Have you ever had the experience of wanting something, going after it, achieving it, then wanting to change your mind? This happens more frequently than you would think.
My husband and I have been blessed to raise 5 children to adulthood. Four out of the five, as they approached adulthood expressed the wish to live independently. It sometimes sounded like this “I can’t wait till I’m 18 and can get out of here”. When said like this it was usually a reaction to some rule or boundary being put in place.
At other times it sounded like this, “When I get my own place I want to make sure I have a pool and a gym at the complex so that I don’t have to pay and get a gym membership”. When said like this it was usually at a time when we were talking about the child’s adult aspirations.
No matter how the discussion arose, the intent was clear; they were all going to move out of the parental home and into a home of their own. My husband and I prepared our hearts for it, and at times wished it would arrive soon, and at other times feared the fast arrival of that time.
Each child in their turn migrated out of the home, with the exception of one. And each child in their turn came back, with the exception of one who has maintained his independence continuously. That child by the way is the only one who really planned their exit financially and didn’t do it as a reaction to boundaries being set.
What my husband and I realized was that although we loved them all, even when they at times were being unlovable, we knew that they needed to have the freedom to try their wings. We also knew that we couldn’t roll up the welcome mat yet. We kept the safety net spread in case their wings were not strong enough to get them far enough away into the land of full independence. And sure enough three of the four landed back at our doorstep with regrets.
Going after your dreams is not a bad thing however it is important that you don’t go after it without planning properly. Anger is great fuel at times to get us moving and it can give us the energy to make things happen, but it can promote movement that is not well timed or well planned.
When we take the time to look at the thing we want so much we need to ask ourselves 3 questions before we move towards it.
3. What am I leaving behind to move forward? Every time you make a choice to move towards something, you also make a choice to leave something behind. This is not always a bad thing; some things need to be left behind. If you are pursuing maturity, immaturity must be left behind.
When our children, each in their turn wanted to come back home my husband and I spoke with them about the expectations of our home. They left as children and upon return we greeted them as adults. They were reminded that they left their children status when they chose to live as independent adults outside of the home. As fellow adults living in our home, we still maintained the rights as the landlords to have certain rules, but they had obligations towards us that they didn’t have before. They now had rent to pay, they had obligations not to come in past a certain time, so that the dog wouldn’t bark and wake up the whole house. We were all working adults in the home and coming in at 2 in the morning on a work night was a no go. So we left it up to them to see if they could pay their rent on time and abide by the rules and if not assured them that we would not be upset if they found other accommodations that would suit them better.
If you are a person who is motivated to pursue your dream, whether it is the dream of a great relationship, new job or business, or even a lifestyle change, great! Most people struggle with finding the motivation to pursue their dream. However before you move forward into action make sure you ask yourself the above questions. Make a strategy, a plan that looks for the positives as well as the potential negatives then get some good counsel on it. Speak to people who had done what you would like to do, and done it successfully. They can tell you where the pitfalls and danger zone are. You don’t have to learn by your own mistakes, there are many people who have gone before, learn by theirs.
Your Focused Life Coach;
Allison Bonilla LCSW