The number and level of ironies with this chapter and this blog and its timing are almost too numerous to mention, but it’s a blog, so I can mention with impunity.
Chapter 4 resonated with me on so many levels. We’ve been having increasing levels of frustration on all fronts because we don’t seem to have a plan. By that, I mean that we don’t seem to have a goal we’re aiming for with much of anything. Everything is focused on getting through today. We barely have a plan for the next day, which makes a lot of my planner angst super humorous. But when it comes to a life plan, or vision for the homeschool, or a where do we want to be five years from now discussion, we are completely stuck.
We got this way, a little, because of the trauma of Katie’s birth and then her surgery and the whole life on hold thing until we got through those things. And then it was P’s parents. And so on and so forth. You can see where all of those things could put life on hold, but now we’re almost two years out from Katie’s surgery (October 20th will be two years if anyone aside from us is counting). In December we’ll have seen a full year since P’s dad’s passing. But how we got here isn’t important. The question is how do we get out.
Ironically, P has been feeling these same yearnings. We went on a date Sunday afternoon/early evening thanks to finding a new babysitter (well, new to us). The kids think she rocks, so this will become a more regular thing that we’re doing. While we were walking in the mall (yes, I know, but the first time out we didn’t want to be too far away in case the kids terrorized her and she wanted to leave), P expressed some dissatisfaction with the fact that we really haven’t had any goals for the last few years and asked that we start working on that. He feels, we both feel, somewhat rootless, somewhat unstable because we don’t know where we’re going or why we want to get there.
To me, this connected up beautifully with this chapter. As I was reading, I kept thinking, well of course we need to figure out the foundation — the goals that we have as a family, the purpose for our homeschool. The why; the divine purpose for each of our kids. We need a, God help us, plan.
As I look at our homeschool, I realize that what we don’t have is a long range plan. I have short range one: get through this year and on to second grade prek4; and I have a daily one: survive the day with minimum of tears and yelling. But, that’s really not a foundation I want to build a life on. It’s not what I want Ben to recall about his early school years: most days we didn’t yell a lot at each other.
I think the key for all of us, though, is counting the cost. What do we have to give up in order to successfully build the life that we want to have? What do we have to choose in order to make the family and the house the way that we believe it was intended to be. Our vision is somewhat different from Clarkson’s and I think that we place our emphasis on somewhat different things, but overall, we have to find, for ourselves, what the plan (or blueprint if you’re using Susanka’s analogy instead) is for us and then decide how we best work toward it.
What spoke to my heart was her planning a vision for her children for three to five years and then meeting with her children to share her vision and to hear theirs. What she didn’t say, and I wonder, is if those visions ever clashed. Perhaps not because Clarkson seems to be much better at discerning what’s in her childrens’ hearts than I am, but I also wonder if she’s better at it because she’s been at this a lot longer than I have. Hmmmm. I need to think about this some more.
Overall, we need to develop some longer range goals and plans so we can focus our day to day lives on more than simply existing. We all need to live as fully and as deeply as possible for as long as we’re here.
To see what others are saying about this book please seeHome With the Boys‘s current post and link up.
Books mentioned in this post:
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