirit I am a redhead. In my soul I am someone whose heart leaps with the idea of uncharted territories. In my heart I am a woman who yearns to travel alone in the deepest jungles of the Amazon adventuring by day and journaling by light of the campfire at night. In reality, I love the luxury of a great hotel with a good friend to share the adventure. In reality I am a woman with curly brown hair who loves the familiarity of routine with a good surprise thrown in here and there. In reality, I love the comfort and soothing calm of my unchanged living room.
My reverie is broken by the cheer of the crowd as the graduates throw their caps into the air in a collective howl of achievement, hope and promise. The music plays and the new semi-adults file out to smile for the miles of cameras lined up to capture the moment. I remain seated in the bleachers remembering four years ago when my oldest daughter was a year into her college experience, my son was in new surroundings and the same afore-mentioned baby was graduating from high school. I remember the same stubborn resistance to facing the EMPTY NEST. I remember the pit in my stomach and the heaviness in my chest as I felt my fists clench in rebellion to the idea of letting go. Yet, let go I did, as I had to. As every parent must. As we all must, to become more of ourselves, to learn more lessons, to keep ourselves growing and expanding into new horizons. I am remembering that out of that willingness to let go and sit in the still, empty space, iTHRiVE was conceived. In the four years of time that Julia completed college; iTHRiVE was incubated, nurtured and brought into being. I am remembering the story of the woman who fell into a raging river and clung to a branch sticking out. The water crashed around her and she held on for dear life. She gasped for air and felt cramps in her hands, yet she continued to cling with determination. This continued for hours until her strength left her and she had to let go. She bounced and swirled with the torrent and did not know what side was up. She felt herself relax with surrender and move with the water. Suddenly, all was still and she found herself in calm, safe water. Letting go had saved her life.
I sighed, gathered the program and my purse, and headed out into the land of smiling families and celebration. We snapped shots, lunched together, toasted madly and hugged with fervor. I lingered as long as possible and then Ieft the graduate to her cohorts and headed on my solitary journey back to Denver and my new life as MOTHER OF GROWN CHILDREN. I spent the afternoon in the tranquilizing ritual of errands and GETTING THINGS DONE. As the day faded into night I pulled into my driveway and took a deep breath as I stepped in the door of my quiet house. I walked by the living room and got drawn into its familiar comfort. As I sank into the chair that had not changed position for ten years, I sat down with an invitation for that empty stillness to lead me to my next place…..as long as I don’t have to rearrange the furniture!
In love and letting go,
Randi and Daniela