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Traditionally Speaking….by Pat Larsen - Learning to PAUSE

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/17/24 | 4/17/24

Every column I usually write is often about a topic taken from the pages of my life as a Baby Boomer trying to navigate this constantly changing world.

In this particular case, it was extremely cathartic to sit at my tablet and begin to unwind and reflect. I was trying to make some sense out of an especially intense situation that I had no playbook for.

As a parent, we think once our kids hit adulthood that we’ll be free and clear to just co-exist. Guess again. But, maybe you knew this.

The actual subject doesn’t really matter in truth.

My intention is to share how I was able to move forward so as to buy some time to get my head on straight before saying stuff I would be hard-pressed to walk back.

So here’s the solution that I found to be the best fit to help all parties to save face. Who knows, maybe if you find yourself in the same situation as I did, you’ll remember this MAY be a direction you can take.

Before I tell you what I discovered, (I’m sorry, I’m being a terrible tease, aren’t I ?) Let's chat a bit about the relationship between adult kids and we, the emerging elders, the BABY BOOMER category, that still pulls some weight. 

Not so long ago, we were the rule makers, the solution seekers, the breadwinners…right?

Retirement, in most cases, brought about a deep long peaceful sigh of appreciating all the fruits of our labor.

We were the role models, the wise ones, the sit back and take it all in a generation. Good for us!

If you, like me, had kids at a younger age, mostly early 20’s, then we are now currently faced with children in their late 40’s to early to mid 50’s categories.

If fate was kind and all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed, the adult children are well into their careers and their kiddos are giving them hell. There’s lots and lots of pressure, as we well recall.

I’m not sure who coined the phrase, mid-life crisis, but it’s a real thing that we are now witnessing among our own families.

It’s a very hard thing to watch, to sit quietly by and often not be able to help with because…it’s called “ADULTING” and they have to make their own way through to the other side of their lives. 

Ok, finally, I’m getting to my point. Wait, before I take the deep dive and share, let me pour another glass of wine…ok, I’m back.

Stuff’s going to come up that implicates our own (my own) inadequacies as younger parents. Questions from the adult kids have definitely made it sound as though there was complete incompetence on my part. 

To say, I felt like my back was to the wall when asked about things that happened 30 years ago, that I had long since forgotten about, really hit home. The pangs of guilt then fury were all intermixed and heartbreaking. I felt like a failure.

Then this happened…as you know, this is my favorite phrase.

I asked this question. 

Can we just “hit pause” for a bit so that you (the adult child) and I could gather our thoughts? 

THAT worked. Both parties took a breath, I had a good cry, and only then could we come back to the issue at hand.

We were refreshed and lovingly capable of reaching an amicable solution to a simple issue that all of us could bring our experience to.  All parties would find their way back to their centers. 

Something as simple as a question, a request and then an agreement to take a breath and hit PAUSE.

It’s not always that simple but with enough focus in advance it actually can be just that.

Pat Larsen lives, plays, and works in Greene County, NY with her husband of 50 years and their pup, Lily.

A recent recipient  of the prestigious Five Top Change Makers in Greene County,

Pat proudly brings programs to Baby Boomers and Seniors weekly.

Please contact Pat at 518-275-8686  to find out more.

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