Thursday, May 27, 2010

Almost June...

Jacaranda in bloom: the view from the hammock.

Well, well, what do you know? It's almost June and I have not been more regular here at all. Maybe... maybe now that today is our last day of school for the year? Yes, maybe. I just find my life to be so very FULL of interests and other things vying for my attention that writing here happens mostly when I have, well, something to say. And I guess that's just how my blog is. Many others use their blogs as part of their businesses, but this is not that for me. It's just a place to share when something new comes up that wants to be shared. Can you tell I'm writing these words more for myself than anyone else?

May has been kind of a crazy month of trying to finish up end-of-the-year commitments, getting thing lined up for the things I want to do with Creative Life Studio, as well as health issues we've been facing with my husband. We are unsure at this time what he is struggling with, but we are now thinking it may be a hernia. Hopefully a visit to the doctor in the next couple of days will shed some light on his trouble.
Tessa Napping
For my part, I continue to feel really good with the yoga and running/other exercise. My art was selected to be featured in a quarterly exhibition at a nice library nearby. There will be a reception for the artists in July - FUN!! So, I have had a lot of positive experiences sustaining me - and the mood of our household - for this last month. It is helpful, when one person is dealing with challenges in a family, that others are there to keep the boat afloat; it's what we do for each other.
Yoga continues to help with this. When I practice I am very mindful of being in my practice, being in my body, in the present with all the experiences that brings me. I practice not letting my mind wander back home to any concerns I have there and just stay with the asana (the pose) I am doing. It's not too hard to do that when I am trying not to fall over! And that is the beauty of it and something that keeps pulling me back to my mat, because sometimes, in a more relaxing, restful pose - or at the end of practice, my mind wanders back to trying to solve problems. So, I am trying to take my practice with me when I leave the club, trying to be driving the van when I am driving the van or making lunch when I am making lunch. Sometimes, though, I still find I need distraction and I'll listen to an interesting podcast or music. Sometimes that is what it takes to pull me into the present - or at least get my mind off how uncomfortable my husband feels right now.

Bug Painting - Just for Fun
Watercolor and Watercolor Pencil
This being in the now has gotten me thinking more and more about regularly living in the now and trying to figure out how we can do more of that. I think the fact that my older daughter is going to be starting high school this year and my younger is going to be middle school age (still doing school at home with us of course, though) has gotten me thinking a bit more about the fleeting amount of time I have with them and also that I just don't like having a bunch of requirements headed our way. By that, I mean not just high school requirements, but those credits and volunteer hours and all the things that go into helping make your child marketable for scholarship money, which is what we will be needing if my girls are able to pursue college. At this point, Maia already has her eye on a particular art school that she REALLY wants to attend, so we have a lot of work ahead of us. And I'm okay with that. But I do want to continue to work on emphasizing the fun we can have along the way.
I'm also realizing that we have been doing some things that may have been extraneous throughout some of our homeschooling years. I have been seeing that some of the things we have done, probably could have been learned in different, more experiential, or fun ways. I am thinking this partly because I see special things happening in my older daughter. Because she has found what she is passionate about, she is highly motivated to achieve her dreams. She said to me just yesterday, "Mama, once I found out what I was passionate about, math became easy for me. I mean, school just became easier to do, because I know why I am doing it and I know what it will do for me." Essentially, she just had an attitude shift. This is not to say that she had a bad attitude about school, but like the kid who says, "What are we going to need this for, anyway?" she just couldn't see the forrest for the trees.
So, I'm rethinking things. I'm rethinking a lot of things. I'm almost rethinking everything! We are going to be doing things a bit differently next year. Every year I find myself moving more and more toward unschooling, and while I haven't completely embraced it, I am learning to loosen my grip more and more. I am understanding that the kids really are learning in everything (which I really already knew), but more that they can be trusted to have that desire to learn even if I am not pushing it toward them. At least this is what I see being played out in my family. And so we are going to experiment some more with loosening the reigns and see where it takes us. I'm feeling happy and excited about this and I think I'll see even more joy in daily activities throughout the school year.

Some new prayer flags for the garden - LOVE!
But for now, we are on the cusp of summer. It is almost June. We have a lot of ideas planned for ourselves for the next few months. The girls and I plan to do a graphic novel panel per day documenting our activites in the month of June - longer if we find we like it. Maia is working on particular areas of her drawings that she wants to improve and explore and she is also learning how to make amigurumi. Eve has plans to learn some sewing from one of our friends down the street. We all have lots of books to read and I just signed the kids up for free bowling all summer - a program that is probably offered somewhere by you too if you live in the U.S. And I'm going to just keep doing what I do: draw & paint, knit, read, do yoga, exercise, and just be for a little while without lesson plans attached. :)

So, here's to relaxing into summer. Here's to almost June. Here's to now.


Kez said...

I'm like that atm, my life is just so full and I have so many interesting things that I want to do, that blogging has fallen by the wayside a bit.

I hope your hubby's health troubles are sorted out soon.

The unschooling works well for us too, and I can't wait until my son becomes really passionate about a particular area. I mean he loves doing things like making movies, and anything to do with technology, but I'm talking about when he's older and starts to realise "this is what I want to do with life"..

Enjoy living!

Karen said...

so glad you're doing well, nicole. nice to see you back on here! your summer plans sound a lot like mine. hope your husband's feeling better soon.

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