This is Life, Based on a True Story  

Pancakes & procrastination

Sometimes my procrastination about writing my column works to my advantage.

Although I knew all week what I was going to write about, I held off due to sheer laziness.

As a result, I was given a new perspective — while partaking of a pancake breakfast with friends just before writing this.

Independence. It’s one of those words that conjures up images of children growing up and gaining confidence to be able to thrive and survive away from their parents.

We all strive to make our kids independent beings by giving them more freedoms as they get older; to prove they can handle these newfound, hard-earned rights.

But there’s also another side to independence.

I’m referring to the independence adults regain once we’ve raised our children to be mature beings.

This is almost a buzz word among my circle of friends and acquaintances. And it seems to really be pervasive among my female counterparts.

I find this interesting, mostly because I can relate.

Like so many women my age(ish), I’ve raised my two children to the point where they are very much independent. They are both young, responsible quasi-adults who understand the value behind working hard and being socially responsive.

Although seemingly impossible at times, I wouldn’t trade watching them blossom from babies into these two incredible humans I’m super proud of today.

But I’m also so very grateful that they can now navigate much of their world on their own, without me holding their hands. Some would say that’s a testament to my (and their dad) raising them well enough to be able to function on their own.

So while there’s nothing bad about what I just described there is definitely a side note to this.

I now love my independence so much, I’m having a hard time conforming to the idea of being dependent upon someone again. And its caused some issues in my relationships.

Until recently, I’ve always been “taken care of” or had someone to take care off.  I moved from my parents’ house to go live with my aunt and uncle for a while during college.

From there, I lived with a roommate who was my friend’s mom. Then, I met and married my then-husband. And after my divorce, I lived with someone else.

I had never lived on my own or had to take care of myself from birth until the age of 39. So now that I’ve had a taste of complete and total independence, I’m reluctant to give it up.

For the longest time, I was convinced I couldn’t take care of myself without help, much less two kids … but then, I did. And I did it well.

This is where the problems within my relationship come in. Because I don’t want to sacrifice what took me 39 years to attain, I keep halting on moving forward.

And here is where the pancake breakfast comes in.…

Pondering over pancakes with my friends in the hours leading up to writing this column, it was put to me in a whole other light – one that, I never considered.

My friend said there’s another type of independence that complements my, and anyone’s, intense need to be on my own; it’s called interdependence.

It’s where you can live independently in any relationship, but know there’s another willing player to lean on.  Essentially, two people can live as independent beings together, but still share in the trials and celebrations of life.

The key is that both people have to respect the other's need for those solitary moments.

My friend’s husband was quick to add that, as humans, we’re not meant to be solitary. We’re designed to seek and find companionship.

Now, to some of you reading this, you’re probably going “duh.” But when I’ve talked to other people in the same type of situation as me, it’s not obvious to us. Because for so long, we didn’t have that independence.

In my case, I’m so desperate at times to preserve my “alone-ness,” that I overlook the goodness right in front of me.

So all said and done, and without sounding cliché, it’s about finding balance and knowing that interdependency doesn’t mean giving up who you are. But rather becoming more and growing.

Thank goodness for pancakes and procrastination.

Thanks for reading.


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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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