Sunday, July 26, 2009

Beginning a New Chapter

We’ve had three family graduations this year. My daughter completed her graduate studies and is now a licensed school psychologist. One niece graduated as a Doctor of Pharmacy, and another niece graduated from high school. It’s a happy time in our families, because these three young women have proven their worth as students and are now looking forward to a new chapter in their lives.

I remember the feeling of exhilaration each time I entered a new life chapter. graduations, teaching, marriage, motherhood, retirement – times of excitement and trepidation. Each milestone represented a time of promises to myself as well as others that this new life path would be the right one for me and that I would make the most of it. Would I have been so eager if I could have seen what the future actually had in store for me? Probably not. Things turned out quite differently than the scenario I had planned.

The challenge is to keep the momentum going. After several years, the newness goes away and without nurturing, the happiness can die. Excitement about the new job, the new school, or the new marriage can wane. The joy of being a parent is difficult to maintain amidst the pile of diapers and the sleepless nights. We all have our ways of dealing with the “letdown” – whether it’s working to improve things, accepting the status quo, or getting out of the situation.

I’m happy for the new graduates. I’m excited for them, and I know they will all do well, no matter what choices they make, and what the future holds for them. There will be pitfalls, as there are in everyone’s lives. All I can do as a mother and aunt is to be there, ready to provide physical, financial, or moral support, and let them go again.

What do you do to keep things fresh?

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