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escaping ourselves

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Blame the following rant on PrairiePoppins if you want although the truth is that her post only served to loose the thoughts that have been rattling around this brain of mine for months. Read her wonderful post here:  http://handmadehomeschool.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/who-supports-the-supporter/

It always amazes me how in a world so overpopulated with people we find ourselves so often alone. In this highly specialized and compartmentalized society we are, each one of us, waking up to a different reality than our neighbour, our friends and even our spouse. Sometimes I lament the fact that I naturally keep a little to myself ensuring that when the time comes for a shoulder to lean on I am invariably surrounded by those I’m leaning from. A wider circle of friends maybe? Finally reaching out to other homeschooling families in the neighbourhood? At each stage in our lives there has been something that has made us feel a little outside the norm (being young parents, having an ill and then disabled child, having four kids, living small, unschooling) but mostly these are just the lies that keep us away from potential support. In truth everyone has their barriers, their private battles, to overcome if only we would really take the time to look.

Over the last year I’ve been trying to push myself to talk about the things that need talking about and this isolation in a crowd is something that I keep coming back to in my mind but I have yet to write about. Perhaps it is time.

It may be cold comfort, and my children may be younger or older than yours but the thought that keeps me moving when I feel the homeschooling doubt creep up is this ‘you are one of the small percentage of parents that really thinks about how to help your children reach their goals, and takes action on those thoughts, your children are already better off for the effort’. Take these doubts as a chance to re-evaluate and recommit yourself to the job and cut yourself a little slack. Would they be where they are without your efforts? Probably not. You’re doing a great job.

2 Comments

  1. Hi! My husband gave me your blog URL after learning that his old friend Peter and his wife are unschooling like we hope to. I too often feel isolated, but then wonder how much of the isolation is chosen or even preferable (I have my books and poetry to protect me). Perhaps, life is better when we only connect strongly with those we’ve chosen and/or made. Other people can, of course, be fun and reassure us that we are normal and desirable to be around, but they can also require more tolerance/support/attention than we can happily afford to provide. It sounds like you’ve got enough inner strength to take your time finding out which suits you best. Keep up the great writing!

    • I too hold on highest regard those I have chosen and made but what then of the opportunity to challenge oneself that comes most immediately from exposing oneself to the wide world beyond our doors? What I fear is that the way I have and am tempted to close ranks around me leaves those I love far more business with the task of keeping me afloat. Would it not be better for all of us if we opened or doors to more people and more ideas in order to spread ourselves and our needs around?

      Similarly, speaking with a friend recently I started how happy I am that none of my friends come to me with their relationship troubles. We all seem to be in a place of at least content sameness and it is such a relief that there is little of the turbulent ‘he this’, ‘she that’ of our earlier days. But isn’t this a problem that I seem unwilling to step in if needed? That these burdens my friends may place upon me seem like unwanted interruptions in the life I want to live? Where is the community, the collective shoulder? As unlikely as it is to come from someone so highly skeptical of the social, I think it may be time we all opened ourselves up a little more.

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