Clarity around what’s next

(It’s been a long time since I updated here! In the fall leading into Christmas/New Year a lot of the Flash Consults I did had to do with navigating family boundaries and expectations. People have SO MUCH HURT around expectations, and a lot of what I did was help people refine both what they were willing to take on and what they wanted to be deliberate about passing on to kids and other family members.)

For the last couple of months I’ve been doing the usual assortment of career-changer Flash Consults, and some small business discipline-crossers (people who are great at what they do who need to know how to approach some aspect of running a business that isn’t their content area). But I’ve also been getting an interesting subset of people (women and men) looking for someone to give them a little structure around refining “what’s next” for them as their kids become more self-sufficient and they aren’t treading water at home and work anymore.

One thing I’ve noticed about this is that a lot of us seem to feel a little guilty that we have the “luxury” of a little space to make some decisions. After running on empty and just barely holding up all the various ends that need to be held up when you have little kids, you can start to feel like that’s normal. So then when you have a little bit of breathing room that can feel both scary and decadent.

Don’t feel guilty about being out of the Red Zone of parenting. Your feeling guilty about being in a new phase doesn’t help anyone else who’s still in the Red Zone with parenting, or who’s having job problems, or anything else. In fact, your feeling guilty can suck up that extra energy that you could use to get into an even better position and maybe pick up some of the slack for someone else.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that people are always the same people. Meaning, who you were at 16 is who you are now at 38 with two kids. I haven’t heard your story yet, but I’d bet cash money that some of the things that are causing you conflict right now have to do with thinking you’re supposed to be essentially different than you were then. You were aces then, and you’re aces now. Work with your strengths and desires, and everything else will fall in place.

What kinds of problems are people going to hand me coming into the summer? I’m hoping for some more small business problems (because I love cost accounting and product design and process), and am thinking the next thing on the personal problem front may be sequencing schedules. But hey, you tell me!

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