(Recently, I retired from our family business after many years of working closely with my husband and three adult children. As a 70-year-old, I faced reality. Approaching my final season, it was time to make a choice. My final season, as defined by ME is the time to focus on ME. JCT, the other half of ME for the past fifty-two years, supported my choice. He willingly joined me on this journey. We packed up and moved thousands of miles away from the business and children. It was difficult to “Let Go.” Closely attached to the three of them as friend, mother, co-worker, and babysitter, I knew it would be difficult for all of us. I needed to write a letter to explain why I made my choice. Even though I interact with my children on a daily basis, periodically, I will write a letter just to say, “thank you,” I appreciate you” “I want to praise you,” “I love you,” and “I am proud of you.” This letter written not to long ago was the first about ME.)
My Dearest Children/Professional Colleagues:
These last two days gave me time to listen. My inner voice spoke to me. I listened. This season of my life God wants to direct me down a new path. A new journey. A new venture. A time to explore and discover ME.
In this last season of my life, I plan to open new doors. Hopefully, some will lead me to a life overflowing with tranquility, serenity and peacefulness. When I look back over the years, there were few opportunities to BE ME. I left my parents’ home at the age of seventeen, newly married, with a baby on the way. Thereafter, my priority has been that of wife, mother, grandmother and career. God blessed me with the three of you and five beautiful grandchildren. I am grateful for all the happiness and joy you guys have brought into my life. However, before I allow this season of my life to past, I want to begin to tackle my “Bucket List.”
So many things I want to do. Yet, sometimes I feel there is so little time. As a beginning, I want to:
- further develop and sharpen my writing skills.
- learn how to prepare and cook healthy meals. The dozens and dozens of health-related cookbooks I have collected is an example of a dream never fulfilled.
- practice Yoga and Pilates. For years, I wanted to take classes, but my inability to do floor routines prevented me from doing so. In November, I discovered Pilates and Yoga DVD chair exercises. Yet, both remain unopened.
- read for relaxation and pleasure. Both my IPAD and Kindle have 100s of unread books.
- create a blog as a connection to the diverse range of people in the blogosphere. The blog is set up, the first post is a work in progress.
- complete training on my MAC laptop. Gifted as a birthday present by ME and to ME in November. It is still in the shipping box.
- study, daily, the On-Line Bible Program I bought more than nine months ago. Though loaded on my computer, I have not completed the first lesson.
I hope you guys will support my choice to pursue this new adventure. It took a lot of praying, reading, and more praying. Many nights, I prayed for God to guide and lead me in the way He would want me to go. I woke up at 4:00 a.m., this morning, went into the front living room, and opened my IPAD to read a few inspirational quotes on Pinterest. The first one to pop up:
To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring. It means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to enable but to allow learning from natural consequences
To let go is to admit powerlessness which means the outcome is not in my hands
To let go is not to try to change or blame another. I can only change myself
To let go is not to care for, but to care about
To let go is not to fix but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge but to allow another to be a human being
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes
but to allow others to effect their own outcomes
To let go is not to be protective. It is to permit another to face reality
To let go is not to deny, but to accept
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue but to
search out my own shortcomings and correct them
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires but to
take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone, but
to become the best I can be
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future
To let go is to fear less. Trust in God more and freely give the love He’s given to me .
I Am Letting Go to find ME. My requests to you my children — both as siblings and professional colleagues. Remember your core values. Stick together as a family. Protect each other. Love each other. Trust each other. Respect each other. Value each other. Support each other. I know you will stay connected even when your father and I are no longer actively involved in the business. Yes, there will be differences as you continue to work together, but never let the bonds of our family disintegrate. I truly believe you will honor my requests.
In summary, my choice — “cut the apron springs” and “spread my wings” as I journey down a path of self-fulfillment, self-examination, and self-development. This is the season of my life and the possibilities are unlimited.
(My first blogpost on this new journey.)