Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not..."

 Yesterday, on a foggy morning, we broke out of our hibernation.  Into town we went.  We stocked up on food, and went to a survival class at the nature center. Camille and Sylvia worked with friends to build a shelter and start a fire, and just to make it extra challenging, Mother Nature threw a thunderstorm at them, in Wisconsin in January!
  We followed that excitement with friends and legos at the library.

 After a day of rainfall, we had a day of snowfall.  I'm not a huge winter enthusiast, but I do prefer snow in January.

 seed snack 
sprouted alfalfa seeds, juicy pomegranate seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds

 Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? jigsaw puzzle

  After we assembled all 300 pieces (well, 299, we were missing one, it was from a thrift store), we used clues to find answers on the map.  The answers had a letter or two in bold print which we used to fill in the answers to the crime cases.  I was surprised how much Sylvia knew about geography from watching nature documentaries.  Since she isn't reading fluently yet, she would look for animals that lived in certain areas to identify that country, pandas for China, koalas for Australia, etc.

On a totally different note, sometimes, I wonder why I blog.  We have many, many good moments in our days, and sometimes not so good moments.  If I show only the good, and paint a picture of our ideal, unschooling life, what is the purpose of that?  I do love celebrating and focusing  on the positive, but I'm not trying to pose and posture here.

Quite simply, I blog, because I enjoy it, but I have nothing to sell here, no agenda to promote.  The activities of our days would look no different if I didn't snap photos and spill out words here (except, maybe, my amount of time spent at the computer).  So, what is this publicly accessible smattering-of-moments of our days?

I'm feeling extra self-reflective about blogging, because I was kind of a jerk to my family this afternoon.  I was short on patience and tolerance. I yelled. I swore. I nagged. It happens. I apologized, but I didn't want to come here and make it look like I was a blissed out, saintly mum all day.  I wasn't.

If I can accept my own imperfections (and occasional jerkiness) with humility, I can more easily accept those things in my children (and others), without lending judgement to an already imperfect situation.  So, a bad moment passes, like a thunderstorm, sometimes leaving the landscape refreshed.  I'm not excusing all jerky behavior.  I wouldn't want it to thunderstorm all the time, but neither do I want to paint a falsely sweet, always-sunny picture of our lives.

One can accept the weather or rail against it.  I like to prepare for it, revel in it, and sometimes take cozy shelter from it.

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” 
― Pema Chödrön


  1. I have sat down to blog about our week before and something might come up, life is like that sometimes :), that makes me upset. Then I will look at my blank post and think who am I kidding. We have struggles. My 12 year old daughter and I bump heads. I think that is just as much a part of the learning process.

    At first when I started my blog I wrote for show, I'll admit that. Now I write for me and will admit I am my biggest reader. It is our story. I can't tell you how many times I read it when feeling down. I am so glad that it is there. Being able to see the smiles on the girls faces makes me smile. It's like my own way of patting myself on the back. :)

  2. Don't stop blogging! I love your photos and your words - even the "bad" bits. In fact, I like the bad bits - makes me feel normal :-)

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, ladies. Dkj, I agree that I (and my husband) are my biggest readers, and I enjoy both creating this space and looking back on it. I think I just got self-conscious about what other people think about this publicly shared blog. And, Ingi, don't worry, I'm not taking the blog down :), just had a bumpy afternoon. That's all.

    Today is much sunnier, literally and figuratively.

  4. I love your posts, Nikole, and I know what you mean about the tougher stuff—weather's always changing; it's what you do with it and learn from it that counts, don't you think? I am always so moved by your reflections—they inspire me, to be honest. So, thank you, for your honesty and incredible mindfulness, my friend. :)

  5. Awww, Helena. Thank you so much :)


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