Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Life's Heavy Doses

Does it ever happen to you that you're feeling tired, or agitated, or tense, or ouchy, and you're not even sure why? It happens to me.

Does it ever happen to you that you get a little passive-aggressive about blogging, about attending the usual commitments, about, say, cooking dinner, or... getting out of bed, and you're not even sure why? It happens to me.

Does it ever happen that you set out to type a newsy email to a friend, and all this angst-ridden stuff comes pouring forth, and you realize by the end of it, "Ahh, so that's why I'm feeling like this"? It happened to me. Just now.

This is a heavy week, for several reasons.

~I met my mother's new 'friend.' I liked him fine, so that's not the problem. And he's good to her. It's just surreal, that's all.

~I met with the headmaster at Brady's school to discuss the possibility that he may drop out. I can hear the homeschoolers now, screaming excitedly, "That's not a problem! That's not a problem!" and I can hear the rest of you thinking, "HUH?!? You're not serious..." It's a long story. We're on the fence (including and especially Brady). We're neck-deep in discussion. It's a huge decision. Again.

~Tomorrow we sign papers to buy the main family farm. Because my father died, because my grandmother died, I find myself in the interesting and unexpected position of becoming 1/3 owner of our fifth-generation family farm. It's exciting and frightening and mind-boggling all at the same time. It was Dad's plan and we're carrying it forward.

~Tomorrow is also the 2-year anniversary of my father's death. Two years already. That doesn't seem possible, as I still look for him around corners and among fence rows. And I still haven't been able to visit his gravestone. I've tried.

~And I saw some old friends last week, whose reception of me was so kind and warm and accepting, it shined a very bright light on the fact that I don't have that in the current communities I'm running with.

So I guess, dear friends, I've got a lot working on my mind and my heart, so I've been tired, and quiet, and introspective... and tired.. and, well, tired... Instead of my usual blog chirpiness, I'm loaded down with big things that can't be easily discussed in this blog.

'Twill be a good day when I post blog chirpiness again.

But we need to end this on a high note, because a wise friend recently told me...

~ the thing you feed is the thing that grows.... ~

Good news part one - I've been doing some arting lately, and for anyone who knows me at all, this is pretty unusual. It's been very soothing. And while the feel of pencils and paintbrush in my hand is rather foreign, I find it doesn't matter - it's the process I need right now, not the product. So indulge me, if you will, by looking upon my beginner's work.

One became a bookmark and went to live with my mum.

Good news part two - I sold an article! purchased an article I wrote titled, "An Unschooler Goes to School". Subscribe to their web-zine if you want, but you already know the details. :-)

Good news part three - We just returned from our annual homeschooling conference, and it couldn't have come at a better time. I needed the pick-me-up more than ever. Brady and I stayed up until 2:40am on Saturday night, Brady going on 'adventures' through the hotel (which was bizarre and very bad feng shui!) with his new unschooling friends, while I chatted with a new group of unschooling moms. And a very cool serendipitous event was my chat with Ren Allen. She was a featured speaker at the conference and as I'd connected with her online a time or two, I hoped to say hello to her. However, she was swarmed with questioners after each workshop so I didn't have the opportunity to chat with her. Well, our room's coffee maker died, so on Sunday morning, after most of the conference-goers were gone and the hotel was finally still, I went to the hotel cafe to get a coffee and there was Ren. Her flight didn't leave for several hours and I had time to chat because Brady wanted to spend as much time as possible with his new unschooling friends, so we got over an hour to talk. Looks like I wasn't meant to have only a quickie hello with her after all. Good things come to those who wait. So glad to have connected with you, Ren!


Now listen - if Brady decides to leave school and come back home, I'm gonna need all the good unschooling mojo and support vibes you've got to spare. All of 'em. It's hard work going against the grain of society again and again, and it gets harder as the stakes get higher. The collective sigh of relief when Brady entered school did not go unnoticed by me (or him), and it takes a strong spirit to shut out the myriad opinions, doubts, and fears and listen to your own inner voice speaking, and that's what he's faced with right now. Big stuff for a 15 year old.

I am in awe of his maturity, his willingness to be who he is, and his obvious ability to succeed no matter where he is, no matter what he chooses. We want him to be happy, and we will do whatever is necessary to see that happen.
Thank you to everyone who's sent "where'd you go?" and "come back soon" emails - it's a comfort to know I'm missed. And now I ask you for one more thing - a big fat dose of "I've got your back grrlfriend" and some 'there there' if you've got any to spare.

Odds are, I'll be back with more than a little bit of big news any time now.

The metamorphosis continues.



Stacie said...

You have been missed. I do have some "there, theres" for you. And I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You don't always have to be upbeat and witty. I found this post very touching and even inspiring. I am going to send you an email response later, as it would be too long for this

K. said...

You can do this.

All of it.

Maria said...

To your first three paragraphs: Oh,yeah!

I second what K. said. You can do this. You have a lot on your plate right now. And that is just the things you posted, as I'm sure there are more!

Going inward is SO okay. Do it. You'll need those resources!

Ren said...

Well first of all, I am SO glad we got to connect and chat in the calm after-conference atmosphere. I felt like I'd always known you.:)

Secondly, I love your first watercolor paintings...keep on trusting that urge!

And last, I completely sympathize with your feelings about your Dad. I swear I miss my Mom more and more as the years pass. She always had a huge garden and I think of her daily as I tend to my wee starts. Loss is hard to come to terms with isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Dear Laura,

I have but one word for you grrl.



whimsigal said...


Wow, this post is chock full of stuff! I have been missing you, friend, and am glad to see that you are ok! In regard to Brady, "the unschooler" as my kids would say, I'm sure that you guys are going to do whatever is best for him. How wonderful is it that you guys are able to all work it out together? I really admire you and your family. Whatever you do in your life, I've got your back from my little corner of the internet.

Your friend,


denise said...

It is the journey, not the destination, right? More food for fodder. ;P

I'm working on a novel email back to you. Just you wait.

Nice to hear the conference went well. The whole birthday party fell through with sick family and we should have just gone. Ah well. Oh, and yes, that hotel is a freaky vibe odd spot. Used to live in that town.

Really need to have you up for coffee and chatter some day. Hang in there!

gemma said...

Hugs from afar. Nothing like a little ennui cocktail to push a body into Spring...I guess ennui with a splash of heartache. Smooch.

zamozo said...

Glad you're back, angst and all! I considered heading over to your conference but when I asked the kids, they said, "nah." They're so content at home. That's good. Still, I would've liked the opportunity to meet you in person.

BTW, I go to bed and wake up each morning with some level of angst about my teen -- even though he's very happy and content with his life. If you ever want to "chat" about unschooling teens, drop me an email.

Chris said...

Laura- Wow, you've got a lot on your plate right now. HUGE hugs to you! If you need someone to chat with, I'm around.

Hugs, girl,

Lynn said...

Gosh, you've got a lot going on, no wonder you needed some time.

Brady is so lucky to have you in his corner,having parents who he knows will back him whatever, gives him the strength to do what is right for him.

I love your art.It is soothing to create something and a special gift to give made with love...

((Hugs)) from over here xxx

Stephanie S. said...

Hi Sweetie.
I'm sorry you're feeling a bit disconnected and not as surrounded by hugs for your spirit as you might choose.
Last night I painted a picture, outside, while dh was preparing our barbecue dinner, Outside!, :), and I said "Wanna see how brave I am?" and he said "Uh... okay." and I took him to my picture.
"Aren't I brave?" I asked.
He looked at me like I had thought I had painted something obscure and dashing like Picasso or Dali.
"It's nice. ?" He offered.
Dolt. :)
"Have you ever painted a picture?" I asked.
"Why not?"
"Becuase I can't draw or paint."
"Exactly my point!!" I said.
(Good thing I love him anyway.)

Let There Be Paint!!, I say.

And - psh - we come for you, not (solely) for your sparkly witticisms, Friend.


Beverly said...

I think the farm thing, being so tied to your father, is the biggest load for you right now. I wish you well with that.
As for Brady and school, I admire your flexibility. As for other people, sometimes, they just can't understand. The choices you're making are too different for them. I'm glad you look to other people who have made the same choices. It's only logical that they would understand where others don't.
Take care.

Sandy Feet said...

I haven't been feeling very "bloggy" myself lately. Sounds like you have lots going on. Consider this an official "Hang in there!" Congrats on your article. All will be well.

~Christa (Ms. Feet)

KMDuff said...

That first half of the post sounded like how I feel right now, so here you go: I've got your back. Stay strong. You can do this. The art is awesome.

Kim said...

Well, I wanted to come by and see if you enjoyed the conference. Seems like your son did too! I got to meet you for about 10 seconds before the conference broke loose and people caved in on all sides and swept me away on a sea of tasks and talks. But I found it fairly amazing that I recognized you guys standing in line.

Hope your week smooths out and you all get to enjoy one another and the farm soon.

Stephanie said...

Hey grrl!
I'm sorry you are dealing with so much crap.

I am thrilled that Brady may come back to unschooling, that is awesome news. You got to meet Ren too, I want to meet Ren :)

Hang in there!

Heather said...

hugs, prayers, and positive thougts all headed your way!

Silvia said...

Wow--you have so much going on right now. I've obviously not been blogging or surfing much recently, either, and only now read your post. Remember that everything is impermanent. My DD is talking about wanting to try 6th grade next year and it's killing me. Middle school, of all times, to start public school (or private for that matter)? Lots on my mind, too, I guess. I wish you well, and I am wondering about how things went with the farm, and thinking about you missing your dad.

diana(hahamommy) said...

I got your back girfren!
"Concierge? Pity party for two please, plenty of Bubbly and
Hor devours ~ Comfort food STAT!"
I'm there with ya chica!

piscesgrrl said...

You grrrls rock. All of ya.

Colleen said...

Oh, you made me cry. But that's good because the last few days I've felt like crying, only I haven't because I keep thinking "what on earth do I have to cry about?" So anyway, I'm feeling a little low (for no good reason I can come up with except maybe homesickness) and it feels better to feel low with company. So thanks for sharing. :)