Moving Out — Taking Next Steps

So the day I had hoped for and dreaded is almost upon us; you’re moving out! I always planned for you to be this strong woman who took ‘life by the horns’ and built yourself a future with confidence and security. Your first days at college were difficult for mom and I but I always knew it was a right of passage and the right next steps for your personal growth. I had done it and it helped me grow up, now it was your turn. At the time we knew we would survive the empty nest and maybe even secretly looked forward to getting to know each other again without all the daily kid challenges.

It was not in the plan that you would return home after college with a new, beautiful baby and boyfriend and build an early beginning with your family integrated as part of ours. Who would have thought that I would have found so much life in your daughter, bonded so quickly ,and was able to relive the moments when you were that age with a deeper sense of maturity and wonder. You have given us a close-in experience that we could not have had in any way. Sometimes it is these unplanned moments that deliver the most excitement.

As I come to terms with the next steps as you build your new life here are a few thoughts (learnings) for you to consider, I call them the three C’s; cherish, collaborate, and courage.

  1. Cherish every moment like it is your last and ‘be in the moment’ during good times and bad. Good times are the reward, bad times are for learning but they are both important and essential to building strong bonds. It’s normal to get frustrated, however, the sun will rise the next day. Remember time is measured in days and years, not just moments, and you cannot get any of the seconds back. I remember at your college graduation the speaker said that ‘there are two things you cannot get back in life; one is time and the other is opportunities’. Use your time wisely and see all times as opportunities. I remember older, wiser people telling me when you were small, ‘enjoy every moment as they grow so fast”. I didn't believe them but I sure understand it now. Put away your electronic devises at times and cherish every moment you can!
  2. The ability to collaborate is an important element of every relationship, home and work. It is not important to be correct or incorrect in your daily dealings as much as to seek to understand each other. One of the greatest gifts you will be given, besides your children, is the opportunity to experience life through another set of eyes. While you think that you understand the meaning of life and what you want for the future, the right partner will help you see life a little differently and create a richness for your overall life experience. Living with someone just like you sounds like an easy proposition but the reality is that it takes a team and different thinking to really get the most out of life. It reminds of an old Indian proverb I had read many years ago that said ‘if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together’. You need different points of view to truly push each other and maximize your life's experiences.
  3. Starting your new life takes courage. It does not always begin like you thought it would but maintain your vision for the future and take a step towards it every day. Take some calculated risks that may include a new job, a new city, or a new house. Your Mom and I did it and have cherished memories of new people we met or experiences we had together. Risks are opportunities when well managed. Opportunities are the other thing besides time that you cannot get back for yourself. Additionally, have the courage to be the person you want to be, built on your strong character, values and confidence. You can achieve your dreams when you stay focused, work hard and never give up your dreams. Stand up for what you believe in.

Lastly, take care of our precious grand-daughter! We will see her often but it will not be the same as daily in our house. It will help her and you to move out and not have doting people who are so willing to spoil her all the time. Remember, babies are born with clean slates; no anxieties, hang ups, or preconceived notions. Be careful to fill her slate with the best parts of you both and leave any of your open issues for yourself. The saddest part of all is letting go of you and her even though it is the right thing to do! Having her in our house reminds me of what I missed while traveling when you were younger. Learn from this and remember that you do not get the chance to relive your life. Make it your best life ever. Thank you for letting us be a part of it — Love Dad.