Monday, April 16, 2012

25 Thoughts Today

Because a list is all I can manage.

  1. I was complaining to my husband tonight that with all my years of yoga, I still somehow ended up with bum knees, a jacked-up shoulder, and -most recently- a bad lower back! WTF?
  2. I picked up my 3 year old 2 days after turning 36 and threw my back out. Niiiiiiiice. That will have been 3 weeks ago this Friday. Mother Effer!
  3. It's actually almost better, I think, though. Which I owe mostly to yoga. But I still wish it had prevented the injury rather than help heal it!
  4. Spring Break: my husband was off a week. I had kids all 5 days. I had a week off; he was back at work. Blah! I like our vacations to align, please, universe! For the next time, then.
  5. Today was the first day all 4 kids were back together after the week off.
  6. It. Was Seriously. Adorable.
  7. It was in the high 70s and we spent all day outside together.
  8. I feel as if I'm finally finding the spot where I'm figuring out exactly how to DO this job REALLY well with the kids. And that makes me love it more and more.
  9. Maria Montessori: how do I know so little about her when I've been studying early childhood ed for so long? I don't know, but a wonderful old friend of mine has been sending me info, and I love it! I want to know more, more, more!!!
  10. That same dear friend might be moving to Austin, TX. My father-in-law lives in San Antonio. I so want to sit with her and talk about Montessori for hours!!!
  11. When I first started thinking about homeschooling, I felt it was really what I had to do for my kids. I hated all the other options, more than I loved homeschooling.
  12. But I seem to have turned a corner, where now I'm really looking forward to it for myself!
  13. I have a goal, for my professional self.
  14. I want to master teaching.
  15. By teaching, I mean that I want to master the art of facilitating people to be in flow.
  16. I haven't figured out yet how to get anyone to pay me for this pursuit, but that will come in time, I guess!
  17. Actually, speaking of flow and money, I think I have a blockage somewhere.
  18. It's in my mind, and here's what it says: how much is the minimum I need to make to survive and do what I want to do?
  19. And so I only ever make the minimum I need to survive and do what I want to do. Because that's the question I ask.
  20. I think somewhere inside me, I believe that I am buying my freedom.
  21. With all the money I'm not earning, I am buying those hours back to do what I wish with them. The freedom to exist without the structures, demands, the shape of lucrative employment.
  22. Do I believe there can be both money and freedom?
  23. That's a good question. 
  24. I'd like to say yes. To embrace abundance of money the way I embrace abundance of choices, of ideas, of possibilities, of ways to be right, and ways to be beautiful.
  25. But I don't know if I'm there yet.


  1. You know, the other day I realized I've never actually set a benchmark for myself that I haven't met and that maybe the problem in my life (or at least the I'm-not-where-I-want-to-be-yet feeling) has more to do with the fact that I've never asked enough of myself than with the idea that I don't have the ability to create the life I want to live. Does that make sense? Anyway, it sounds like we're kind of in the same place right now (albeit from totally different angles), which might be why I love reading about your journey so much. You're finding your flow. You're charting your course. And that's pretty amazing.

    1. Hmmm, that does make sense. There are times I've felt that my life has been too easy. That I'm capable of more, but haven't been tested. But then other times I think that's silly, and that I should just be grateful it hasn't been harder. Similarly, there are times I think I MAKE my life harder than it needs to be, like by choosing homeschooling or prolonged unemployment, or what I think will eventually be entrepreneurship at some point. And other times I feel so grateful just to have the opportunities to choose these same things! It all depends on the day, I guess.

      But yeah, I do know the feeling of wondering if I'm setting my sights too low. It's hard to know what a good set of expectations is when I reject wholesale the "always busy" ethos of rat race as life. And I kind of idealize things like monks living in silence and meditating for hours on end, even though that's certainly not the life I've chosen, and I also kind of imagine that I personally might struggle deeply with -and even hate!- that life! It's funny, our thoughts!

  2. Hmm, you know, I think I almost never set any benchmarks at all. What does that mean?

    1. I think it means maybe you think of them as daydreams instead! You've accomplished an amazing amount with learning to sew, especially for starting so recently! Do you have specific goals for that, or is it just fun to see what happens?

      I don't think of things as benchmarks, per se. I just think I'm really stubborn about wanting certain things, and I believe it's easier to agree to be broke in order to have them than it is to figure out how to get paid decently for doing them. That's because it IS easier to be broke IF you don't factor in the difficulty of being broke!

      And then I think maybe it's mostly my belief that is limiting me, and if I just stopped thinking that way, opportunities to make more money would happen. Or is that just magical thinking? I'm never sure when to believe my own magical thinking and when not to!

      Anyway, I think you accomplish so much that you must have some sort of goal-list or how the hell do you do it all???

  3. "I want to master the art of facilitating people to be in flow." When you accomplish this, I volunteer to be your first adult pupil. I need that help. Desperately.

    1. I bet you're in flow when you're interacting with your students, watching the lights turn on in their eyes, comparing classic literature to Jay-Z! I think you might be in flow when you teach. Which is interesting, huh?

      One way to think about it is: when do you lose track of time? What do you enjoy doing so much that it's like you exist outside of time during the period you're doing it? Once I read a book by a Catholic priest that compared this experience to prayer, saying they are essentially the same thing. Which of course, I loved!

      I think sometimes my own moments of flow happen most easily when I'm brainstorming how to solve problems in my teaching. Lying in bed at night, imagining new possibilities for teaching based on problems that I observed in the last lesson. Sometimes I wonder if I like *thinking about* teaching more than I like *actually* teaching! I do like being with the kids (or adults in my last job), but the daydreaming about what's possible based on what I recently observed is seriously one of my absolute favorite parts of the process!

    2. Your third paragraph is exactly right on for me. Lesson planning, thinking about where we can take something and how I can help my students see the connections between the literature we're studying and the world, themselves, the modern age, well, that slips me into a state of "no time" all the time.

      I love Csikszentmihalyi's take on flow: "flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand." I seek this more in my relationships than anywhere else. I find it in my work and in my puttering around the house, but being able to reach this state of positivity and energy--separate from fear and anxiety--is a daily struggle.

      We are all os lucky to have one another as reminders of the joy of this world. Thanks for being a touchstone in my life :)

    3. Shannon, that makes me wonder: are you an extrovert or an introvert? Because I would say I'm mostly introverted, and I've been wondering if "flow" is possible with other people, or if it's something that happens in collaboration. And if it does happen: naturally or with planned intervention? Most of my "flow" moments are alone, although sometimes I hit it while interacting with the little ones, where I tap into their flow, and extend it.

      This is so interesting! I want to talk about it forever!!! Yay for blogging!

  4. Hi Stranger! I am avoiding work...
    I never set benchmarks because I find that I am way too hard on myself. I am cheering you on though!
    P.S. Two Words: Pilates Reformer classes. Take it from this gal with two herinated discs. It will help. :)

    1. I bet that is great advice. My body has actually been begging me to get back into Pilates, and I have stubbornly resisted (for no good reason except it's hard, and I don't usually have the energy to learn new things at the kids' naptime, which is the only time I have!). I've only ever done Mat Pilates though. The Reformer would be brand new to me! I think there's a studio a couple towns a way with a highly trained instructor, and I bet she offers Reformer classes. Something to look into! Thank you!

      I'm not hard on myself at all, usually, with benchmarks or otherwise! I imagine I'd accomplish a lot more if I were. But then again, I think baby steps are the only way I ever really get anywhere, so I'd better just accept that and work with it!

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