As I child, I loved fall. Because I was a suck up smarty pants kid, the teachers loved me and I was always excited about returning to school and the interaction and attention that I would receive there.
When I had my own kids, fall was back-to-homeschool time. At breakneck speed, I had to plan curriculum, write lesson plans, arrange church activities, join co-ops, maybe teach in co-ops and more and more and more. It was a dizzying time!
This fall, it’s different. I have the space and time to plan ME CURRICULUM and ME ACTIVITIES.
Because I work at home for one job and only work a few times a week for another job, I can plan my own schedule.
So, what am I doing?
- Trying to write more consistently. This is a tough one. It’s a funny concept that when things are less busy, it’s actually harder for me to get things done because I get distracted so easily. When I have leisure time, my mind and attention wander. When my day is more structured, I schedule things that need to get done and, by golly, they eventually get done. I’m going to be running some articles and a challenge on this soon, so stay tuned!
- Nurturing my creativity. Look, I tend to live in my left brain too much. I want to apply logic and problem solving skills to everything. That’s not a bad things, but sometimes you need to dream dreams and imagine new things. These are right brain activities. A few years ago, I purposed to do more right brain things to nurture my creativity.(a) I looked into art journaling. Believe me, I share these with NO ONE. But I sure have fun painting, pasting, sewing, stamping and fooling around. If you feel you have no “artistic talent” this is a great way to tap into the talent you DO have and you might surprise yourself!
(b) I fiddle with learning to draw and learning lettering. Grab a few books from the library or the bookstore and get yourself a sketch book. Again, NO ONE SEES the things I draw or letter, but they somehow help me access a part of myself that I don’t normally use. I’d have to let the shrinks explain that one, but doing some of these things has made me feel more creative and centered.
(c) I’m putting music back into my life. Yes, I was a flute major when I started undergrad so many moons ago. Yes, I played the tin whistle in a couple or Irish bands back in the day. But my current learning is focused on classical guitar. I rented one and got some instruction books and found a good website with videos and I’m having a blast.
- Taking classes. Oh, I am having a ball with this one! One of my sisters is my compadre in most of these adventures. She is a skilled craftsman and makes and sells jewelry. I go to classes with her and engage in some “remedial learning” while she excels. So far we’ve done a couple of chain maille classes, resin jewelry, polymer clay, and most recently, copper enameling. I never imagined I would use a blowtorch! But we had so much fun that we will be buying some equipment to do more.
- Looking into alternate viewpoints. They can be no denying that we live in a polarized culture. Politics and redefining societal norms are causing huge divisions between us. I have been guilty of being so entrenched in my own beliefs that no daylight of differing opinion could penetrate. Well, I have reconsidered my stance. While I will maintain (and defend) my core beliefs, I think God gave me two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Therefore, while I am a FOX NEWS devotee, when I am with my sisters I have been watching MSNBC to see how they think. This gives me both sides of the issue. More fully knowing the other side has empowered me to have more informed, intelligent discussions on important issues. Look, we’re getting to the point where we can barely have civil discourse. If we don’t all calm the heck down and remember how to talk to one another, how can we live in peace?
Emptying the nest is both sad and exhilarating. Young motherhood had a good run. It’s time for some newness in life.
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