Our recent trip north was interesting. The day we arrived was the hottest and most humid they'd had for years. Cary, Sami and Nicholas do not do well in the humidity and we were wondering about our plan to move there. After talking to several locals and realising that this was not typical weather, we pursued our fact-finding mission. We looked at several areas and houses. We narrowed down the area we like and almost put an application in on a rental house. At the last moment, we decided to go back to our plan of waiting another 3 months and focusing more on business and make sure that area will be suitable for a base. Cary has had some interest in the idea of importing American cars and we would be closer to the port of Brisbane. But would we be close enough? Should we be even closer in? We still love the Sunshine Coast but need to look around a bit more. Maybe if we go about 15-20 minutes inland, we can get some land and have a big vege garden again.
While we were away, we bought a 1995 Toyota Landcruiser with dual fuel. Petrol and LPG (liquid petroleum gas). The gas is much cheaper than petrol and more environmentally friendly. So we feel good about the choice and have a much nicer, larger vehicle to travel in than the small station wagon I bought when we first arrived.
We did not make it to the homeschooling group as I was getting rather stressed and overwhelmed by the thought of moving, trying to find a place, wondering if it was the right time, etc. I could not then make a decision concerning a change in the children's education. Mostly because I doubted my own ability to be able to homeschool again. Some families make it look so easy. I find it hard to give everyone what they need, especially with a toddler being so needy. I feel like I let Sami and AJ down on our last go around, neglecting them at times and just not doing enough with them. In my heart, I know that I would like to do homeschooling again, but it would have to be a bit different. I would need to establish - and stick to - a rhythm. I would need to allocate time for myself most days, but to not get so caught up in my own projects that I ignore the rhythm. I would need to find suitable external classes in music and crafts for Sami and whatever AJ would like. I need to find more patience and remember that I didn't learn all of the times tables the first couple of times - it took a lot of reinforcement. My children may not remember our family rules and values, which give us comfortable boundaries of what is acceptable, the first 5 or 20 times either. It takes patience, love and reinforcement. In the past I have been too laid back as a parent, not wanting to cause any damage to the children's self-esteems. But in the process, I've not been fair to them with not establishing clear boundaries so they don't always know how far they can go with something. I would get myself so frustrated that I would build up steam and eventually blow my top (so much for saving their self-esteeem ah dear). I would need to find a great community of like-minded families. That is something I really enjoy about the Steiner school. Sometimes when we drop the kids off, we spend an hour at the school chatting to the friends that we've made. Sometimes we'll go to the beach with them for the day, or out to lunch, or for a barbecue after school. We've done more socialising as a family and as a couple in the short time we've been here than we ever have. Of course the fact that Cary is not working all the time makes that a lot easier, and having great weather to be out in also helps. So what else would make homeschooling work again for us? A real shift in knowing how learning occurs, remembering and recognising that learning is happening all the time whether we're watching tv, playing at the park, or reading a book. Remembering respect for the unfolding nature of the children. Being more mindful of daily moments. Not having huge to-do lists that take away from spontaneity. Living more gently with myself, my family and my environment. I also need to deeply consider where the children would thrive best. We have had so much swirling around here trying to decide what to do and where to go that, for now, I think they are in the best situation at the Steiner school. If we can get settled somewhere, then we can reconsider.
Besides all of the above, I've been swirling in my mind about life in general. As I approach my birthday, I feel myself questioning my satisfaction with my alignment. Am I living life as deeply as I could? Am I satisfied with compromises I've made? Where does my focus need to be for the next 12 months? Which of my projects should I be working on? This birthday I will be 21 for the second time. What are the most important lessons I've learned from the past 21 years? What do I hope to do better in the next 21 years?
I've come a long way, I just need to clarify where I'm going and how I'm getting there.
Gentle strength and compassion are keys. As are Gratitude and Giving.
Enough rambling for now, time to try and get some more sleep. The kids have been passing a fever around and now it's Nuke's turn though Sami's still not over it.