Saturday, July 28, 2012

6 Great Reasons You Finally Have An Empty Nest


It's official…my baby is gone to college. I dropped him off at a house he'll be sharing with several other students for a few weeks until the dorms open. Several hundred deep breaths later, vowing not to think about that house too much, or how far away it is, I think I'm good with my empty nest, and here's why.
It's where your child needs to be. It's time for them to spread their wings and fly. Solo. You've done the work of supporting them through the scrapes and bruises of life and love. Now they've got to figure out some things on their own, like how to get laundry done, food purchased, money managed, and perhaps what to do with their life.

It's where you need to be. You've spent 18 or so years raising them. Hopefully you've focused you yourself as well. But whether you've had enough you-time or not, this is your opportunity to devote more energy to your needs, goals and desires.

It's where your relationship needs to be. Don't have a relationship? No problem. It's time to work on getting one. Already in a relationship? It's time to focus on where that's going and where you'd like it to go.

It's time to consider the future. Your career, relationships and bucket list are open to inquiry. You're not spending as much time on kid-related activities. What would you like your life to look like in 5 years? 10 years? This is a great time to start planning ahead.

It's time to have margaritas with the girls. I'll admit it. This is one of the first things I did. And I did it on a school night. Kick back and relax in whatever form that takes. You don't have to worry about homework getting done, clothes being washed or bedtimes observed. It's all about you baby.

It's time to let go. Yes, you still have a tremendously important role as a parent. And yes, you really have to let go. In case you failed to realize that you probably didn't know where your child was at 10:00, now you must accept that you definitely do not know. And it's okay. You've taught the important lessons and values. Now it's time for you to trust your child to act on these independently.

You might want to get on this pretty quick. With all the kids returning home to live with their parents after college, my plan is to enjoy it while I can.

Fly Away, John Denver

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happiness is a Warm Run

July 4th is a 10K tradition for me and I set out with 57,753 of my running buddies. The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta is the biggest 10K in the world, and I got to run it. I know, I know; I can hear the groans. Running's not for everyone, but the excitement was palpable. There was some kind of transcendent experience going on. I felt happiness all around me. Allow me to explain.

It is a beautifully clear day with a cool 71 degrees in Atlanta. With the 85% humidity it does feel a bit warm. There are lots of people everywhere and at 7:30AM the first group takes off.  They really take off, finishing the 6.2 miles in a mere 27 minutes, 36 seconds. You don't need a calculator to get how fast that is. I am elevated by participating in an activity with this amazing group of athletes.
I get to my start wave and we're all like horses in their stalls before the race. We're shuffling, stretching, talking, listening to the announcer and itching to get going. But we're in an enormous pack. We can't move much. I get a little choked up which seems inexplicable at first. Then I realize it's about being in this huge group of people united in our quest to finish 6.2 miles in the heat on Independence Day.
The whole enterprise is not too serious though. There's music blasting on the sidewalks along the course, people are handing out free food, beer, Frisbees, headbands, and other goodies. Runners are in costumes and makeup and there's a lot of red, white and blue. It's my version of the dances, raves, religion and nature that John Haidt associates with self-transcendence. Ultimately, there's a feeling of being uplifted, along with fulfillment and happiness. At that moment life does have meaning.
I'm not saying you have to find your happiness and meaning in a run.  I am saying you have to find something that gives you that uplifted feeling.  Something transcendent. Something sacred.
Of course, Happinessis a Warm Gun, John Lennon

Sunday, July 1, 2012

3 Recovery Skills You Need Post-Infidelity

Many of us have to cope with infidelity and affairs in our relationships. Speed up your recovery from infidelity using self-care,resilience and optimism.

See my post on YourTango.

Happy listening with I'm Better Than I Used To Be, Tim McGraw