Life is for living

Live dangerously. Take chances. Dream. We all come into this world the same way. We all leave it the same way too. We are born and we die. We know how it begins and we know how it ends, why not make the middle more interesting? That’s the living part.

I’m tired of living vicariously through others. I want my own adventures, my own chances to fail. I want to live for the sake of living. It’s interesting, coming to the end of my school career. I’ll be a licensed pharmacist by this time next year. So what am I going to do with it? Who am I going to be? How do I want my life to look in ten years? five? three?

It’s easier to know what I don’t want than to know what I want. I don’t want where I’m at. I don’t want to get up, go to work, wish I was off, go home, go to sleep, and get up and do it all over again. I can hear my ‘friends’ saying, “but that’s what growing up is all about”. I can hear them saying, “get over it.” But I don’t care what they say. I don’t want that and so I am not going to put up with that either. I can hear them again, “you’ll learn” and totally discounting me, thinking I’m naive and that I just don’t know anything.

But I do know. I do know a lot. I’m not a kid, I’m in my 40s. I’m not naive, I have an incredible grasp of life. Maybe that’s the problem? Because I have such a grasp of life and because I understand how amazingly fragile it is, maybe that’s why I refuse to let it slip away unnoticed. I refuse to give up or give in. Not ever, never again.

I will not let my life go unnoticed. I will not let the days slip by without recognizing the love and the pain around me. I write. I write to save my memories and to remember my dreams. So what do I want in the next few years? Freedom, peace, adventure, love. I know something others around me don’t realize. I know that people do live lives they love. I’ve met them and I want to be like them. I’m not saying I don’t love my life now, I’m saying that I am not content to let it be this way forever. I am content that today I will go to work to learn and that I will be challenged and tired. I am happy to do that today. Even tomorrow and so on for weeks, months, maybe even years. What I am not content to do is allow my work life to be my only life. I will play and I will live.

thank you for reading,

me

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Random Thoughts This Morning

1 – Why do people find the bad in everything? It seems so much easier to find the pitfalls, the mistakes, the ‘it didn’t work’ parts… why can’t we start to see the great things? Why can’t we see the beauty? I posted on Facebook asking if any of my friends sail. I got a lot of positive comments such that they like to but no one really does. I had two who said they would love to go sailing with me but I’m not sure I’d be in the same stadium as them let alone, alone on a boat… then there’s the one comment “the happiest days for boat owners are the day they buy the boat and the day they sell it.” REally? Then why do people keep buying them? Why do people actually live on them sometimes? The downer really got to me. Burst my bubble some. I try hard not to do that to others, I’m sure that I do but I try not to.

2 – I have a friend who is thinking of leaving her marriage. How can I help her? She sounds so much like me but she’s so much earlier in it than I was. I don’t want her to destroy a marriage that could still work yet I don’t want her to stay in it if it will destroy her drive, her love of life. I can only tell her to trust her heart but I want to make everything better. I think often that marriage should be more of a time limited contract. If everyone thought, “if I don’t straighten up then she (or he) won’t renew” then maybe we’d behave better? Let’s say every 5 or 10 years you have to decide whether the other partner has kept his side of the deal. Has he supported her? Helped keep up the house? Has she helped him? I mean, it doesn’t really matter what the role is, so long as they are agreed upon. And a clause that says you can get out if you find you just aren’t compatible? Why would someone stay if they aren’t happy anyway? My ex was never happy, yet he didn’t want a divorce? That just didn’t make sense to me. If he hated me so much then why wouldn’t he leave? Oh well.

3 – So do I get a boat? I still want one. I still imagine the feel of the boat rocking under me day and night. I imagine waking with the sunrise, or with the storm. They both delight me. I imagine living wherever I want to live, leaving and coming as I please and taking my home with me. I imagine being able to still come to land when needed, working for 3 or 4 days a week and still being able to enjoy my home. I imagine I would be the black sheep of the family, because I prefer my own company to theirs. I imagine living a life of adventure, where I can love on others and I can still have my peace and privacy… I know there will be downers but they aren’t me.

4 – I spent the day outside yesterday, the weather was perfect. I laid on my blanket under a tree and studied and read and just rested my soul. It was wonderful. I so much prefer to be outside than inside no matter the weather. I have two weeks left to this rotation and then I have a month off. It’s beginning to feel as if I might actually make it, I might actually graduate in May. The questions remain what will I do then? I have a lot of the what, just looking for how. How can I convince my family that living on a boat is a good idea? How can I learn to sail without having a boat yet? (I will be spending a week on one in south Florida after graduation.) How can I be sure I’m doing the right thing? How do I get a job that will allow my random, crazy ideas? How can I live the life of my dreams? “Trust my heart, it sees things my brain refuses to see.” The more I trust myself, the more excited I become about living. I never knew how much more life was out there when I was in my dungeon!

And so we all begin another week, another day, another morning. May this week be filled with love and passion and dreams that come true.

thank you for reading,

me

Ramblings

So I’ve discovered something about myself recently. I’m 39 years old and I’ve never actually grown up. I’m not sure I ever will. When I’m around my dad I’m just his little girl, no matter what. I asked him when his mother died whether he felt like he’d ever grown up and he said, “no, not really.” So I’m guessing it’s normal. What is grown up anyway? I’m sure if I were sixty instead of forty and an eighty year old were talking to me, I’m sure she’d still think of me as a child. I’m also pretty sure that when I’m seventy and my kids are pushing fifty that I’ll still think of them as my babies.

Back to the point, I’ve learned something about myself lately. (Maybe this is a mid-life crisis or something, this introspection.) I’ve learned that I love to write. I used to hate writing. I never thought I was any good at it and that writing just wasn’t my thing. Teaching the kids, we’ve always been strong in math and science but it was pretty much a hit or miss on the writing. So why do I love writing now? What is actually going on here? I’ve always hated it. If I hated it then why did I start this blog? It’s all in answer to not going completely nuts.

I’m home or running around 24/7 with four kids and a husband (he works from home). How can I possibly have a chance to say what I want or have any meaningful conversation when I don’t have a moment’s privacy? When I’m out I’m careful not to step on other people’s toes. When I’m home I barely have time to think. I love to think. I love to learn. I’ve read book after book after book. This year I’ve read from the classics, from autobiographies, and fiction. I’ve read political literature and about science. I’ve read Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, The Constitution, The Federalist Papers, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, and countless others. I’m in the middle of reading the Bible, Gone with the Wind, an Ann Coulter book, and two Michael Savage books right now. What am I doing with it all? What do I do with all of my thoughts? I write. I can’t exactly discuss all of what I read with many people. Most people I know don’t read what I read. Most people don’t have more than one book next to the nightstand that they read from each night.

I’m hungry. My mind is starving for something. I feed it as much as I possibly can. The very last thing I want is to lose my mind. I don’t mind losing my hearing (it’s almost always too loud anyway.) I don’t even mind if I could never speak again. But don’t take away my sight. That would be like taking away my heart beat. Now that I’ve begun writing, I feel that I have an output. I write a lot more than I actually post here. I’m writing for my sanity, I’m writing so that I don’t forget and so that I remember who I am. So often I feel lost in the realm of motherhood. Children are a tremendous blessing but require a lot of work. Parenthood is not for the faint hearted. I know this season will pass and that I’ll miss having my babies being babies and so I write.

thanks for reading my ramblings tonight,
w

Homeschooling and Activities

I thought I’d give ya’ll another glimpse of a homeschooling life.  We’ve been homeschooling the kids “from the beginning” and are now the parents of  a 4-year-old and, 5th, 9th, and 12th graders.  As the years have gone by, being with and around other families that homeschool has been intermittently important.  Some days we just needed to stay home, some days we were never home.  I can’t imagine how I could possibly get anything done if I had to take the kids to and from a school on top of it all.  As new homeschoolers it was important to immerse ourselves with other families that educated their kids the way we did.  The support network of other moms and kids who were doing what we were doing was paramount on being able to stick with homeschooling.  Now as I’ve become a “seasoned” (I don’t think I’ll ever feel “seasoned”)  homeschool mom it is still just as important to find support.  Without other moms to vent with about husbands and disobedient kids, I’d be happy to go back to work and send the kids away to boarding school.  In other words I’d quit.  Quitting isn’t an option when it’s your kids that lose, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it.

One of the things we do on a regular basis is attend a CO-OP.  We have been members of a homeschool co-op every year for the past ten or so years.  We have changed a few times but it has mostly been the same group of moms and kids the entire ten years.  By doing this we have been able to develop some really wonderful friendships.  The kids know what it’s like to grow up with friends.  “Socialization” isn’t an issue.  Socializing homeschool kids is one of the things everyone wants to know about.  How do you make sure they’re going to be ok?  What about socialization?  Well, not a problem.  My kids know how to be with people of all ages.  They know how to help with the younger kids, and they know how to be with the older ones.  They have good friends their own age and they can speak clearly and confidently with adults.  What more do they need?  This isn’t just my kids either.  Parents of homeschooled kids laugh among themselves about the socialization question.  Our kids will do fine.  Research shows they do fine too.

In addition to co-op activities, the kids do scouts and music.  The girls also do dance classes.  They are involved in the youth groups at church and they have a network of friends bigger than I ever had when I was growing up.  I find we’re not home much in the evenings.  This school year the kids aren’t all home any night except Friday.  Monday night there is a combination of scouts and dance, Tuesday nights is scouts again, Wednesday nights has dance again, Thursday nights is dance, and then nothing on Friday or Saturday nights.  Sundays we have a standing invitation for dinner at my dad’s.  The kids do music in the early afternoon on Tuesdays, for now.  School, if it takes place, is in the mornings and usually done by 2.  Fridays and Saturdays aren’t often empty, they’re just not pre-scheduled.  The kids go camping with scouts, or over to friends’ houses, or are gone on church activities.  We live a very busy life.

That’s just a touch of our life as homeschoolers,

w

Friends and Family

There are some things in life that are hard to measure. The value of a friend being one. As we grow up from being children we begin to learn that friends are more than playmates. Friends are people who we can count on and don’t require explanations when we mess up. Friends love us freely.
There are different kinds of friends too. Some friends are more like family members, friends just because we were put together by someone else. People we know more about than we probably should for not being related. These friends can be some of the best. You know when you visit, that no matter what, you are welcome. We visited some friends like this recently. Bringing my large family to visit (despite the fact that we totally take over their house when we are there) these friends made sure to make us feel welcomed and wanted. These are friends that need to be cherished. There are other friends that are friends because of circumstance. We all homeschool, or we all have kids the same age, or we go to the same church. These are friends we don’t actually know a lot about. People who can be a joy to be around just for the break from the everyday. We might not know much about their lives outside of what we actually share. But these friends serve a great purpose. These are the friends that keep you sane. These friends understand what its like to be with their kids all day every day, on purpose. They understand that you love your kids more than anything in the world but at the same time that you need a break or a place to vent. These are the friends that you won’t see unless you make the effort to go and be with them. All of them have the potential of becoming close friends but only if an effort is made.
It’s not actually easy to be a friend sometimes. For me it’s much easier to stay home and mind my own business. Sometimes I feel rather split about it. There are days when I’d be just fine never seeing another person in the world outside my own family. There are other days when if I don’t get away from my family I think I may go insane. Yet still other days, when being around anyone is completely draining and all I long for is my room devoid of all humanity.
There are special friends as well. Those that you can pour your heart out to.  Those whom you can count on no matter what.  People who know the good and the bad about you and still love you. These friends you mustn’t let go of, no matter what.
A friend, no matter the manner of obtaining, is one of life’s most valuable assets. Remember to count yourself lucky to even have just one. Love your friends, be there for them, strengthen them, pray with them, and just be with them. To you out there who are my friends, thank you. A thousand times, thank you.
w

Homeschooling, mules, goats, and other odd topics

Is there such a thing as a normal homeschooling day? We’re in our third week of school and still not two days have been alike. Today one of the children was sick. She was sick the day before too, but I didn’t really believe it. How was I to? She never actually gets sick and she has been awfully lazy lately. So, finally convinced, I let her sleep in this morning. She may have had a slight fever but fevers are something my kids never get much of, even if they’re truly sick. The other two school age kids slept in as well. I suppose I should have waken them but I figured they might need the sleep as much as her.
What did I do? I tried again to make some homemade bread. I haven’t given up. The bread was pretty good, but kind of heavy. I’m not sure why I keep having problems. I have fresh wheat that I grind, though it does seem pretty coarse. Today’s recipe was a buttermilk and honey recipe. It kneaded well, even rose well. It just seemed kind of dense. I wouldn’t mind learning how to make soft light bread at home. Not exactly white but certainly less dense.
After the bread making and the breakfast fixing there was no time for school before music lessons. The oldest, the sick one, stayed home and watched the youngest while the two boys and I went to the lessons. Their music instructor is an interesting man. Really difficult to describe, but very talented and very good with the kids. They’ve improved a lot under his guidance, though they really do need to practice more. This instructor, however, is going through a difficult time. His father may be dying. Those of you who pray please add him to your prayers this next week.
After music we headed back home, stopping quickly at the grocery store for some meat that was on sale. I was just driving down the road next to mine and I said to the kids to look out the window. There were four covered wagons being drawn by mules coming our way. Not exactly something I expected to see today, though not so strange as to cause any discomfort. (Apparently, Benson is having Mule Days this weekend.) Just yesterday I pulled off the side of the road to help an older lady corral a couple of stray cows. Living around here can be fun.
We are currently on “goat watch” due to a goat that may or may not have a kid in the next couple of weeks. The worst thing is I don’t know when she’s due because I didn’t breed her. I bought her in May when they sold her and her four month old son. Her previous owner told me with certainty that she was pregnant then. So the best I can figure is she could have her kid anytime between now and the end of October. She does suddenly look heavier.
The boys finally started their school after lunch today and one of them only just now finished. (They ran off to cub scouts in the middle of school). The sick one managed to go to her economics class tonight. We were all finally home tonight around 9:30. I read some more of Hiawatha to my 4 year old, she asks me to read from it every night. It’s eleven now, and I’m hoping to get to bed after I send this out.
That was yet another homeschooling day for you. What did the kids learn today? They learned about time management, about music, about cooking bread, about money, about Shakespeare, about the Bible, and about taking care of a four year old. They learned the entire day through. Homeschooling is more of a life style than a school style. Everything we do we include the children. They learn right beside us sometimes. The older boy learned how to pick up a bucket of rocks, just like the younger one did not long ago. Hopefully learning in the process that, despite being a teen, he still has to respect his parents.
Tomorrow? Who knows?
Thanks for reading, good night!
w

Another School Day

Today was the day that mom started to lose her cool. Another homeschooling day. I’ve been tired and have way too much to do. The house is a mess and the kids aren’t listening. This does not make for a good homeschooling day. It’s still not a bad day. The kids did do their work, all of it. I’m proud of them for doing it. It’s the stuff that goes undone because of their not cooperating when their school work is done. So what have I done to make things hopefully move smoother tomorrow? Ah, the joys of being a mom. My eldest has so many things she wants to do, so many places she wants to go, but, oh my!, she needs me to get her there. The power, the joy! She has no reason to listen to me. She’s bigger than me and stronger than me. I can’t “make” her do anything. So, tomorrow, she’s not going anywhere without her work being done. That’s not really a surprise, the part that’s potentially difficult is that I’m not going to try to “make” her do anything. When it’s time to go, we just won’t go if she’s not done. She will have to choose to get up on her own. She will have to choose when she starts her school, and to make sure she has time to finish it all. We’ll see if this works or not. The biggest problem is that if she doesn’t do her work, I’ll have to follow through and not let her go anywhere. Parenting isn’t always fun or easy.
Years ago the kids and I were going to go to McDonald’s with some friends. They were taking their time and not cooperating. So I told them all to go back inside or get along and get in the car. They immediately quieted down and we were able to have an enjoyable lunch. My friend commented, “how did I get them all to behave so quickly?” “Easy,” I said. “All you have to do is follow through on your threats once in a while.” Honesty helps kids so much. If they believe you’ll do what you say you’ll do then they know what to expect. There have been so many times when I’ve cringed and prayed I didn’t have to follow through on one of my threats. I’ve learned that I better be careful not to threaten something I’m not willing or not able to do. I have left the grocery store right after entering because they weren’t behaving. I have pulled over and turned around to go back home a few times. I have pulled over and just stopped several times. (This one is fun to do.) Just pull over, pull out a good book and start reading. Eventually the kids start to wonder why they aren’t going anywhere and then, if they’re smart, start to behave again. One time I was able to read almost a whole chapter before they even realized we weren’t going anywhere. Now when I pull over the kids quiet down almost instantly.
What will tomorrow bring? Who knows. At least the kids will know that I love them. That’s the most important thing of all.
w