I think the beginning of every homeschooling year feels a bit like coming home with a newborn. It takes me a few weeks to get my feet under me again, to readjust to our new normal, to figure out how I’m going to do laundry, put dinner on the table and take care of the baby (or in this case, get our school work done each day.)
This year, more than ever it’s taking me awhile to catch my breath. But this year, more than ever I’m also trying to do more than I ever have, I’m pretty sure. And, I’ll be honest, it’s really wearing on me. Lately, I’m longing for those moments of lingering and of not feeling like every moment is scheduled or being attacked by the things that need to be done after it. So I’m doing my best to find those still moments in the midst of the ‘needs to be done’.
We’re getting there. Little by little.
I was at a Bible Study last week–a very small group of women, mothers. Most were people I’d just met that evening, one was a good friend who had invited me along. But the group felt instantly warm and comfortable, diverse but connected.
At the very end of the evening, we shared a few prayer requests with each other. And yes, I was the one who broke the ice, by breaking down as I shared my request…too many balls in the air, too many things to do, nothing that I could see that could be dropped, exhuasted, stressed, etc etc. I laughed through my tears, “I’m so easy-going, I promise. I’m not usually the crier.” But they welcomed my tears and passed the tissues, and offered their warmth, and ecouragement, and experience, and most importantly silent prayers which I know are holding me up behind the scenes.
I write all this not looking for sympathy or advice but mostly because I stink at faking it. I was about to jump on here this morning and give you a “here’s what we’ve been doing!” list, but turns out my post turned in to this.
But I do have a list. Four things, actually. Because I am making progress, I think. I am moving in a better direction, I hope. I am getting my feet under me again. It’s just taking a little more work and time and patience than it has in the past.
Here, are four things I’m doing to get my balance again:
1. *I’ve been keeping painter’s hours*. I am not a morning person. But this summer Woodlawn has been getting a facelift. And if you’re a painter, working in the dead of summer then you’re going to want your working hours to be in the cool of the day, not the blistering heat of the afternoon. So all summer I kept what I call “painters hours”. When the painters would arrive in the early morning hours, I’d get up too. One, because the dog barking woke me up. Two, because I didn’t want them crawling outside my bedroom window while I was still in bed. And three, because I discovered that those hours (hour, minutes) of quiet to have my coffee and do my thing before my kids get up is invaluable to my sanity and my ability to welcome my little people when they wake up each morning. Painters are just about done here at Woodlawn. But I’m still keeping “painters hours”.
2. *I started working out with a personal trainer*. While it initially sounded like one more thing on my to-do list, it’s probably the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. I’ll be honest, it’s stretching us financially (see my exercise pun there? stretching?), but what I get out of those 30-minute sessions is invaluable to my health, my stress level and my overall feeling of accomplishment. And it’s one big, fat thing off my to-do list/life list. Boom.
3. *I’m trying to take weekends off (or easier)*. The trouble with working from home (and working in social media) is that you are never forced to turn off, stop working or walk away. There is always something I could be doing, checking, pinning, tweeting, posting, etc for BabyCenter. But this weekend, in particular, I tried really hard to get all my ducks in a row before the weekend arrived. This allowed me to relax, be more present with my kids, and feel like I’ve stepped away from “work” for awhile. And it makes getting back to things Monday morning much more pleasant. I plan to make this my modus operandi from here on out.
4. *I’m knitting again*. The weather has changed and darnitall, I’m gonna knit. I had forgotten how good it feels to sit and knit. In front of the Sunday morning news, out on the front porch in the warm sun, while my littles play near me. During family movie night (Sense and Sensibility, this weekend.)
So there you have it, my friends. The real “what’s been happening” list. As always, thanks for listening, coming back here to read, and bearing with me as I find my feet again. Now, who can tell me what to make for dinner?