Happy almost Labor Day! It’s hard to believe summer has passed, but then there are many things that are hard to believe. It’s even weirder that something called “The Bliss Point” is one of those hard-to-believe things.
I recently learned about The Bliss Point from a podcast called The Doctor’s Farmacy with Dr. Mark Hyman. He was interviewing investigative food reporter Michael Moss, who revealed the intricate science leading food processors use to make “foods” more appealing. Everything from the shape of salt grain to fats used for that melt-in-your-mouth sensation is scrutinized. The Bliss Point, he explained, is the point where a food achieves the perfect balance of sugar, fat and salt. Too much or too little and it's back to the lab. The food reaches its Bliss Point when it has been perfectly engineered for the best flavor - known internally as an addicting flavor that leaves the consumer craving more. They're looking to bloat both their bottom line and our waistlines. I know there’s bad stuff in processed foods, but it still shocks me that there are some bad guys behind it too. No one likes being manipulated, so I do my part by saying no to these foods in protest.
I was equally shocked to feel a little manipulated by the universe when I discovered I had come to one of life’s greatest Bliss Points. This Bliss Point’s recipe has all the ingredients that remind us how awesome the human experience truly is. It offers the perfect mixture of joy, angst, pride, worry, comfort, anger, relief, stress, wonder, surprise and so much love. It’s addicting and when it’s over you’re left craving so much more. This Bliss Point is being a mom. Almost 19 years ago, the universe dropped an 8lb bundle into my lap and just last Sunday the universe had me drop him off at college. With a whomp to the heart and a punch to the gut, we ripped off the band-aid and drove away.
Coming home has felt off. The house is quieter and not in the good way we moms relish when we have the house to ourselves. We’re all adjusting and reminding each other what everyone always says… he is where he should be, this is the way of life, he will thrive, we will get through, everyone does. Yes, I’m so happy and excited for him, but I’m simply so sad for me. We work all these years to get our kids to this moment, but we parents are left sorely unprepared. It feels a bit cruel and sudden. Even though I was craving more, this time the universe was saying no.
While parenting is a labor of love that never ends, this chapter actually did. It’s a reality you can only see in other parents who have done the same. They hug you with their empathic eyes and share their personal stories. One mom said she cried a little and that was it. Another told me she didn’t get out of bed for a week. One keeps wondering what happened – where’d he go? And another keeps feeling like their time together was too short, just not enough.
I’ve been weepy and even when I try to cheer myself up recalling lighter moments at drop-off like when I announced we’re going to “Bed, Bath & Beyond” like Buzz Lightyear, I fall flat. My son didn’t find me funny either when I offered to home school him for college. Any desperate attempt to keep things as they were I know are fruitless. This is life. This too shall pass. While it’s hard to believe he’s left for college, it’s hard to believe I did that. I raised a son. With a bottomless pit of love in my heart, I pass this point ever so thankful for this blissful time and open to receive what is to come.
Stay tuned for Part Two, coming next year, when I drop my youngest off at school. I'm with the melon-baller-shovel mom.