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The Distraction of Transition

Picture a white board hanging on a wall very, very close to a merry-go-round. Picture me sitting on a lovely carved steed on that merry-go-round, black marker in hand, leaning from the saddle to write my story on that white board.

Now picture what happens when the merry-go-round starts up.

That's been my writing brain for the last couple of days—quite determined to make progress, yet spinning around and around after only a few sentences of progress.

Yes, I'm distracted and excited about the training conference I'm attending next week and the possibilities it sets out. It's a big enough deal that I keep putting a clamp on my own excitement before it runs away from me—a reaction my mother considers so dysfunctional, she's decided I need daily talks about positive thinking and believing in one's self. (Personally, I'd say I have an overinflated sense of my own ability to succeed, but what do I know about my own perspective, right?)

No, Mom simply doesn't understand that high excitement short-circuits my ability to actually work. Excitement turns my brain into a motivational speaker: rich in inspiration, lacking in concrete progress. I've learned to stop my own excitement, at times resorting to seemingly worst-case scenario thoughts, before it overwhelms me. Alas, sometimes it appears to others that I simply don't get excited about anything. The truth is I get excited way too easily, about way too much.

But the real distraction at the moment isn't the excitement. Rather, there's a sense of crossing a boundary in time, one of those Stages of Life transitions. Accepting the new training position and its potential benefits puts an end to the phase in which I cobbled together whatever I could to get by so I could be the mother I wanted to be. In order to be home most of the day and continue homeschooling Dev, I gave up the potential income, benefits, and status of a stable and lucrative job. I am very proud of the fact I've run a dojo, written books, taught seminars, and worked with clients all at the same time. On the other hand, none of those pieces have enabled me to move beyond "just getting by" because, as I learned this last year, I couldn't focus on any one of them without giving up much of the others.

But now, Dev is not only closing in on finishing high school, he doesn't need my daily help to get there. And he certainly doesn't need me "taking care" of him any longer. Thus I no longer need to turn down opportunities. I no longer need to let things pass me by.

The other indication of that transition: Dev will be staying home on his own for the six days I'll be gone. He's done a couple days on his own before, but this time, he'll be doing it with a car, and for much longer. He is seventeen, after all, and only three months younger than I was when I completely moved out of my parents' home. My anxiety, as always, isn't over what he might do wrong, but what might happen that's beyond our control. But since I don't think that'll change no matter how old he gets, I'd best just buck up now. :)

Put all that together, and it says my time as a single homeschooling mother is coming to an end. Key pieces of my identity will no longer be necessary.

There is no empty-nest mourning, but no confetti-and-puppies celebration, either. Instead, what sits in my mind is the weighty awareness of transition. Moving ahead and moving onward as my son does the same in a direction of his own choosing.

So... yeah. My mind keeps wandering around those thoughts, peering at them from all angles, and the most profound reaction it comes up with is, "Whoa. Huh. Wow." It's rather distracting.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 11th, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC)
He sounds responsible. I was sixteen when my parents let me stay home from their week vacations to Palm Springs, which I loathed, and those days were before instant communication. These sorts of days are really good practice for being on one's own.
Jan. 11th, 2014 07:42 pm (UTC)
He is indeed very responsible, thank goodness! And starting to realize just how cool it is to be a young adult. :)

Practice is indeed a good thing, and I had a mere 48 hours of it before I moved out on my own. Which, in retrospect, does explain a lot of late teens and early twenties...
Jan. 11th, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC)
Very apt description, I'd say.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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