Finding the New Normal

College freshmen are leaving their familial homesteads in droves this time of year, August.  There are challenges on both sides.  The students who are leaving, are heading into the unknown; for them it will be their first experience living on their own.

 

They will have to adjust to a new schedule.
They will have to learn a new routine.
They will have find their new normal.

 

It can be distressing for a 18 year old to be thrust out into the world when they’ve had all of their needs met previously.  As much as children want to be on their own, to be away from the families, to feel free, once they leave the comforts of home it all finally sinks in.  This is not a family vacation where everyone goes away and everyone returns.

 

A friend of mine said goodbye to her son last week and as with all family relationships, there is the typical spreading of wings the last year of high school.  The child spends less and less time with the family, probably thinking:
Oh, I have plenty of time.

 

They don’t realize that time moves quickly and when there is none left and student and parents say their final goodbyes then it may sink into the student:
Wow!  I’m not going home.

 

This is when there may be a flurry of texting if you both of phones that can send and receive texts.  The student may now understand what was lost by not spending valuable time with family and upon realizing that he squandered his time to spend with friends instead of with family he may feel lost, especially because he has to start anew, find new friends, adjust to a new environment.

 

For parents, this can be just as challenging.  You’ve done what you can do to prepare your children for this monumental change.  Have you given yourself the time to consider what life will be like without your son or daughter?  As with your child, you’ve probably been too busy with your own life to stop and live in the present moment.  When the time comes for YOU to realize that your child will not be under your feet every morning, you won’t hear them return home from school in the afternoon, you can’t say goodnight and hear their response, it will be just as challenging to you as it is to them.

 

If we can look into the animal kingdom and take solace from their world, maybe it will be easier on us:
Birds simply toss the young out of the nest.  Their fledglings need to fly immediately.

Look at domesticated cats and dogs.
We take for granted that we come in and take puppies and kittens away from their mothers, sometimes as early as six weeks.  How do you think these babies can adjust to not only being taken away from their brothers and sisters, but also the their mother and the only home they’ve ever known?  Think about it.

 

Isn’t that what happens when children leave the comfort of their home?
Kittens and puppies adjust to the new normal.

 

So can you.
So can your child who has left.

 

All it takes is time. There’s that word again:
Time

 

Time can control you or you can control time.
What you decide will have ramifications on the rest of your life.

 

Your children will learn to be self sufficient.
Your children will move on and go through the same experiences as you are facing now.

Life is constantly recycling.
Life is one big circle.

 

What happens is supposed to happen.
Everyone eventually finds their way.

 

I think one of the challenges parents face is the concern that their children won’t succeed.  I think that is one reason we worry when we send our children off into the world. If we can only keep in mind what I said earlier:
What happens is supposed to happen.
Everyone eventually finds their way.

 

We can maybe settle our minds.
Can you settle your mind?
Do you understand that life is right on track?

That life is happening just as it should?

If you can see this then you can find your new normal.
As will your children.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

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