At the tender age of 16 my oldest son Lachlan left home, moving from Melbourne, Australia, to Washington DC in the United States (where he'd lived from age 7 to 14) to finish high school. Crazy passionate about basketball, he felt that doing so would put him in a much better place to play college basketball, a burning ambition he'd had for years. My husband and I felt it was important to support him despite the many time zones and 24 hours of air travel that would separate us.
As the countdown to his departure drew nearer, I became more and more torn. He was so young. It was so far (16 000 kilometres away!). His leaving the family nest would create such a huge hole in our daily life … in my life! Increasingly, I found myself in tears at the very thought of him going away.
My dear friend Graeme was insightful, caring and courageous enough to point out to me that I seemed to be focusing far more on what our family was losing than on all that Lachlan would gain. His words made me realise that I'd been amplifying my own unhappiness and — albeit unintentionally — diminishing the quality of the time I still had with Lachlan at home.
Whatever we place our focus on is expanded in our reality … for better or worse. By dwelling on what I'd lose rather than all that Lachlan had to gain I'd dug myself into an emotional hole that was filled with ...