Saturday, September 26, 2015

This is how we are Poor

There is a lot I feel grateful for.  Our home, our children, our family, food on the table.  We are not affluent financially; we are middle class mostly living paycheck to paycheck, but we are lucky, and I do not want to dismiss what we have.

But, when I am having a hard day and need someone to talk to; I am very selective with the people I am comfortable with in being able to share the really hard things; the hard things I would never post on Facebook or here.  As much as I am grateful for, there are issues.  Everyone has them.  I am so afraid of burdening anyone or being "dramatic" that if I sense  there is the slightest hesitation when I open my mouth, I will not share.  I will walk away from it.  The last thing I want is to be judged or be a burden to anyone, or for anyone to think I am not justified for feeling as I feel, or if I am wrong; or if they discover how faulted I am, etc..  I am one of those people who quickly do not share if I smell judgment.

But, no one is perfect.  Not even close.

So there are many of those bad days; and I rarely broadcast what it is that makes those days truly hard. I may hint or share an issue that is humorous or shareable, but I cannot share the parts that should only be shared in person, with close friends and family.

I honestly only have ONE person I share things with outside of my husband in this phase of my life.  

If she were of monetary value, she is the one dollar I hold in my hand, but I often find myself thinking that if I truly think I have any worth, I will let it go, too.  Not because she isn't awesome, but because she I don't think has room for me.

My whole life before being married, I always had people to confide in; and we reciprocated.  I have always been open to friends who wish to confide in me.

I suppose, there should be more people I could talk to, but so many people I think would judge or be too quick to give advice.  Most people seem to be that way.   And I don't know what is wrong, but most people in my life do not reciprocate even childcare/ hosting kids, let alone friendship.

So, there is this one rare gem I can occasionally confide in, but I do not feel like I am a gem to her..  Or if I am, I am of the "many" that she has, and in that sense, I am just a coin, rather than a gem.

The thing is, she is one of those people who are "full"  I call her, and rarely does she even answer her phone.  And in truth, it often takes three days or a week for her to call me back (if she does at all).

This is how I am poor.  When I am in pain, I really have no one to talk to.  Often my husband is working or busy and I cannot talk to him when he is, either, as is the case right now.  He is too busy, and my friend, I have called twice in the past 3 days, and she has not answered or called me back yet. 

I think a story I heard not long ago, about how a new mother died in her car here in Oregon.  She committed suicide with her child.  She was severely depressed.  Was it like this for her too? Was she subtle and afraid to ask?  

Don't worry, I'm not saying I am even close to that desperate, but I am feeling extremely isolated from friendship; and I share this only because I think many people feel this way too.

We have so much in our society, but we are so poor in other ways.  

This friend, who takes 3 days to call me back, as her normal.  That is not a friendship.  Not really.  She is kind enough to eventually call back, and I do not wish to hold it against her that I need her confidence more than she needs mine.  I do not begrudge her.  But I also realize that this is not the kind of friendship I really need when I find myself questioning my place in it all the time.  I am so poor that this is the best I have; and that currently I cannot think of anyone I can cry with. I feel like I am alone in a forest. In this case, it is alone in a city.  (but I guess being alone is not always bad and can even be good)

This is a hard day, though; and it hurts; and I just want to be able to talk about it and I feel alone with it.

But pain is not always shared.  Pain is pain, and I am not the only one in pain at this very moment, feeling alone in it.  Pain is a part of life.  And sometimes we have to just endure it; even alone.  I don't want to endure it alone, but I am thinking many people have to "suck it up" too.  How many people at this very moment are alone in their pain?

So, if you are out there an in pain, too.  What do you do when there is no one available to talk to?  

No one to even be aware of what you are experiencing?  What is your consolation?  

I guess, for now, writing helps.  And tomorrow is another day, yes?  It will pass. One more day.  This one is almost done.  Like a headache; this too will pass. 

And this is my poverty.  Poverty has to be endured all of the world, and it is endured.  This is small compared to physically starving or feeling unsafe.  This is small.  so very small...  yet it does hurt, and sometimes feeling alone can be unendurable, too..  Perhaps it doesn't have to be.  Being alone is not always bad.  What is it that makes it seem like I need to share this with someone?

I will be okay; and if you are relating to this; you will too; and virtually, perhaps, if you are reading this, I am not alone, and neither are you.

I am forty-two and still wishing for a mom when I am hurting.  And sometimes, I have to be my own mom.  We probably all have to be at some point.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Homeschooling Year Three: Week One

Last year was a hard year.

A lot did not work.  To re-frame that: I can say, that I learned a lot about what not to do.  I did find many kernels that did work to continue into this year.  Our first 6 months; the year before, were on a much better track, but I had questioned myself into joining a charter.  That was; I want to say, a mistake, but ultimately it wasn't because I learned a lot from attempting it.  It was not all bad.  Nothing is all bad.

I have spent the summer trying to get over the many failures of last year.  I fell head over heels in love.  With photography.  I think I even love photography more than writing and reading and knitting; which says a lot.

I have a new blog; but for tonight; I need to write in this old familiar one.  This one is after all about homesteading; and homeschooling fits in with that more than my new photography angle.  This is my imperfect blog; and I feel more casual with it; and for tonight, I wish to be more informal.

Yesterday on day 2, my facebook post:  Realizing how liberating it can be to homeschool. We can learn topics as "units" and rotate those subjects in the way that works best for us. For example; we can spend two hours on science today; and then the next day, put more time into Language Arts and focus on a book or a writing topic. Another day, we can put more energy into an art project or music; instead of just trying to fit it into a little "left-over time" when the kids are "done" And now with Kei, she can have a simplified version of almost everything we do; or she can do sensory/constructive things on the side. We can devote entire days to social time and field trips as we can condense some of the learning days when needed.

I was feeling much better and optimistic.
Today on Day 3: I have been physically more worn down and in need of creative rejuvenation time; and most likely exercise as well.  I was feeling less supported in the endeavor.  Piles of dishes awaited me first thing; after having spent so much time the day before with this task.  It feels like a reminder that I am this second class citizen.  The stay at home mom...  And I think of myself as "more than that" 
I am educated. I have my masters degree.  I am an artist.  I am an artist. I am an artist.  
Yet, the dishes.  Even after making all the meals and doing all the other dishes; these ones were still there like a reminder that I have this glass ceiling.  

The feminist part of myself has been loud in my head lately.

So, on day three; another feeling set in.  

But, on day two, I realized how much better this is this year than last.  It is so very much better to have the freedom we now have than it was to juggle the charter homeschool with a cooperative preschool.  I know more about this than I had given myself credit for.  I CAN do this.  My kids CAN do this.  This CAN work.  At this point, this year in time, we do not need those 2 schools and right now I feel a very strong "Good Riddance" feeling like those two schools are balls I want to throw as far away as I can.
They were not what we needed.  I feel a deep hurt from one of them.  An emotional let-down I do not even have the time to describe.  
But this year is better; already. 

I hope.

So far it is.

We are using Moving Beyond the Page curriculum and I love it!  It is working.  My kids seem happy so far.  Even Kei has already learned how to write A and K.  Just this week.  

It is good.

But on day 3; I just realized and remembered how much work this is; and how I can't just run to the store like I could during the summer and now I have less energy to spare.  I am feeling the need for more sleep.  

I had a wonderful wave of creativity and seemed to be able to exist on air (5-6 hours of sleep); and now summer is over; and there are dishes to do still; on top of; teaching/learning with my children; and the dishes; the dishes get in the way.  I hate them.  I did them without thought during the summer, but now, when I have so much more I have to do; they mock me.  Those dirty dishes.  Isn't making the meals enough?  Don't even get me started on the laundry.  Same thing.

There is that voice of entitlement.  I am better than the dishes.  I should not have to do them if I make the meal.  Someone else should do them  (and they do, my son pitches in and sometimes my husband) but there is always more and more and more; and I still have piles of them.

This is not the point.  I am obviously tired and rambling.

So, year three.  Year three; I am hoping will be the year that "works"  

We are not unschooling nor are we doing "school at home" either.  I think we are in the middle.  We are "homeschoolers"  We follow curriculum but with lots of flexibility.  I plan to have 4 condensed learning days a week; and one for social/adventure/field trips.  That is the plan.  

And I may have to accept that I need more sleep; now.  Also the creative force within me (this may sound strange)  is yelling really loud.  I am not okay unless I am able to spend some time each day on art; writing/photography.  I start to become angry and resentful; so I think I really need to honor that, too.  That is what happened to me today on day 3.  I had a lot of time on Sunday, but by today, I was needing another devoted amount of time with art.  I needed to produce "something."

So here is a little of more of it:  I am thinking I am making much more progress in my photography than my writing... (also forgive the highlighting. I cannot seem to get rid of it)

Can I come in?

Team Effort

Reflections and Shadows Light and Salt Water


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