school daze & dreams clutched loosely

I woke Monday morning to our first day of homeschool for the fall. I was uber-prepared. The children were giddy in anticipation. The morning went so smoothly, I wondered why we had even stopped for the summer- it was just so enjoyable...

(that's what we used to say in the late 80's- anyone else remember that?)

In reality, it was a bumpy Monday. There was great resistance from the little tyrants at the idea that they were not going to play outside all morning. Memory work??? Writing??? Sitting and listening to mom tell them things??? Oh, the outrage. We made it about 25 minutes before they were all crying and so I let it go, realizing that I was not in a great place and they were not in a great place, and something needed to change (that something being me.)

So we stopped for the day and have picked up a little each day since. We did just Math on Monday. Tuesday was the first epic day of all attending our Classical Conversations community for the year (and my first day of tutoring- heaven help me!) Today we did memory work, Math and handwriting. Tomorrow we'll add Language Arts. And Friday we will add Science and Social studies. Then next week we'll try to have a normal week of full days. 

All that to say- I'm tired. The beginning of the school year always stuns me a little, takes my breath away like jumping into a chilly pool and gasping at the impact. "Here, Becky. Continue managing your full life, and then just add the small detail of planning and executing your childrens' education." Gulp. Gasp. Pant, pant, pant.

 I know that homeschooling is my choice, and I know I'm free to choose otherwise (I honestly, genuinely feel that way- that it wouldn't be wrong to educate them in another way.) But this is we want for them right now. And so I gear up for it thinking that I've been around this block, done this homeschool thing before, and am startled by the energy, the outrage, the challenge of the days. But that's OK.

And that was all the long intro to get to the topic that is really on my mind: the demise of any writing pattern I had found over the summer. (For those of you who are new around here, last November I started working on a novel for NaNoWriMo. I finished the first draft in early July. I read through the entire thing and took notes about what to fix- and I got stuck.)

The funny thing about this little novel-that-wants-to-be-more, is that it has messed with my head in about eleven tangible ways. Besides the fact that I rewrite scenes in my head while I'm showering or lay in bed at night trying to picture the next scene, I find myself longing for time. It's the longing that is hard. I set big goals (500 words a day, one hour each night, etc.) and then they break under the weight of a regular life, and then the longing gets to be too much and I just decide to stop. Forever. And then my husband tells me that I'm being an idiot. So then I compromise and think that for this season, I will set it aside. 

For this season. 

I was recently talking to a friend and used this phrase, explaining that a mutual friend of ours had some general unhealth "in this season" of life. My friend, who is not one to hold his thoughts, questioned that phrase that we use. How long is a season? How often does it come? Why do we justify unhealth or discomfort and then say it is only for a season? In reality, the negative patterns that we develop to cope with certain seasons often become habits that continue far after that season has gone. 

And then I think about my life, think about the reasons why I don't feel the margin to really write at the moment (kids, homeschooling, community, attempting to maintain contact with the spouse)  I realize there are years of all those things ahead. So I can say "I don't have time in this season" or I can say "I don't want to make time for that right now." I'd say the second is more honest. 

And so I quit, I suspend the book, I banish it from my thoughts until its just a dusty word document and a handful of longlost friends characters. But then it occurs to me that its mostly laziness that keeps me from it. But isn't it easier to just not want something than to want it with caution, to temper it with wisdom, to hold it loosely and let it be taken and returned on a daily basis?

Maybe you're thinking "Give yourself a break, its the first week of school." True, the week has had more than it's fair share of stress. But isn't that the way of it, more often than not? There always seems to be something on the calendar that makes you feel like this week is a little out of the ordinary, until you come to the reality that ordinary life is just a lot more full than you'd like to admit.  At least that's the deal in my neck of the woods.

So there you have it. I have the sweetest, cutest friend who, whenever the topic of my book randomly pops up, she declares, "I can't wait until its done! I am so excited to read it!" And she says it like she believes it, like she knows that its not if but when. And sometimes when she says it, I kind of start to think it may actually happen some day. 

I guess that's all for tonight, folks. 

(Sorry for the random changing of the template- that last template had some kind of glitch that messed with comments. And let's face it- we aren't exactly drowning in comments on here, so I hate to scare anyone off with a screwy comment app. Hopefully its all fixed and I'm hoping to add some current pics of kiddos soon. Good night!)


Nicole @ she-laughs said...

Oh, it WILL happen, friend!!!! Love you so much!!

Teresa said...

Gulp. Gasp. Pant, pant, pant.

Becky said...

Nicole- thank you. Seriously.

Teresa- nice to tread water with you.