The Changing Landscapes of Our Lives

It was a Facebook post that struck me. As the “Back to School” frenzy started and the requisite Back To School photos started being posted, one post showed a mother crying her eyes out as she dropped her baby off at Kindergarten for the first time while the Grades 1 – 12 Mom’s celebrated with bubbly.

I took one look at the post and knew that I didn’t feel like toasting with bubbly.

I was the Mom crying my eyes out.

I had just dropped my baby off at university and then got on a plane and flew four hours home.

Yup. The school drop-off to end all drop-offs.

I arrive home in time to be able to see my second born off to her new school in Junior High. Where does she want me to drop her off? No less than five blocks away from her school. In fact, we’re into week two already and I have yet to step foot into her school. The freedom of coming and going on her own is too enticing for her.

For both of them.

We have raised incredibly resilient, independent children who are eager to chart their own course.

 

I am proud, for sure.

And I don’t know where the time went.

For all of you parents out there who have done this, you tell me that they do come back! And I believe you. But this doesn’t change the fact that the ripple effect of my firstborn out of the proverbial nest, for the time being, is playing out in so many areas of my life and work.

The opportunity is here to redefine relationships and to look ahead with a new lens.

How often do we go unconscious in this scenario? Where we try to fit our old habits into this new mould?

Where do you try to fit old habits into a new mould?Click To Tweet

Here are seven signs it’s time to seize the opportunity to redesign your day-to-day: 

  1. Your children are entering the final stages of high school or entering graduation
  2. You and your partner find yourself staring at each other for the third night in a row wondering why you don’t have to drive someone to dance or hockey
  3. You have a lay-off or ending of a work contract in your household and one partner suddenly finds themselves with a lot of time
  4. You have a windfall (maybe you just won the $50 Million Jackpot!) and have no idea what to do with it (can I just say this would be a very nice opportunity to have!)
  5. Your parents have passed on and you find yourself with a gaping hole in your world
  6. You find yourself with a big bonus of time because one of your big responsibilities is no longer there
  7. Your children are now both in grade school and you find yourself wondering what’s next for you

These are the changing landscapes of our lives. The times when we get to regroup, take note and reclaim the work and life we want to live. What’s available to you now that X has happened? What opportunities lie within reach now that you don’t have to do the “thing” anymore?

If you find yourself at an intersection of your life or work and find yourself taking pause for thought about what’s next for YOU, try asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • What opportunities are available to you now that you are no longer required elsewhere?
  • If you could fast forward a year, what would you like to have changed?
  • What do you absolutely know that you do NOT want to be doing five years from now?
  • What feels like the most logical next step for you?
  • What part of your work no longer fits? What do you want to get rid of and what do you want to step into?
  • Is there something you want to reclaim? Maybe you used to spend Wednesday nights at a women’s league of some sort, or you used to be on a Dragon boat team but you let that go?
  • What is the opportunity to step into your personal relationships differently? What’s changed?
  • What do you long for? Truly?

And then, as I have done, wipe your tears, press “reboot” and get on with things.

What part of your work or life needs a refresh? Now’s the time. It’s September. The second “New Year.” Let’s get Back to School, Back to Business, and Back to YOUR Life.

To your success, in business, and in life,

Susan Elford

Personal Balance Equation Workbook ABOUT SUSAN ELFORD

Susan Elford is a PR Strategist & Leadership Coach who especially loves to work with people who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a balanced life. Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.

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