Stepping Into Your Power
You invite your granddaughter (named after the great Meryl Streep) over for coffee. It's all smiles as she enjoys her final moments of free-living over the lattes you've graciously provided. You've always been Meryl's favorite living relative. You drink that fleeting reality in along with your caramel macchiato.
When Flattery Isn't Everything
Unsuspecting, Meryl compliments your new look. She touches your hair and says it makes you look years younger. She's a flatterer, that one. Strangely, her compliments usually coincide with needing something. Wasn't it just last week she said you were growing more effervescent in your older years, and would you please cosign a short term lease on a most seaworthy cabin cruiser?
Finding Your Inner "No"
It's now or never. Your "no" is in your throat. Surely she must have noticed the painters working on the outside of the house today. Maybe on some level she can sense the impending boundary. Maybe she'll even be okay with it...
Your Delivery May Not Be Perfect -And That's OK
"I'm turning the house into apartments, hon. You're going to have to clear out." You silently give yourself a facepalm for your rough delivery. Calling her "hon" was condescending. Crap. She's reeling. You would be too. It was one hell of a ride. Living rent-free in your house, renting space to roommates and keeping the cash. You hope she has some skills other than hustling to fall back on.
Resisting the Urge to People-Please
Oh good, she's sitting up now. Worst visit with grandma ever, you can hear her telling the family. There's a part of you that wants to fall back on your people-pleasing ways and tell her she can stay. Please don't do it, you plead with yourself. If she doesn't speak to you ever again, you'll deal, right? No one said this was going to be easy. She's thirty-eight years old, after all. Or is she forty?
Disabling Your Enabler-Instinct
Meryl flops down into your lap. You comfort her. "There, there, dear. Don't think of this as the end of something. Think of it as a fresh start. Who knows where this detour may lead..." Stay focused, Cleo. When you were thirty-eight, you were working tirelessly day and night. You invested all your extra cash in Xerox and moonlighted as a personal consultant nights and weekends. You had drive. Maybe Meryl could have drive too, but you've coddled her, and now look...
It's Okay to Be Human
You're only human, so you tell Meryl that if she gets a job, she can live in the upstairs unit. It will be the largest unit in the house, so she'll have to get a roommate, but you'll find someone. You tell her not to worry.
Knowing When to Call It
You pat her on the head and clear your conscience. This is all you can do because now it's time to go meet your new team. You're turning one of your new units into a chic Airbnb. Hell, maybe you'll live there yourself for a while and get out of this one bedroom rental. You smile in spite of the awkwardness. You did it. Time to clear away this curtain of gloom.
Bringing the Focus Back to Your Goals
First to arrive at the house to meet you is Hoover, your new handy-man. An odd-looking fellow, you shake his hand. Hoover is here to fix things, and right now a lot of things need fixing, so you ignore his disheveled appearance and the strong smell of alcohol he exudes and you welcome him to your team.
Finding Your People
Next, you meet your new interior designer and Airbnb manager, Statesanna. She's bright and buttoned up, ready to get to work. You're so taken with her "can-do" attitude, you offer to rent her the upstairs unit —she's the kind of tenant you're looking for. You can tell her about sharing the space with Meryl later... Statesanna seems excited by the property. She really loves old houses, she says, and, her exact words, "the more challenging a project, the better!" Perfect.
It feels good to have a team! People who are here to help further your goals. This is happening. One foot in front of the other. The hardest part is done simply because you're here.
Accepting Setbacks Without Letting Them Stop You
Crap, is that Meryl? Shouldn't she be packing? This project is going to move fast. You don't want your new team to see her acting like a sad sack sitting along the side of the house with the trash. At first you wonder if she's trying to figure out how to tell her renters you're taking back the house. They needn't worry. You'll gladly rent to them too, for cash money, or Venmo, or Zelle, but then you find the house is empty. Meryl's roommates have all moved on. Change has never been easy for this one, but she'll be alright, won't she?