Keep Calm And Kerri On: ‘Metamorphosis’
Published: August 30th, 2021
By: Sun Columnist Kerri Green

Keep Calm and Kerri On: ‘Metamorphosis’

Dear Friends,

There’s something about this time of the year that I just love.

Summer turns into fall, kids are getting ready to go back to school, everyone is cramming in last minute trips and trying to enjoy what is left of the warm weather. Change is all around us!

Most people feel this way towards the end of the year, getting ready to reset the clock (also feeling as if it’s a fresh start) as the new year looms. Not me. I feel change in the air most this time of the year. Also, fall is my favorite season. The weather, the smells, Halloween and Thanksgiving, the return of pumpkin spiced everything. Yup. Despite my deep “Cancer” roots (the sun is my dear friend), I am a fall gal through and through.

However, with the end of summer, brings a difficult time that I know many parents in my shoes have had to face.

This past week Rachael headed back to college to begin her senior year at Moravian University. You would think I would be used to this by now. It’s her Senior year and this is the fourth time she has packed up and headed off to her life away from home. I am so incredibly proud of her and the young adult she has become. She has finally decided that she is going to pursue law after graduation and has been diligently studying for her LSAT test. She’s looking at law schools and thinking about life after graduation.

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For me, while I am so filled with pride and excitement for the life that lays ahead of her, I am also sad because it feels like she has already left me. She has mentally moved on to the next chapter of her story, and has started making plans for life after Moravian. She’s choosing a law school, deciding where she will live, getting an apartment, and getting a job. It’s all so “grown-up”. How did this happen? A minute ago she was playing with her Polly Pockets (I found pieces of those things absolutely everywhere), and singing along with Barney … “There are seven days, there are seven days, there are seven days of the weeeek!” Now she is a young adult, making these big decisions and planning for her future.

Through the lens of social media, I know many of my friends are dealing with this right now. Many are sending their kids off to the college for the first time. I wish I could pass on words of wisdom and comfort to them. But there is nothing like the feeling you have when you leave your child in their freshman dorm for the first time, and have to drive away, leaving a piece of your heart behind.

Only two months earlier they were in high school, and now you are expected to leave them behind? Like magically in that summer between high school and college they have crossed some invisible barrier and became an adult? Equipped to tackle issues, money, dealing with life on their own? I don’t think so!

But once you move them in, help set up their bed, the tapestry, hang lights, make sure they have enough snacks, money and fix and fluff their pillows at least twice, you need to walk away and then drive away. I cried the first time. I was so heartbroken but also filled with pride knowing that I did the best I could and equipped her with everything she needed to be on her own. And that she was happy and comfortable to be left alone. As parents, that’s all we can really do. Knowing that we made our children strong, independent and capable of being left on their own. Be proud of that, moms and dads. You did it and they will be ok.

The wonder of watching something or someone grow and evolve is truly magical. Whether it’s a person, an idea, or your business there are phases that they go through. Some of the phases are difficult but in the end, you are doing them for the right reasons. Change is never easy. Growing pains are painful. Sometimes you gain support from the most unexpected places, and you lose support from those who refuse to grow with you, stuck in the past and tradition.

As an organization, I would say that Commerce Chenango has gone through a metamorphosis of our own over the past two years. We have completely changed our organization from the inside out. Not only the bones and structure of what we are and how we serve the community, but like a butterfly our cocoon has burst to reveal a new look and a new outlook.

The Board of Directors has been working with our staff on an organizational strategic plan that really looks at the opportunity Commerce Chenango has to support the needs of Chenango County. From business services to workforce development, from basic infrastructure to how to attract development, people, and tourists to Chenango County. It’s been an eye-opening and exciting process so far. I look forward to sharing our plan with the community later this fall and welcome those who want to be a part of what we do. Remember, we have a few different boards and committees helping us with this important work. If you want to get involved to help our mission, please let me know!

You know I love a good quote and I found one that really pulls this week’s theme together. Ready?

“How does one become a butterfly? You have to want to learn to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar” ~ Trina Paulus.

To all the parents who have had to let their caterpillars leave this week, I promise it will be ok. Home will always be home; it’s just that their world is now larger than the plant they have grown up on.

I am ready to fly, Chenango. Will you join me?

Be well,

Kerri




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