Random brain dump, or….can I fit it all in?

What a terrible subject line.  But one way to guarantee only people who want to read a brain dump will read it.  Because the post is super random and has no point.   However, so many things have been happening in the homeschool front that I want to share, yet they don’t really have a big point.  So a brain dump.

I’m coming up from under a mountain of craziness that is the last 3 weeks.  Mostly because I was running around to 4H and playdates and hikes and then yelling at the kids, especially Thumper, when we didn’t get enough done.  I haven’t had time to prep and I was feeling like we’re behind.

We’re in 3rd grade!  And we can’t read in English!  And we can’t write in Chinese!  What about science and history! or music and cooking and gardening!  or folding laundry and washing dishes and chores?  There’s no time to read or listen to cool audio or watch Magic School Bus!  Then the worry that I’m not following the child or letting the children really follow and explore their interest when there’s 10 other things on the list that they must do daily during school.

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What should I do with my life?

CDsIt took me three days.  But I have finally wrangled my CDs and DVDs into some organization order.  Each disk and cover was painstakingly taken out of its case, sorted, then equally painstakingly put into a sleeve. The collection now takes up a fifth of the original space.

This, along with the myriad of other home organization I’ve been undertaking the last month makes me inordinately happy.  I have to stop myself from going on and on about it with my friends.  It’s kind of like that first baby tooth or first step, or first chocolate face.  So boring to other people but it puts some really good marbles into the “happy happy joy joy” jar.

I just finished reading Po Bronson’s What Should I Do With My Life this week.  It’s a bunch of stories of people who asked themselves this question.  It’s really a book about people being discontented, and taking that plunge to make some changes.  Sometimes they fall into it, sometimes it’s a conscious choice, and still sometimes it takes try after try to get it right.  I’ve been trying to figure out what the message is; or what can you do to figure out what to do with your life.  I think ultimately it’s about living a life that fills your soul; living a life that conforms to your ideals and beliefs.

It may sound frivolous, but taking the time to organize my CD media does fill my soul.  There is a need in me to have an organized life and I’m finally getting that done now that I’m an SAHM.  I used to run around like a wanna-be superwoman.  But juggling a full time job, night school, volunteering at preschool 10-20 hours a week, didn’t leave room for cooked meals or clean house.  I thought the night school and volunteering made me happy.  To a certain extent they did.  Schooling challenged my brain after years of doing the same thing at work.  And volunteering provided some practice into the new job field I want to go to.

The home and children suffered though.  Being a SAHM the last half year has slowed down the pace.  So many people have told me that I’m more relaxed now.  I guess I was running around like a headless chicken, putting out one little fire after another, rather than doing some big management of said forest.

Sometimes I am still not sure if I made the right choice, if what I’m doing day to day is what I want to do with my life.  But there are many more moments now of happiness in a job well done: cooking dinner every day, organizing all those CDs, rearranging the kitchen drawers, labeling all the spices.  They’re so mundane and doesn’t sound on level with managing email servers or people.  Hence I keep feeling the need to figure out and explain why I’m so happy getting these done.  After reading Bronson’s book, I think I know why.  In my head, I do have an image of what my home life should be like, of what a wife and a mother ought to be doing.  And though I’m a feminist, its the traditional home wifey things like cooking, gardening, sewing, etc, that I think ought to be done if you keep home.  (Yes I know, being feminist doesn’t exclude this but typically the term does not conjure a Martha Stewart image.)

On top of all that, it goes back to my belief of the need to live a balanced life.  I feel that I’m living a balanced life when my house, in addition to my career, is in order.  To be able to not just make money, but to also enjoy the things that money cannot buy.   It is this sense of living that balanced life, the life where I’m enjoying what I do rather than hurried, I think that’s what fills me with contentment; living the way I envisioned and want to live.

If my kids were to ask me the “What should I do with my life” question, I think this is what I would tell them.  To be introspective and understand what it is one needs, to know the things that fills you with little joys daily.  The joys that money cannot buy.