To New Beginnings….

This afternoon I am attending a wedding I have looked forward to for a long time. One of my oldest daughter’s friends is finally marrying her guy. They have been together now about 4 years. I love this girl–she is a lot of fun and her husband-to-be is one of those guys who has no fear of doing something crazy at least once, twice if he had fun the first time! They laugh a lot and so does anyone who hangs out with them for any amount of time.  The party is going to be awesome and the girls and I are putting on our shit-kickers and planning on having a great time.  For those of you who aren’t country or ranch, “shit-kickers” means cowgirl boots. The weather has turned a little cool so I may just show up in jeans but since the theme is Western I will be just fine.  I plan on dancing the night away with all the young folk and just celebrating the beginning of a great life together.

Last weekend was another of the daughter’s friend’s wedding. That one was a little more formal and truth be told I was not as excited for that one. I love the young man who got married but I have my doubts about the young woman he married.  But the wedding was beautiful and they seem happy so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be wrong.

My nephew graduates from 8th grade next week. My niece has only a few more credits to finish and she is done with high school.  DriDri had her first dance recital last night. We were all so proud of her–for 3 years old she showed great style and grace in both her ballet and tap dances. However we may be slightly biased in that opinion!

I was thinking about all the events this month and how with every new beginning there has to be an ending. For the couples that got married it marks the end of their lives as separate persons and the beginning of a life that they will now build together. The challenges they face will be the same but now they will each have that special person in their life to help encourage and support them instead of doing everything alone.

My nephew and niece are also coming to the end of something. My nephew is wrapping up his time in the lower grades and is now heading off to high school. Those last four years will go by so fast and at the end he must have some idea of what he wants to do with his life. That’s a loft of responsibility to deal with for a young person and now more than ever its important for family and teachers to help guide him towards a career that he can be successful in.

His sister is already there. She has considered several options and has chosen to get her training to become an EMT. Finishing up her last couple of courses on-line she will receive her credits and move directly into college classes. I’m proud of her. She has come a long ways in the past two years. She was failing all her classes and on the verge of being expelled but she managed to pull herself back from the abyss and pushed herself to overcome her failings. She ended up taking classes online because she realized she learned much better without the distractions of a regular classroom and her grades improved dramatically. She now ends her days as a high school student and moves into young adulthood. And ending and a beginning.

Sometimes even an ending that seems negative can turn out to be a positive.  A friend is ending his marriage of ten years. It was a painful decision for all involved but the anger and the blame finding was tearing them both down. Hopefully they can find peace and begin rebuilding their lives and at some point regain the friendship they once had for their child’s sake. Staying together was not a healthy place to be and this ending now creates new beginnings for both. Where there was only anger and blame now there can be healing and forgiveness and the chance to have a fresh start.

With all of these changes comes a lot of emotion which at times can be overwhelming. Starting a new life together means a lot of adjustments as two people learn to live with each other.  Starting high school means my nephew moves from the top of the dog pile to somewhere on the bottom which can be scary. Starting college means my niece is going to start meeting more people from different walks of life than she ever has before and she will see that the world is a much bigger place than she ever imagined it to be.  How each of them approaches these changes can mean the difference between success and failure. Either they embrace the changes and flow with them or resist them and fight the inevitable because change is going to happen.

Have you had any beginnings or endings in your life recently? How did they turn out? What changes did you face and what was the biggest challenge? How did you handle it?  Sharing is encouraged!