Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Déjà vu

I don't mind when people share hard things with me.  Even when I can't relate or have a limited framework to understand what they're talking about.  In fact, sometimes I think that people are so concerned with appearances that they don't really let people see the real them.  I'm guilty of this sometimes too.

Yesterday I had someone stop by my office, a woman, who I would estimate to be late 40s or early 50s.  During the course of the conversation she mentioned that her youngest child leaves for college in the fall and that she was having a pretty difficult time dealing with it.  It wasn't in a "look at me" sort of way or a "my life is so much worse than yours" sort of way, but in a very matter of fact, "this is what is happening and I'm having a hard time with it" sort of way.  We ended up talking about how expected (or unexpected) curveballs that life throws our way can end up turning into a really fun adventure.

A little bit later I was in a meeting with another woman, who I would also estimate to be somewhere in the late 40s or early 50s age range.  She shared that her youngest left for college in August and how she's finding it difficult to adjust to life as an empty nester.  Again, shared in a very matter of fact sort of way.  Again we talked about making it an adventure, and maybe pursuing some things she hadn't previously been able to do.

Neither of these interactions were hurtful.  In fact, they were both quite genuine.  I guess I just sort of found me an odd choice for a confidant on this topic.  And two conversations on the same exact topic maybe two hours apart, that's just weird.


  1. There's always this assumption that we haven't experienced "X" there's no way to relate. And yet, often, there's so much empathy people can offer drawing from different experiences. They can also offer insight.

    I'm glad you had these discussions. That they were honest.

    1. Agreed. Sometimes profound insights can come from where we least expect them. I love honest discussions where people share their hearts.

  2. Trying to be charitable, perhaps they recognised that you might understand their pain at facing a life in a home without children? Perhaps it was, in admittedly an awkward way if this was their first approach to you, a way of letting you know that they recognise your life might not be as you had chosen?

    Maybe too, they didn't feel they could say this to women who were actively parenting, for fear they'd get a response along the lines of, "oh my god, you can have mine, they're driving me crazy," or "I can't wait till mine leave home."

    Or maybe you're just such an understanding, sensitive soul, they felt safe with you.

    Or all of the above.

  3. Your response to these ladies is a testament to your open, empathetic, gracious nature. I have such respect and admiration for you.

    Naomi M