12 days ago today my first grandchild was born. She is an adorable baby girl.
I had planned to write a post the day after her arrival to share my news. But little did I know just how busy and preoccupied I would be! I should have known better. So many of my friends had warned me that my life would be changing in ways that I couldn’t imagine. I tried to protest but they just smiled a ‘knowing’ smile back at me. If any of them are reading this I am sure their ‘I told you so’ smiles will be even broader!
But isn’t it true that the personal impact of almost all our everyday life transitions take us by surprise? Few us can predict how our first serious job / marriage / birth of a child / losing a parent / receiving our senior bus pass will really affect the way we feel, think and act in the future. We see it happening to other people but we think we will be different. How hard it is to accept that fundamentally we are as ordinary as every other human being.
One important aspect of my work over the years has been to help people to discover and value their individuality. This is a key part of the self-esteem building process. Prior to starting their personal development work, many of my clients mistakenly seek to boost their self esteem by trying to please other people. Being liked and valued by others is both enjoyable and often essential for our survival. But it should not be essential to our self esteem. We need to like and respect ourselves enough to sometimes function without always being liked or even respected by others. The challenge is to manage these differences without losing respect for each other.
One of the firsts steps to finding a connection with ‘different’ others is to find something that we have in common. This is often to be found in our everyday personal ives . This is the area where we are most likely to share very similar joys, sorrows, anxieties and thrills.
So now I am going to enjoy being a very ordinary Grannie who is happy to coo and rock while the world goes round without me. And when I emerge from this domestic cocoon, I would like also to value and enjoy sharing this ‘mundane’ experience with all the other Grandparents in the world who I might otherwise have considered to be different from me.