Friday, January 29, 2016

Week Off

I can't believe how time-poor I am at this stage in my life.  And when I say I can't believe it I mean it: one of my biggest challenges right now is that I persist in thinking I can get far more done than I really can.  My brain just cannot seem to understand that things I used to have time for I now do not.  It is a challenge to keep from getting extremely frustrated at how I am constantly behind where I think I should be. 

I often reflect on how we all have a unique combination of time, money, and energy/health, and it changes as we enter different phases of our life.  Throughout my adult life there have been times when I had lots of time but no money,  times when money wasn't so tight but I was ill with pregnancy,  and times like now when I have pretty good health but my time is squeezed like never before. 

As we learned in last General Conference, when your facilities are limited it causes you to focus on spending them on what is really important.   And I think that's why God tests us with poverty in each of these areas at different stages of our life.  I think He wants to see what we will do with our money when we don't have much, with our time when we don't have much, and with our energy when our health is poor. 

Some of us get tested on the abundance side of these resources as well, though it's easy to think we are not getting as much as we think we should have, even when we have an abundance. 

But I am getting sidetracked with this philosophizing.  This past week has been a week off school for us and I am so grateful for the break.  I needed it something awful.  Homeschool, for all it is amazing and exhilarating and exciting,  is also frustrating, grueling, and exhausting.  It is mentally,  physically,  and emotionally draining.   Learning to pace yourself is an absolute must.   I am still learning, which might be why last week I was about to turn into a screaming maniac, but I have learned that this "break every six weeks" plan is a really good one for me. 

I kept thinking of things I wanted to get done during the break, and I started a little list in my planner.  I was in love with the idea that I was going to have some time to do things I almost never get to do: creative things and fun things and "just because" things.  A whole week to dedicate to such things!  The luxury!  I have been on fire with two sewing projects lately: a quilt and some bags for the girls to take to church on Sunday.   Two birthday parties are coming up soon that need planning.  A stack of boxes in the basement needs my mad sorting skills.  Seed catalogs stacking up in my reading basket say, "your week off would be a great time to start your garden plan."  And surely I can read "The Wilder Life" before it's due back at the library?   My brain said all that was reasonable, with a whole week off. 

The most pressing need, though, was an overhaul of the homeschool room.  We have now reached the halfway point in our year and that is a time to regroup.  A time to dump the clutter,  get rid of what's not working, and make plans for the next 18 weeks.  I planned to take a couple of days for this. 

And of course, that's about all I got done this week.  It's not even quite done yet, but after I spend all of tomorrow on it I should be done. 

But!  I am so grateful that I have been able to get organized again!  This truly was the best thing for me to spend mt time on. 

It is so hard to find time for teacher prep when you homeschool,  and teacher prep is really important.   Things run so much smoother when you are organized.   I am hoping for some smoother sailing ahead.  (Notice I did not say smooth, just smoother.)   Some small changes have been made that will hopefully make things easier for all of us.  And I am really excited about some of the things we are going to be learning. 

Funny how as a homeschool teacher I get so, so excited about what I'm going to be teaching, and then by the end of a week or even a day I am a hysterical wreck wondering why on earth I do this to myself, but then I get excited about it again.  Anyone relate? 

I am so grateful for my life and where I am right now and the eight amazing children I have.  I don't really want to be anywhere else doing anything else. 

Birrd, it's okay if you return library books unread.  It's okay if the boxes in the basement don't get sorted until summer break.  It's okay if you don't buy all the perfect varieties of seeds and garden plants at the best prices from the right companies.  It's even okay if you don't sweep your bathroom floor for a few more days.  The bags don't have to be done by the girls' birthdays.   It's okay.  Really. 


Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

It HAS to be okay!!!

MKMT said...

A screaming hysterical wreck by the end of the day? I'm so glad I'm not the only one - thank you for the reality check! I need your perspective - KEEP BLOGGING!

Stephanie said...

This post felt like a revelation to me!! Light bulbs have just been turned on! I love your insight into poverty not just relating to money but also to a person's time and energy and that how we use what little we have of those resources is the true test. But you said it so much more eloquently. I needed to read this post right now, since I am 9 weeks pregnant and homeschooling my five children AND the primary president in our ward. I am feeling very energy-poor and struggling to channel what little energy I have into the "proper" places when I feel so icky and tired that I want to do NOTHING. I feel like I'm utterly failing this particular trial! I just want to hide in my room and watch Netflix or read to distract myself from morning sickness and my demanding life. Help!! I say this all laughingly, though, because I do see God's helping hand in my life and He is thankfully helping me face my responsibilities--most days--and save Netflix at least until the evenings when the kids are in bed! ;) Poverty in any one of those areas is extremely challenging. Thank you for the perspective you shared!