Liz Wolfe | liz wolfe coaching
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Last month I went to a stimulating business conference in Orlando. Surprisingly, the most memorable learning experience for me came out of a nature walk I took on the hotel grounds. I discovered the hotel had a nature trail on its extensive grounds when I first arrived. Getting to the path seemed straightforward enough on the hotel’s map, so I decided to walk it the next morning as a way to start my day. I imagined that I would get fresh air and exercise while enjoying nature and becoming grounded. With this clear vision in mind, I ventured out into the chilly Florida morning.

A hot cup of coffee. Crispy, almost burnt toast. An uncomfortable sense that I’m already behind in my day. The only thing missing in this flashback to my childhood is the sound of bleating lambs coming from the basement, awaiting their breakfast. I half expect my mother to turn the corner into the room, berating me for still lingering at the table instead of mixing up their vanilla-smelling milk concoction, made from powered Real Imitation Milk.

I woke up yesterday angry at America. Angry at the world! And angry at my kids. Someone ate the Reese’s peanut butter cup right off my dresser, the one that I’d been saving, the one, truth be told, I took without asking right out of my son’s Halloween candy stash. Found the wrappers in the trash can, right within view, no hiding that. When confronted, neither my son nor daughter admitted to having eaten it. Could my husband, who is out of town, have eaten it? Nope, he texts me. Back to the kids. My son did his “I’m lying but pretending not to be” shrug, twice, and I shrugged it right back at him. He also claimed to have completed all his homework on Election Day – back to that in a minute – on his day off. Nope. Lying again. I looked straight at him and said, “I don’t understand why saying you didn’t eat a candy bar that I know you ate is worth defending.” At no point, however, did I admit that I had taken it right from the stash strewn over his floor. So that technically it was his. I was waiting for him to admit it first. Which being 13 he was not likely to do.

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." Clarence Budington Kelland I saw this quote posted on Facebook on Father’s day. It reminded me of my father right away. He is a simple man, low maintenance, you might say, never wanted much more for himself or for us than to be happy, whatever that looked like. Although he did do some telling us how to live, actually, but the advice was always stemming from his love and care for us.

When I anticipated motherhood, I only pictured two phases of their childhood – baby through Kindergarten, and when they were off to college. Somehow I never visualized the gangly stage that my son is in during his 7th grade year. While he doesn’t seem to eat very much, he’s still growing at a rapid rate, and has almost reached my height.

Growing up, my father, two sisters, and I took many road trips to visit relatives for summer vacations. I remember spending long hours in the car reading, singing, playing or just looking out the window as the cornfields went by. Because of these fond memories, I looked forward to having children of my own, packing up, and hitting the road on some adventures. One husband and two children later, I have had a few fun road trips with them, though they don’t quite look as I imagined them to be. For one thing, while my children are avid readers, they expect that on a trip of any length that they will be watching DVDs. As a result, not a lot of scenery watching happens. Also, it occurs to me that perhaps they are not quite as enamored with the journey as the ultimate destination.