Being Still and Success.

This week was our first week back at school.  It has been the best week.  I could let you think that is because everything went perfectly.  We had no arguments, we didn’t waste a whole roast by accident and I didn’t screw up when it came to my son’s math curriculum.   But that wouldn’t be true.

I did waste a roast by accident, we did have arguments and I most certainly did screw up when it came to my son’s math curriculum.  I bought it from a homeschool consignment store.  At the beginning of summer.  I did hear the woman tell me the return policy.  If it needed to be returned it would have to be in seven days.  At the time, I had kids asking me things, distractions all around.  So, I probably didn’t really take in what she was saying to me.  We got home, and I didn’t think about that curriculum again until the first day of school.  I had bought it, we were ready!  Fast forward to the first day of school and we put the first disk in…it would not read at all.  Thankfully the other three disks seem to read fine.  I can order a replacement disk for $15.00 if we need it.  So, it’s an easy fix, but I still got a little upset at myself for not listening to her better.

However, I rolled with the punches and am found a simple solution.  Nothing to get too worked up about.

Now, I’ll spare you all the details of all the other little things that I could have let get to me.  But I’ll tell you why it was the best week.  We slowed down again.  Summer was so crazy hectic and my health at the end of summer paid for it.  Again, my fault.  I didn’t have to do all we did this summer, but I wanted to.  I could blame myself and worry about it, but it’s in the past.  I know the kids got a little exhausted and so did I.  Just in this first week of school, we have gotten more sleep, we have had slow mornings again and we have moved about our days with a rhythm.

If there is one thing I really want to concentrate on more this year, it is slowing down.  I don’t do good with the “rat race.”  I don’t care to keep up with The Jones or The Smiths or anyone else for that matter.  We make our decisions for the kids based on what we think is best for them.  A childhood that is over scheduled and hectic is just not what we think is best for them to grow and learn.  Some people seem to thrive in that kind of environment, but I don’t know how.

We have started talking about Being Still.  Something the kids didn’t get in public school.  I cannot tell you how many days they came home so drained and very irritable.  I want them to know if it gets to be too much through the day, they can take five minutes out to just breathe, be still, meditate, do yoga, or lie down. It will refresh and we won’t find ourselves drained and irritable.  I am really going to incorporate yoga and meditation in our days this year.  For the well-being of the children as well as myself.

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One of my main goals is teaching our children you don’t have to take the same path everyone else does.  You don’t have to rush through your days and be hectic and productive every minute of every day.  If you think that is what is going to make you happy or successful, you will be disappointed. If you think that money is going to make you happy, you will be disappointed.  You can take your own path, whatever that may be.  You can live a simpler, slower life and concentrate on what makes you happy.  Whether that be a job, your family….whatever.  It is a very personal thing though and nobody can tell you what will make you successful.  I have a very different outlook on what makes me successful.  I don’t go out to a public job every day, although I did from the time I was fifteen until the time I had my second child.  I don’t make money off of my passion of photography (although some days I think about selling prints.)

I wake up each day.  I concentrate on three human beings that were entrusted to me.  I spend my days now learning and growing with them.  I concentrate on the joy and on the happiness it brings me to know that I am helping to point them in the direction they want to go.  I am merely here to encourage them to find what they love, and to be caring, kind individuals.  To me, this is success.  In five years, my definition may be a little different.  And that’s okay.

The important thing is they will know they can choose the path that brings them happiness and joy.  It does not matter what anyone else says.

I was listening to a podcast with Ariana Huffington.  It was on Super Soul Conversations with Oprah.  In it she talked about her mother being her biggest influence and spiritual guide.  She said her mom would say “Don’t Miss the Moment.”  How true this is.  Don’t miss that moment rushing on to the next one.  Stop.  Smell those flowers at the farmer’s market.  Linger.  Have conversations with the kind folks you meet along the way.  Live a life that you are proud of and that you love.

Just some things that have been going on in my mind this first week of school.

Love, Jess

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