How Old Are You?

 

I had a wonderful week last week visiting St. George Island in Florida.  We did the typical beach things – built sand masterpieces (not castles, but mainly sea turtles and mermaids), jumped and dived in the waves, flew kites, walked to the lighthouse on the island, shopped a little (only a few stores), played board games, ate seafood and otherwise relaxed, rested and read a lot of books.   It was a much needed break and time to be together as a family.

It also gave me some time to look at the feelings I have been carrying around this school term.  I adore homeschooling, but I  have lately been more wanting more time to myself, .  I have vacillated between feeling a bit resentful of not having more time to myself and then thinking what would I  even do with this time –   a vocation?  a job? a midlife crisis? (Insert cheeky grin here).   I love homeschooling, adore it, but  often what I want is a few hours a day where I am not on call so to speak and can devote time to my own interests without any of the outside world intruding.  I have  also had this same conversation with many veteran homeschooling mothers, and I know many other homeschooling mothers feel this way (especially, it seems,  those of us in our mid-40s).

I wonder if this is partially just midlife – that strange time and feeling where you wonder is this what life is?  What different path would have taken me somewhere else?  Where is the future really headed?  In past generations, many women had children earlier and often their children were headed off to lives of their own by the time a woman hit her mid-40s.   At this point, a woman really had the time to re-discover herself.  My mother- in- law remarked to me awhile ago that most women in her generation hit menopause by their early 40’s (ie, when she was 40, many of her friends were already menopausal), another sign that life was taking a different turn than previously. Contrast that to this day and age when so many of us in our mid-40s are still in the trenches raising small children or even having babies.  So, part of me wonders if this is programmed from the past – this need to re-discover one’s self apart from children – and if we as a generation are not yet caught up yet  to the reality of having children later.   I feel for me as if these thoughts and feelings started with the seven year cycle that began around age 42, but now is in full swing at age 44.  I keep being drawn back to the words of Betty Staley’s book “Tapestries” about the years 42-49 here.  here..  I am even looking into the years ahead ahead.

Sometimes I also wonder if  this feeling of wanting more and needing to be alone something specific to homeschooling mothers?  We spend so much time and energy as a homeschooling family on our children (and hopefully on our spouses as well, but I guess that is a whole different post!); perhaps it is only natural after some time to feel or want a bit more for oneself.    I don’t feel like a “veteran” homeschooler by any means, but my oldest is in seventh grade and we have been at this for some time without any interruptions.  Perhaps this stage of homeschooling  just contributes to restlessness in general?

I don’t feel burned out or worn out, just thoughtful about the developmental process in adults.  Where are you, and just you alone, these days in your thoughts and feelings?  How old are you and do you think that plays into how you are feeling and what you are wanting at this point in your life?

Love,
Carrie

Entering…..new

 

For several years now I had been in this period of life where things were sometimes light, sometimes dark,  but usually just a mingled grey.   It started with overwhelm as things slowly happened one after another, built up and then moved into this climax of life: people passed away that I loved and  things that I loved died. I hung on to being in  the now, because the future seemed far away and murky with nothing there to really grasp or see.  I also felt like I was in the “middle” a lot, and just didn’t feel strongly enough  to “really” fit anywhere.    All I had was the  faith that God had a plan for me, and  perhaps, yes, even a plan for the me that I am outside of my own children and family.  I felt like He was calling me to something, but  I had no idea what.

 

In this Eastertide, in this very first inkling with the seedlings of the earth, several things started mingling in my head and my heart….It started with Continue reading

Life As A Means

 

In the tradition of  Rudolf Steiner’s  inner work according to the rhythm of each day of the week, today (Wednesday) is the day of “Right Standpoint”.  It is this idea of ordering our lives with harmony.  Put our lives in harmony with our values.  Put our lives in harmony with nature.  Put our lives in harmony, I would say, with God and the purpose God has set you here on earth for.  (As a Christian, I see definite purposes for my life as laid out in the Bible and by the Early Church fathers).    Life is one of the means, a  tool, to our own inner development as a human being.

 

If this is important for us as adults to work on, how much more important is this for our children who are still developing?  And, because our children are developing, it is up to us to help order their lives in these ways.

 

We can say no to media and screens because it is “entertainment” that is often full of sarcasm, violence, hypocrisy, and fills time instead of having our children learn to create and order their own time.

 

We can say yes to Continue reading

What To Say?

 

Friends, we live in this world.

This world where 276  Nigerian girls are kidnapped out of their school and no government seems to be able to find them.

We live in a world where there can be the worst of humanity.
Wars.
Poverty.

Children with disabilities who are abandoned or neglected.

Children in our own society that we attempt to push through an educational system that is not geared to children.

We live in a world where everything seems to strive against families staying together and against children being connected to their families and their communities.

And then

I stand, on a beautiful biodynamic farm with the cows and chickens and bees and birds, looking at a sea of planted garlic in the sunshine…

And Organic Rose, the owner, says, “Isn’t all of this about loving each other?  We love and nurture the Earth, we take care  of Earth, we get food that is healing for the body, mind and soul.  It is here that the Earth loves us…..And in turn we love and nourish each other within our families and communities.”

Yes, isn’t that the point?

And the only thing that will change this world is to let your own light shine.  You may not be able to change something globally.  But, we can change things for our own communities.

I am certain you have heard the story of the young lady and the starfish.  A young lady was walking along the beach, picking up starfishes that had been brought in by the high tide and left behind as the tide went out.  An old man watched her and then said incredulously, “You cannot possibly make a difference for all these starfish.  There are just too many!”  The young lady looked at him, picked up a starfish and threw it back in and said, “Well, I made a difference for that one!”

Human freedom comes with it to make choices out of love.  What does love bring to you today?

 

Blessings,
Carrie

Judgment

This beautiful article about judgment, guilt and parenting is something I feel every parent should read:  http://www.lifewaysnorthamerica.org/blog/finding-grace-jennifer-sullivan

My favorite quote is this one:

I held this silent boy for sometime in my mind, carefully turning the situation over and over.  I had judged the father, and I also had judged the son.  In that moment, the boy taught me that all things are not what they seem.   He reminded me we each have a path and our stories are not the same.  Instead of passing judgment, I could have surrounded each person with love.  How else can we find happiness if we cannot elevate the other?  We must also look past our weaknesses, move forward, and enjoy this life fully by discovering our own grace.  I can only strive to do the very best in each moment and that is all.  Then I must remember that everyone else is doing the same.  I have come to realize that life is about balance and grace, not perfection.  We would succeed as parents if the lessons we offer our children were about acceptance, forgiveness, and love.  I must promise them this.

How many times a day as mothers do we judge ourselves?  Fill in the blank: “I am not (patient enough, strong enough, capable enough, smart enough, kind enough”, etc)”

How many times a day do we Continue reading

The Stranger

This is an amusing yet sobering  piece written by an anonymous person about the stranger living in his home growing up.  It is well- worth the short read.

The  Stranger

A   few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger  who  was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was  fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and  soon invited him to live with our family. The  stranger  was quickly accepted and was around

from  then on.   As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my  family.  In my young mind, he had a special niche.

 

My  parents were complementary instructors: Mom  taught  me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.  But  the stranger… he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures,  mysteries  and comedies.  If  I wanted to know anything about Continue reading