Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Artificial Time Lines

For those of you that regularly stop by here you know that I have been struggling with exhaustion and being overwhelmed with my personal demands on my time. I have been actively trying to face this challenge and not succumb to the resulting depression. That seems to be a normal course of events in this situation. I have made several changes over the past few months, and they all seem to working for my overall good.

One thing that I am currently reevaluating is my perception of the way things should be done. In so doing I have been forced to think about the demands on my time and why they are there. What I have come to realize is that there are real deadlines and artificial time lines in all of our lives. We fall victim to social standards without really realizing it if we don't pay attention and make a conscious decision to be a free thinking individual.

As a homeschooling mom the most obvious one for me is educational time lines. Who says we have to start school at three, or five, or six, and why not ten? What about graduation? Why do we need to graduate at 18? Why not 14, or 16, or even 22? Since when do we all fit into the same mold? How on earth could our time lines all be the same? What would life be like if we were free to do EVERYTHING at our own pace? I think it would be pretty cool.

In this line of thinking I discovered that one of the things on my agenda, or artificial time line, that was bogging me down was the deadline I inflicted upon myself to have our chosen subjects of exploration completed by May 31st. Who says? Why? To what end? Why on earth does it matter if we complete the Ancient History curriculum that we chose to explore this year by May 31st? If it's not working for us right now, it's not working. Since we learn everyday what harm is there in taking a break when it is needed? My conclusion is ABSOLUTELY NONE!

We are not sitting around like lumps. We are not losing knowledge by putting off a self-inflicted schedule. On the contrary we are learning other things. My 15 year old is currently making a map collage of territory maps of times past. It's rather interesting and amazes me how he can just look at them and know exactly what empire it is strictly by viewing a blank map. My 17 year old is engrossed in writing. He has been writing stories a lot online at a website that others view your work and tell you what they think. Some criticism is useful, and some not so much, but he does enjoy it a lot. Think about the learning and creativity going on here. It's amazing and inspiring.

If my boys are self-aware enough to occupy their time with what fits in the moment, why on earth am I so unable to do so myself? Why do I struggle with doing what feels right for the moment? Why am I inclined to fight my instincts over and over again? When will I ever learn that there are some deadlines that are important like paying the bills on time, and then there are others that are not so important. Life is full of choices, and what we are inclined to think is right is not always the case. Sometimes a reevaluation is in order. When is the last time you took a moment to take a close look at what you are doing with your time? Are you focusing on what is important, or are you paying more attention to something due to an self-imposed deadline. Take a close look. You may be surprised as to what you find.


Anne said...

Congrats on working out your deadline issues. I think homeschooled kids have the advantage of being able to spend the time to really focus on subjects they find interesting.

Tina said...

Anne - Thanks! You are very right, and who am I to stop them? :-)


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