This was a note to one of my mentors. It spurred quite a flurry of beautiful reflection and writing, so I thought I’d share. I’ve added a few photos with more summer lessons.
Beyond work, life has been full of things that teach me. While I could pontificate about what a blessing that is, the truth is that it’s pissed me off, made me sad, scared me to death at times, and really just frustrated the hell out of me this summer. But, this fall… I’m coming out on the other side seeing what is there.
Here’s what’s there:
- When people show you their true colors… SEE them for heaven’s sake!
- Sometimes, the body fails in order to give the mind a rest, especially when the mind doesn’t first listen to the body’s subtle hints.
- When I’m insanely stressed and stretched, I’m a parent coach who sucks at parenting… I mean like some epic failures. “Talk to the hand.” “Use KIND WORDS AND TONES!!!!” <yelled at high volume>, being too stuck in my yuck to climb the stairs and kiss them goodnight, and oversharing nit-pick life frustrations with children are just a few of my prized gems of the summer.
- When highly motivated and/or under duress, I’m good at dissecting police reports and other large bodies of information that may contain facts and inaccuracies.
- When the day is done and I’ve done my best, shut the laptop in peace.
- When the going gets tough or ugly, a lot of people scatter. Take notes. It’s okay to be kind and forgiving to the scatterers going forward, but know who has your back.
- Time spent with the love of your life is precious whether there are candles and linens or just holding hands through Aldi.
- Showing someone that you SEE them is one of the most precious gifts in life. It takes but a second sometimes.
- Mammograms are an evil procedure that I truly believe was created by a breast-less human with anger issues. No D cup should ever be smashed to an inch and a half thickness. And, it doesn’t matter how many times it happens, a call back because they found something is still cause for a life-flashing-before-one’s eyes moment. “Hold your breath now, don’t breathe…”
- When a kid says, “Mom, will you cuddle and read with me,” or “can you come talk with me,” or “will you tuck me in,” YES is the only appropriate answer.
- Everyone has a sword to fall on… something for which they must take a stand. But, no one can fall on them all. Choose wisely.
- If the weather is right for kayaking, go.
- The elation of laughing hard with the kids is only trumped by letting them see my tears and sharing with them that I hurt because they hurt… we are one.
- Parents are aging. We are aging. Kids are growing. It’s all faster than one imagined. Still, every human owns a kid heart, a kid memory. See that, play with that.
I’m sure you’ll see future writing about each of these bullets… One I already wrote about here. If there’s one that piques your interest, give me a nudge and I’ll pop it to the top of my list.
I’d love to hear about what you’ve learned in this last season.
Talk to me.
Julie Ford is a certified life coach, speaker, writer, facilitator and trainer. She helps organizations support their high performers through parenting transitions. With one-on-one and group coaching, she helps her clients to define what matters most in their lives, and to realize what is and isn’t working. Collaboratively, they move through a customized plan to find more joy and less chaos in the everyday.