thinking about things, and rethinking things (a rant, and a rave)

'A' and 'H' helped me clean up the garden today

A funny thing happens as you get older. You rethink things. You change your opinion. And then you change back again. And rethink again.

Jeff and I have been together for several election cycles now. We consider ourselves to be pretty liberal. But every two to four years, one of us feels overwhelmed and disgruntled and we want to throw in the towel. One of us flirts with moving to Canada and the other one talks him down. Then a few years pass, and one of us wants to move to the woods and go off-grid and the other one says to her, "that's not a good idea right now..."

We're both educated, caring, intelligent people. We want what is best for the world. And - I speak for myself here - it's time to rethink some of it. I've gotten to the point where I don't think the people who are elected to public office have any of our best interests in mind (I mean us regular people). The issues that are important to me aren't on the mainstream radar at all. I believe in eating local, organic food. I don't support government subsidies for the corn and soy farmers. I don't support the subsidized school lunches that contain all that *crap*. I want to vote and say NO to it. I don't support a lot of the health care practices that are considered to be "normal." I say NO to unnecessary testing for myself and my children. I wish others would too. I take care of my health and I wish others would too. I would love to vote NO on all of that. I homeschool my children and reject the fact that many of the extracurricular activities that are available to them are beneficial, and I find myself happier every day that I do. I would love to vote NO on so many of the things that children today encounter in their everyday life at school and at home: things like too many children for each teacher in the classroom, not enough time outdoors, the pressure to conform and perform, and the LONG hours each child faces each day - at school, followed by after-school (and evening) activities. I would love to vote NO on that.

But it's not all about voting NO, and usually there's nothing on which to vote NO. I'm becoming aware that my views aren't consistent with the views of your average Democrat. I don't fit in. Do I still vote? Yes, but I'm not happy with it.

That is my rant.

My RAVE for the day is this: I'm loving our homeschooling lifestyle more and more all the time. I LOVE that my children and I can rise and shine when the moment strikes us; that we can whiz through the math lessons super-fast when I realize 'A' "gets it"; that I can say OKAY to skipping learning how to sound out words again and again and again because she says she's not interested, and there's no pressure, no stress, no guilt, no criticism.

As we move more and more out of the mainstream, and opt out of things that we once considered to be normal and essential, I see that it's starting to have a snowball effect. We homeschool. We eat local food. We spend time outdoors. We say NO to activities that take place during our dinner hour. We say NO to overscheduling, and YES to working outside when the weather is nice. As I come to understand that children don't need to be enrolled in every sport while they're young "just to see what it's like", I learn that children might actually thrive when they have the time and space to explore their backyard at their own pace. I've come to understand that my children are doing just fine in a homeschooling environment, and I am loving the fact that we're together all day, every day. The consistency is wonderful. The family time is wonderful. We are wonderful together.

So that is it. I am feeling particularly opinionated today, probably because I'm feeling out of place in the world, yet perfectly in place in my own life. My eyes are opening just a little more; I'm making a few more connections; and I'm gaining a deeper understanding of myself as a person and as a parent. Oooh, I'm growing! Just as my children are growing! It's all good.

Carrots from the garden! And Swiss Chard too.


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!