Why a good meal beats a family cruise – Boomers
Jill was frustrated. She wanted to find a way to spend time with each of her grown children and thought a family cruise was the answer. She spent a lot of time researching and had a cruise all lined up, but after looking at costs and all the logistic of pulling 10 people together, she was having second thoughts. She started this idea to make sure to spend time with each of her sons and daughters (and their kids) on a regular basis. Family vacations sounded like a good idea, then the reality of being “all together for a week” and her kids’ limited budgets got in the way. Since she and her husband were now retired, they saw how precious time was, but their retirement savings was also precious.
Thinking differently. What Jill faced is common for a lot of Baby Boomers: how to stay connected to their kids, without going broke in the process. At STPI, we ask people to broaden their choices, to go deeper, to understand what they REALLY want as an outcome from their decisions. In Jill’s case, since she was a single mom for a long time before remarrying later in life, her kids were the center of her universe. The idea that she might might lose that connection caused real fear in her.
“What comes up every year on the same date?”, I asked Jill. I asked what she and her kids enjoyed doing regularly. She said “spending time together, just a dinner really”. I asked, do you have to all be together for a dinner to make it “count” for family time? Jill smiled and said “no”. I asked, is there one day each year that you share with each of your kids? She laughed and said, “their birthdays”. Bingo!
Her phone buzzed. A short time after we chatted, Jill got a message from her son; he wanted to take her to lunch for his birthday. Shazaam! Jill would tell him and his siblings that since she was there on their ‘birth-day’, she wanted each of them to commit to spending a meal on or around their birthdays with mom. She knew that a good meal might not sound as elaborate as a family cruise, but that was never her goal. She also knew that a cruise can be a “trip of a lifetime” event, if her kids are up to it.
Exploring matters. What Jill experienced is the power of exploring her life to shape her future. She allowed herself to name her fears and find ways to counterbalance them. She empowered herself to challenge her beliefs and expand her awareness of new ideas.
Amazing what a good meal can do for the soul.
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