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    Gisele is a Certified Executive Coach working with leaders seeking to enhance their leadership presence. See her profile.

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    Work, life and things in between-Day 8: What’s on my agenda?

    Back home now. Real life kicks in. I am now facing my new reality. Not sure I like it.  First I am still jet lagged and am up at 3.15 this morning.  It is amazing how empty, an empty apartment feels in the middle of the night.  Even the city is quiet. The urge to “do”something, to have a plan, to turn my blackberry on, to check my agenda is already eating away at me.

    I need somebody to need something from me.

    So soon?

    First I go through a whole month’s mail.  Good, this gives me some action plans.  Insurance to renew, bills to pay,appointments to make.  It feels better already.

    The real elephant in the room though is the piece of porcelain that is no longer there.  My daughter.  This, more than the job going away, is what is weighing on me.  As much as I have dreamed of the time when my life would be entirely my own again, I am shaken by what this means.

    Thirty plus years of mothering.  The second nature of nurturing and caring for someone needs to shift.  I want to face this head on and get it over with.

    I do as I have always done. Rearrange the closets and furniture as though they were my life.
    I am on the phone with her going over the stuff she left behind.
    – The green gym bag?  I asked.
    – You can throw it away, she says.
    – Your grade 3 gymnastics suit?
    – Keep it.
    – Seriously?

    The frustrating thing is that at her age she would probably still fit in….I remember wearing skirts at 40 that I used to wear at 20…those days are gone Baby…I can tell you that.  Today I am lucky if what I bought last season still fits….
    – Your beat up, stained, un-stuffed stuffed teddy bear?
    – Mom! You can’t get rid of that!

    Are you sure I can’t?

    This is going to be an exercise of negotiation, I can tell. This actually feels good, particularly getting rid of the empty boxes she was piling up  while I was storing my winter clothes in bags under my bed. Square footage is a scarce commodity in Vancouver! To retrieve some of it makes me feel rich.

    Getting rid of excess items, putting her life in boxes, away in the closets, removing her items from my desk is my way of claiming back my space and making sure I start right away occupying it.  That time of my life has come and gone.  She, as her brothers, have come and gone.  Of course they are still in my life, but in a different way.  No sense hanging on to something that is no longer there.

    Here I am, 30 years later, fifteen pounds heavier, few wrinkles around the eyes but money in the bank claiming to start all over again. I already knew that looks were the first thing to go…I am afraid to find out what’s next. To day 9.

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