This week my first ad on life coaching for empty nesting appears in the high school newspaper, which my daughters edited five years ago. The lessons of that time of life are still fresh for me. I want to help others as they move through the pain and loss of their kids going away to college, or moving out into the world in other ways.
In the book “Rising Strong,” Brené Brown, a shame researcher and storyteller, writes about loss, longing and feeling lost. Loss. Longing. Feeling lost. Each deserves its own period in my book; these are big concepts. Brown highlights the importance of really feeling the grief connected to transitions and how awkward and uncomfortable this experience is when we really take the time to feel it. Brown interviewed a father who was going through empty nesting: “Everything was off . . . nothing felt normal. I wasn’t sure where to park my car at our house. He had his car with him, but I still left his space open. Setting the table for dinner was strange; walking down the hall past his room felt painful—we were completely lost and at the same time happy for him ad proud of his accomplishments. We didn’t know if we should laugh or cry. We’ve done a lot of both.”
My 22-year-old daughter, Ella, recently got her first full-time job. Of course my husband and I, Proud Parents, are excited. When I posted the news on Facebook, it received almost 80 “likes” in a 24-hour period, the biggest response I’ve ever had on social media.
Youth and inspiration. Hope and possibility.
Ella seemed perplexed at my delight and the tears in my eyes when I showed her the response. She hasn’t yet even finished the paperwork, not yet set foot in the office. I explained that my friends, most of whom are in their 40s, 50s and 60s, love to see and encourage youth. To see our children and their friends succeed, make good, pursue excellence, contribute to the world.
Tuesday 18 Jun 2013 05:13
| ceremony, family, graduation, ritual
Ashland's newest life coach treated to a little 'Pomp and Circumstance' by her friends and family
By Janet Eastman
Ashland Daily Tidings
Renée Alice Riley-Adams, otherwise known by her initials "RARA," celebrated her graduation from life-coach school on Saturday in the most unusual way: For once, she followed tradition.
In a purple cap and gown with a bright-orange stole, she swayed to the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance" as she passed by applauding family members and friends lining the long driveway of her Ashland home.
Riley-Adams, 53, never participated in her previous graduation ceremonies.
Not at Los Altos High in California, because she had been kicked out of her mother's house when she was a sophomore. She later received her diploma without ceremony while living with her dad in Victoria, British Columbia.
Instead of walking with her class after she earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of British Columbia, she took a motorcycle trip across Canada and Europe.