New Beginnings

This October I will become a grandmother for the very first time. I am excited and so ready for this new phase of my life. Many who know me well have heard me say for quite a while that I could hardly wait to have grandchildren. That long-awaited dream is now becoming a reality.

           With the loss of my mother last year, I know that this is how life works. Something ends and something new begins. It doesn’t always happen quite so distinctly, as with my mother’s death and the impending birth of my first grandchild, but as living beings, we are constantly experiencing change and transition, endings and new beginnings.

I’ve had some time to contemplate what it means to take on the role and label of being a grandma. It is giving me another opportunity to take a look at my life, to reevaluate it, and see how my life can look in the future. It’s an invitation to consider what I want to give up and what needs to stay for my own health and well-being. It’s given me the chance to assess what’s important to me now as compared to what was important a year ago. And it’s giving me another way to look at how I want to show up in the lives of my family members—what it means to be supportive as opposed to co-dependent, what is means to offer care and nurturance as opposed to being a caretaker in the strictest sense of that word.

As a former nurse, I understand how easy it is for me to slip into the role of caretaker. Not only is it in my nature but it was a part of my training to set aside my own needs in order to focus on another, to sacrifice self-care in order to care for others. Yet, I am clear that as I go forward in this new role of “grandmothering” my first grandchild, and the many future grandchildren I anticipate, I want to do it from a place of balance. This means I’ll need to take a look at my work schedule, at what I do in and with my personal time, and in how I offer my time to this wonderful child. 

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