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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Letting Go and Saying Goodbye

I feel like 2011 was a year of sad goodbyes and letting go.  I said goodbye to a wonderful man who died of cancer, and I said goodbye to an exceptional lady who died suddenly of a brain aneurism.  I came to terms with the fact that a long time friend was no longer a friend, and I let go of the obsession to help two different people who refuse to be helped.  Though, truth be told, I still hold out hope that both of those people will see the neon sign flashing in front of them that says: Danger Stupid, Quit Engaging In Self-Destructive Behavior.

Today, I find myself saying goodbye and letting go again.  This time I’m saying goodbye to an era in my life.  My youngest child’s registration for pre-school is going on today, and guess who isn’t standing in line.  You guessed it – me!  I’ve been registering my kids for mother’s day out and pre-school for the last eight years of my life, but today I’ll be having coffee with girlfriends instead of standing in the long line to make sure my child has a spot at mother’s day out. 

I thought I would be really excited for this time to come.  I mean, I have spent the last eight years of my life with basically only two personal hours a day, if I’m lucky!  So why do I feel a little bit sad?  Stupidity?  Selfishness?  I feel as if this is the first step in a lot of years of learning to let go of my children, and this seems like the hardest goodbye yet.

My youngest son is only five, but I swear he talks regularly about who he will marry someday.  I’m envisioning him now standing at the end of the aisle of a church, and me blubbering as I let him go and start a life with some other woman who hopefully will adore him as much as I do. 

So why is letting go, even if it’s just a bit, so hard?  I think perhaps it’s because, though we love to complain about the restrains on our time, or at least I do, we get used to the routine and even comfortable in it.

My goal now is to enjoy the new adventures to come for my kids and myself and focus on the things I have been dying to accomplish, and just might have a bit more time to do so when my youngest starts kindergarten in August. 

I will actually have several solid hours to write without having to skip things such as working out, the grocery store or cleaning my house.  I am going to start taking tennis lessons because I have always wanted to learn to play tennis, but have never had the time.  Maybe I’ll learn to paint or play piano.  These are two things I have always wanted to learn to do.  Or maybe I’ll find my days are just as busy as they were before both my boys were in school full time.  I’ve had several friends tell me this is the case.

Have you had to say goodbye to a friend, a loved one or a period in your life?  How did you cope?  Did you learn something new you had always wanted to do?  I’d love to hear from you.

Have a great day!
Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem


  1. Life seems like a series of goodbyes at times, but I guess on the other hand, it's also a hello to a different phase. I always feel sad when my oldest reaches a new milestone. I think that's normal, or else everyone I know is abnormal. :)

    My son starts high school next year, and it's hard to think about letting him go. Then again, he may still be sitting on his couch playing video games after graduation unless we give him a nudge from the nest.

  2. LOL, Samantha. So true! I already told both my boys that I don't care what they do when they grow up as long as the take care of themselves!

  3. I have been lucky to not have had to say goodbye to any friends, but family members yes, several close - my dad, my aunt and uncle. It is hard but I keep thinking of all the good memories.

    My thoughts are with your for your losses and hope your special people turn their lives around.

  4. This is one of the hardest things for me to do. I hate to give up! I never want to admit defeat! But sometimes it *is* the healthiest thing to do.

    May you move forward and embrace all of your new chapters, Julie!

  5. My husband left us after 17 years of marriage (it was in 1987),my kids and I lost our way of life....I was a soccer mom, large home, plenty of money, country club.Within weeks we lost our house and I had to go to work in a drugstore, my youngest age 6 was suddenly a latch key child, many times I wanted to drive my car into the front of a tractor trailor.However, we survived- still don't know how.My kids are grown with their own kids.I'm still single and still looking- my romance novels give me hope.Now I'm about to adopt a dog- friends who know me well think I've lost my mind, but this will be another new chapter for me.I've always said...life is like a train trip, you never know what station you'll be pulling into next.

  6. Wow. Way to persevere, sheila. You can't keep a strong woman down!

  7. Sheila,
    What amazing strength you have. Your kids are lucky to have you!

  8. At my age, life is more letting go than anything else. A lifetime of multiple moves, parents and grandparents gone as well as friends. But there are also times when you have to shake up your life and change it. A type of letting go that lets you experience new things and have new adventures.