If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordy Wednesday... Living in the Now & Letting Go...

"It's like washing the dishes. If you focus on getting the dishes done so your kitchen will be clean, you miss everything that happens between dirty and clean. The warmth of the water, the pop of the bubbles, the movements of your hand. You miss the life that happens in the middle zone--between now and what you think your life should be like. And when you miss those moments because you'd rather be doing something else, you are missing your own life. Those moments are gone. You will never get them back....even when you arrive at being Someone because you are where you were going--your life may not be any better if you haven't learned to be awake, alive, now. To take this moment for what it is." from Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth

This is an excerpt from one of the books I am reading, recommended by a good friend who is on a weight loss journey with me. I realized recently that while I am losing weight, and keeping it off so far, if I don't change the way I think about food, I'll probably gain all the weight back in a couple of years. The piece I quoted above though got me thinking about more than just food--it applies to homeschooling, day-to-day life, and much more!

And so I am letting go. I am letting go of the planning. I really don't need to know what we're going to be studying in three years time. What I do need is to focus on now.

I don't mean that we're going to be unschooling, or that I am throwing all caution to the wind. I still print out approximately a week's worth of math at a time. I still have a [huge] book list I'd like to read with the kids, and goals for what I'd like them to learn. But, I'm not guaranteeing when we'll get through a book. I'm not planning out exactly what we'll cover in history this week. I'm allowing room enough for exploration and expansion, room enough to be in the now. And it is a good thing. We're all calmer. I haven't lowered my expectations... I think I've actually raised them. A good part of this hearkens back to what I wrote at the beginning of my weekly report last Friday. We're cutting out the fluff, and that naturally allows more room for discussion, questioning, and child-formed connections.

As for the rest of life, I find if I try to live in the moment, I feel happier. I enjoyed ironing some shirts yesterday, because I allowed myself to, instead of thinking about everything else. I'm sleeping better at night because I am realizing that I can worry all I want, and it doesn't fix anything. And believe me, my kids can tell I am more present!

Living in the now is a work in progress, never a constant state. But if I am always waiting until whatever (until I'm thinner, or until we get to x subject in science/history, until whatever), then I miss out on a lot of now.


  1. Anonymous1:27 PM

    I think one of the wonderful things about homeschooling is that it's dynamic - it flows and changes, and we can flow and change with it. :)

  2. Agreed. One of the main reasons I followed the unschooling path after battling cancer was my desire to live in the 'now.'

    I have a few things I've made a priority (reading) but other than that, we do whatever we want, whenever we want, for as long as we want. :)

  3. Living truly in the moment is such a tough thing to do. This was my one New Year's resolution, but I am better at it some days than others. If you haven't seen the zen habits blog yet, you might like it- click on "archives" and there is tons of great stuff there(zenhabits.net). I've been reading through it.


What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

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