Written by Doctor G

The Power of What Happens Without You


One day when my son was in preschool, I picked him up at the end of a long day in the office and the hospital, helped him buckle into his car seat. He was at that “Why, mommy?” phase and so I’d learned to increase my patience with him by asking him “What questions do you have for me?” That day, as we sat in the parking lot of his preschool, he asked me:

“Is it fun to wait in the car while I go to school?”

Yup, he was firmly in the developmental phase of believing that life stopped when he wasn’t there.

This week, I traveled far from my younger kids, from my work, from my community and my partner and I realized something. I’m still a little in that developmental phase. It’s hard for me, even at 53, to remember that life continues when I’m not there. Yes, my people miss me (almost as much I as miss them), and some of my work piles up (despite my incredible team). But really, the world doesn’t sit in the parking lot waiting for any of us to get back in the car. 

You knew that, of course. So what’s my point?

We can learn a lot – about ourselves, our people, our assumptions and even where to best put our efforts – by noticing what happens when we’re away.

Here are a few lessons I (re)learned from afar:

  • My teens are really capable humans
  • My team prioritizes and navigates and serves our clients so well
  • Staying in touch with my people is good for me! It makes me feel more connected and eases reentry
  • It might serve me to be a little more “away” even when I’m back so that every one of us can work at our capacity

So now (to noone’s surprise) I’m asking you? What might you learn from stepping away and noticing how things roll without your constant attention?

All my best,

Dr. G

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A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
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