During the same season of book title contemplation, my son graduated from high school and prepared to leave home for college. I knew my job title of 18 years was about to shift radically, but I had no idea what it would be shifting to.
I knew it would be a challenge for me to pivot from my coveted role as single mother of an only child. I knew there would be a few extra hours in the day to spend on things other than parenting. I was more than a little nervous about what that was going to look like. The heat was on to prepare myself for my new life in a new role.
I took the challenge head-on and began listening intently to every entrepreneurial podcast I could find. Per my usual intense self-diagnosed, gently-OCD style, I took notes and created folders corresponding to podcasters who inspired me most. Gradually, a vision for a scaled version of my existing coaching practice took shape. There was a mixture of feelings ranging from paralyzing fear to excited, unknown euphoria.
Meanwhile, THE day came. While my son attended his college students’ orientation, I attended mine. There I sat in the parents’ orientation, supposedly learning how to use the parent portal. But my mind wandered as I silently wondered what the empty nest was going to be like for me as a single parent of an only child, whom I gave birth to at the age of 40. This kid … we are close. I later learned that some of my friends secretly expected I would disintegrate upon his departure (thanks for that). And in fact, they expected that neither my son nor I would fare too well without each other. They couldn’t have been more wrong. We have both thrived beyond our wildest dreams. But I digress.
Suddenly I snapped out of my internal catastrophizing, crying, future-tripping session in time to hear that the Dean of Students would be the next speaker. For some reason, I perked up at this title. Dean. What was the job of a dean of an organization? To promote development. To enhance success. To facilitate a respectful, diverse and inclusive environment. To provide direct support for successful navigation for a season of life.
Before I knew it, I was snapping photos of the slideshow with my cell. This was precisely describing the role I have played for my clients for years. Suddenly it hit me … I am a dean. I am the Dean of Varsity Menopause. What’s Varsity Menopause? Learn all about it, here.
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Sally Bartlett, ©2021