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  • suewisdomwithin

Nothing New…Both/And

When I have coffee with friends, we always catch up on our parents’ situations. My mom has had a smorgasbord of health issues in the last couple years that really ramped up in the past 9 months. This led to a three-month stint in rehabilitation, ultimately causing her to move from her spacious independent apartment to a cozy one bedroom in assisted living. Mom is trying so hard to get her physical strength back while holding on to the hope that this new living situation will become a place where she can still help others “like I’m supposed to. I don’t like being the one receiving help.” I tell my friends that leaving my mom with tears in her eyes in the dining room with a table of strangers that first night felt as heart-wrenching as dropping my kids off on the first day of preschool. I wanted to stay, protect her, help her meet others. But I knew that she needed to do this on her own. And as I’m dealing with this, I’m watching my adult children spread their wings. I’m so proud of the work my daughter does as a social worker, how her big heart readily welcomes in stray cats, and how she squeezes all she can from nature’s offerings in the pacific northwest. And I love watching my son be resilient as he grapples with some jobs after college graduation that fell way short of what he was told and how he’s allowing himself time and space to figure out what is next.

My friends’ parents have far surpassed living expectations of cancer diagnoses, have gone from living at home to a nursing home within a few months’ time, and dealt with devastating effects of long-term diseases. And while this is happening, my friends are welcoming new people to the family…whether it’s marriage, birth or welcoming a fur friend to the fold.

All our situations clearly illustrate the “both/and” of life. It’s a difficult paradox to accept at times! Sometimes people in our age demographic are called “the sandwich generation” – caring for aging parents while supporting our children as they launch into adulthood. We’re parenting our parents and our children. We are both sad, frustrated, angry, etc., and excited, proud, joyful, etc. We have to learn to sit with both/and; and be comfortable here. It’s not easy. Sometimes we won’t show up how we wish we would. And it’s okay. We are human. We will take one moment at a time and do our best in that moment. And our best will change from moment to moment. And that is okay. We are both struggling and growing.

Would you like to talk to someone and have them listen to you and ask you powerful questions to help you navigate towards your goals? That’s what coaching is about. Having someone help you identify behaviors that are getting in your way and supporting you with tools to make the changes necessary to live your best life. Message or call me to set up a free Discovery session.

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