Monday, January 18, 2010

Changes…Choices…Challenges

I thought I’d update my photos with and of my grandchildren. Wow! Have they changed in a year! It was a challenge to find the best one and I was forced to make a choice. Speaking of which, during the past week I’ve heard the following comments in one form or another:

"My husband has no outside interests. I’d like to do things, but I feel guilty when I leave him all the time.We should be out there enjoying ourselves."

“We’ve relocated. My husband doesn’t have the interest I do in making new friends. He’s happy to watch TV, work in the yard and take me to dinner. I need women friends. I’d even like ‘couple friends’.”

“My daughter asked me to watch my grandchildren for a long weekend. I’ve been running in circles with my job and some volunteer commitments that were on the calendar months ago. I had to say “no” and I feel guilty.”

“I don’t know what’s happened. My dear friend and I have drifted apart. I thought we had been through significant life experiences together that would weather the changes of my leaving the place where we both worked, but she seems to have moved on.”

Changes, choices, and challenges. Which have you encountered lately? Any advice or solutions to offer?

We’d love to hear your “point of view”.

Marilyn
www.marilynnutter.com

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Post Christmas Reflections

Two days before Christmas, I read a posting from one of my Facebook friends who’s a young mom: “Anyone have any ideas for Christmas traditions? "We’re away from family.” I thought that two days before Christmas was a bit late to begin to think about establishing traditions for the current season, but I posted a few of ours and I noticed that three or four others offered some suggestions too.

On the other end of the spectrum, I received an email from a boomer friend who retired and relocated to a warmer climate. She and her husband also spent Christmas away from family. It read, “Our Christmas was good but it was very different.”

Me? For the first time in forty years, I didn’t celebrate Christmas morning in my own home but was 2,000 miles away. I watched with delight as my daughter prepared our traditional Christmas breakfast and I enjoyed the sparkle in my grandchildren’s eyes as they opened presents. I connected with my two other daughters via webcam. Our matching pajamas tied us together. It was lovely, but different. Later, we flew to the other side of the country and we changed New Year’s into a delayed “live” Christmas with my other daughters and grandchildren.

Yes, the seasons of life bring change. Relationships change, holidays are different.

How were your holidays? Different, lovely, stressful, hectic, lonely, a change from previous years? Now that Christmas is behind us but still fresh in our minds, I’m inviting you to comment and help all of us manage and be proactive for Christmas 2010. Whether you are a boomer woman or grandmother, or the adult daughter or daughter-in-love of one, what suggestions can you offer that we can file away for next Christmas? Do you have an in-town or long distance tradition to recommend, a holiday schedule to suggest, stress relievers to offer, a way to manage being away from family or if relationships are tense, managing being with family, or a way to manage expectations?

My thoughts are twofold: it’s January and we can prepare to think about the traditions we want to establish for next year (if we like your idea and it suits our family structure) and in the cases where Christmas may have been different, we can benefit from your experiences and advice.

The seasons of life bring change. Let’s talk!

Marilyn

www.marilynnutter.com