Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grandparenting: Truly, A 'Next Great Thing'

Over the last two years, I've talked about the transition of dozens of people out of their careers to "the next great thing."  There are questions about identity, the hurt of being fired, being too busy (rarely not busy enough), getting out of sync with a still-full-time-working spouse, finding new adventures, and learning to say no to the many ideas and offers that bubble your way. And much much more.
What I've barely written about is the Greatest Next Thing that most of us wish for -- or cherish if we are lucky enough to already have it. The elephant in the room. Namely, grandkids. Perhaps almost subconsciously,  I've largely avoided touching on the grandparent role, though I now have four delicious grands, including one born just 8 months ago. Why has it been such a small part of this blog, yet such a big part of our lives?
I think because self-identifying as a grandparent is an admission of age. And also a window into the soft side of ourselves, the side that is not striving for an independent identity, continually on a path of discovery. Yet grandparenting, especially for those who step in on a regular basis, requires tremendous energy, as I discovered and did write about -- once -- in  Grandmalympics earlier this year.
For now, here is a wonderful essay by Sally Friedman, a writer who is tackling the deeper meaning of grandparenting and its own challenges. For instance, relating to children and young adults who are two generations behind you, especially when the buffer generation of their parents (your children) is not present.
Enjoy her insights and wisdom.
And let me know your thoughts on the challenges and self-discovery grandparenting brings and how to balance time with grandkids with time for yourself, to pursue other ventures.

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