My daughter started?university a few days ago.? She is – in addition to being smart, kind ?and beautiful?- a very independent woman.? Of course, I am happy about that.? So why was I cranky, then??
At the end of her first day on campus, I was excitedly waiting at home for her to arrive and tell me all?about her adventures.? I was actually peering out the front window waiting for her to walk down the street.? (I haven’t ‘peered’?out the window since she and my son were very small, and I was worried about traffic, bullies or other harmful forces in the universe.)
Time passed and she did not arrive.? Instead, I got a text?from her saying she was meeting friends and would be home later.??
I realized that – while I was anticipating sharing in the experience of her first day, she wasn’t rushing home to tell me all her stories…she was rushing off to share those with friends.?
Now, it’s not the first time I have realized I am not forefront in my children’s minds (nor do I even think it is healthy that I would be) – it just ended up being a really BIG time!? And, I felt a bit ‘off’ for a time.
I realized it was because I was focusing?on what I thought I was losing, and not on what I was gaining.?
Just like the video below demonstrates, we all notice exactly what we are focusing on — and we also miss that which we are not focusing on.?
Sometimes, as parents, we both want to be needed, and we want our children?to be independent.? It’s also true for leaders and our staff members.
What I realized is that we can have both.? It’s not either/or, it’s ‘and’.
We can hold on to the realization that we have created the conditions around which our child (or staff member) can be independent, and we can let go of our old belief that?people only need us when they depend on us.
That’s exactly what our purpose is…as parents and leaders…to create conditions for success.? And a part of that is to both hold on and let go.
As you look at the next year in your life, what will you focus on?? What will you hold on to…and what will you let go?