Our children are heading off to college. Besides being shocked at our tuition bill, we should be feeling such excitement. So how come we aren’t?
Because transition is hard. Transition often creates a form of grief. We are missing something that filled a big part of our life.
I used to be annoyed when friends would express their sadness about their children heading off to school. Having lost a child to cancer I thought – “How dare you! Your child will come back and has the honor of this great experience. I wish I could experience my child heading off to school”.
I never said anything because I knew it was hard for them. Change is hard. Now that my 2 younger children are also leaving or soon to leave, the sadness is there for that also. Moving from being an active parent to a parent of young adults leaves us a bit bewildered. Where do we fit in? What do we do with all that time we used to fill on them and their activities?
So even with the sadness, it is time to start thinking about the future and filling your life with new adventures and possibilities. Sometimes grief makes us stagnant in decision making while we wait to feel better. From personal experience, I would encourage you to start planning and moving forward sooner rather than later. It is your adult time to play. For so long, goals, personal and financial, have likely centered on your family and children. As they move on, your goals can start being a bit more selfish too. Just like your young adult.