Last week I made a visit to my friend Mavis. I sat and talked for an hour, well actually 55 minutes. That’s all the time allotted for her clients. I’m not crazy, but once in awhile it’s nice to sit and talk to someone outside the family, outside that group of friends with whom you spend your time socializing.
I first visited her when my last child went off to college. Since I was more or less a stay home mom, I wondered where this new phase of my life would take me. I would pass the kids rooms and the made up beds, the clutter free spaces only reiterated the feelings of being alone.
My husband was great. He would sit and talk to me. We would go out to dinner, we tried everything. I put on the mother’s smile and pretended. But I cried at everything. I mean to say I cried more than usual, I’ve always been a crier. Now I would cry sitting at a stop light, walking through the aisles at the grocery store. I knew I needed to talk to someone, and I needed not to be judged.
I went to Mavis. She was a friend of a friend. We talked, about everything. Secrets even my family have no idea’s about. Nothing sinister or earth shattering, but we all have things in our past that we just don’t want out there in the light. Her office was my one place where I could find that bit of insight and serenity I desperately needed to get through that time.
The things she told me weren’t so different from anything anyone else had said. But she talked to me in a way that made me come up with the solutions. Maybe I should volunteer with a children’s charity. Find a part time job. Write. Take time to find out who Wendy is now that she’s not ______’s Mom.
This time the visit was about my own expectations. My Mom’s thinking of selling her home of 55 years and moving to a condo. She seems to be counting on me to help her with the decision. My kids all seem to be in flux in their lives, looking towards new jobs and new directions. More times than not the calls come to me. And as Mavis told me one of my biggest problems, as well as asset, is that I’m a fixer. When someone says they have a problem I will jump in with both feet to help them resolve the issue.
SO - now I am working on letting people solve their own problems. My first question will be, ”What do you think?” And when I hang up the phone I’ll put the problem away and go write or garden.
Anyway, I promised to try.