I went to Charlotte for a concert with a girlfriend a few weeks ago and her skin was all glowy and summery and today - with the girls at their co-op - I got a wild-I'm-free-hair and decided it'd be a good day to feel glowy and summery. So, I went and got a spray tan. I can't decide if that's redneck or not. I mean my lack of sophistication is no secret and I figure it's better than laying in a tanning bed, right? Anyway, I'm glowy and summery and feeling like a million bucks.
I picked the girls up from their co-op and Charley said, "Why you so brown?" "Because I wanted to look like Lola." (Reminder: Lola's Korean and it's the middle of the summer.) Lola smiled. Charley scowled. (Note: Charley turns red for a few hours and then goes back to pale.) Lola and me are killing the game.
The first week of school - Kindergarten for Lola and First grade for Charley - has proven to be exhausting. Basically they've both cried off and on since ohhhhhh.... Monday. Soooooo, that's been pretty cool.
We were home yesterday and it was raining and I had music playing and a candle burning and we were sharing the kitchen table with books and papers and pencils strewn about. At one point I thought to myself, "I could do this full-time." I homeschool the girls with the significant help of a co-op. It's basically like they go to school, just part-time and we can still do whatever we want (i.e. stay home in our pjs when it's cold outside / take school on the road / flee for the mountains for the day without the fear of being arrested for truancy). This option for schooling may be one of the greatest gifts I've received as a mother. It just suits us so well. And this is why I often toy with the idea of homeschooling full-time. But, NO.
NO. NO. NO.
Earlier this year I realized I like to take care of people. (Awwwww... that's so noble of you.) I know, I know, I know, but before you start handing out awards and gift certificates for spray tans let me fill you in on the rest of that story.
Me taking care of people doesn't always come from a place of selflessness, but instead for a need for control. Because clearly it's my responsibility to keep everyone happy. And, I'm the only one who can do it well because I'm so awesome and important.
Then I use all of my free time taking care of myself. Except there isn't any free time when you become addicted to being in control. Time moves out and resentment moves in.
This past year my need for control took over my family, my house and my work. And, here's the thing: I really do think people would see it all as healthy and frankly pretty awesome. I mean to the outside world everything looked pretty damn good. Nobody can see what's swirling around on the inside. And for me it was a lot of tired and a lot of resentment.
So yes, I could homeschool full-time and then my kids would be with me every waking second and I'd have the perfect excuse to have so many things to take care of and no time to do anything for myself and my addiction for control (also known as: perfectionism) would be met and my need for doing the things that are very hard to justify as important, but are vital to my health would be pushed to the side until "time" arrived.
It's funny how our bodies respond to whatever it is we're feeling even when we're not aware of how we're feeling. For me, I gained weight. I need quiet time. Where no one is breathing in the same room as me. I need time to read. I need time to meditate. I need time to write. I need time to create. In lesson 1 of Amy's class she wrote, "Silence is where our souls catch up with our bodies." Since I didn't have any quiet time I ate and drank too much. Sugar. Wine. Yespleasethankyou.
I've started to prioritize unapologetically my need for silence. I'm also confessing my addictive tendencies for control and perfection. Being an artist requires silence. Being an artist requires messiness. Perfection and messiness don't go hand in hand. I tried the perfect thing and it nearly suffocated me. I'm now trying out messiness.
So far, so good (at least my glowy skin thinks so).