Monday, January 16, 2012

My life...our lives....the way we live them

I have been thinking about blogging.  Specifically, how my blog has evolved as I have evolved.  When I printed year 2010 out as a book, I read through it and was taken back to that time in my life when I was having a viscous internal debate over the merits and the flaws of the public school system.  Because I was a teacher in my former life and I am the relative of many teachers, I tried to word my internal debate in a way that would allow me to question the validity of school while at the same time respect the fact that we need good teachers.   Perhaps this internal debate should have been kept internal.  Perhaps I ruffled a few feathers.  I hoped to have a dialogue and many of my posts were catalysts for what types of changes we would love to see in public schools.    
I no longer really feel the need to comment on schools.  I still get aggravated when I see how stupid some rules and regulations are in a system that simply could not function with our the categorization of students and a strict adherence to conformity.  Like this sign in the school where my daughters play basketball.  Really?  It makes me grateful that they can have water, as much water as they would like, anytime they would like, without having to raise their hand, wait for permission and then be told how much (or how little) water they can consume.

Now I think very little about school....well....that is not true.  I do think about what would happen if my children went back to school.  Where they would go.  Where would be the best fit after an experience such as this.  We have no democratic schools close by.  But since neither of my children want to return to school, I have begun to turn my thoughts towards higher education, despite the fact that Grace rolled her eyes and told me I am being crazy.  Perhaps I am, but I never want my girls to miss an opportunity because of the fact that they were not prepared.
For most of 2011 I wrote about my new found education -- obsession with food, nutrition, and the food industry.  The Omnivore’s Dilemma literally changed my life.  It was not, as Oprah would label it an “ah ha moment”, nor was it a “lightbulb moment”.  It was a getting smacked in the face with a sledgehammer moment.  Once you are enlightened to the likes of Monsanto and the term GMO, of the neurological implications of food coloring and the evils of processed food, how can you turn away from that knowledge and pretend you never learned it?  Then, you digest the knowledge and it eats away at you.  You start to change.  You rip apart your cabinets, you purge, you budget and you change the way you purchase.  But you also want to share.  Not because your way is the “best” way or that you are suddenly “enlightened” but because you care.  You care about those you love who may or may not have read the material you read and who may still never have heard of GMO, Monsanto, know the real reasons why grass fed beef is best and every product that contains aspartame should also contain skull and crossbones.  You want them to know.  You want them to be safe and healthy and nurtured by their food.  You talk to them and you write on your blog and you recommend books and you talk about Michael Pollan as if he is your new best friend.  Perhaps I was overzealous.  Perhaps I came across as elitist.  I meant to come across as concerned.  
Now I don’t write so much about food.  That does not mean that my education has ended.  Nope.  Now I subscribe to Mother Earth News, and Urban Farm magazines.  I watch every documentary about the food industry on Netflix.  I am learning how to make homemade cosmetic products.  I love beeswax.  I have beeswax.  How cool is that??!!  I have also realized that people have to take their own journey, make their own choices and unless you have that “ah ha” moment, my words are going to sound judgmental.  I don’t blog to judge.  Just to share my thoughts with who ever wants to listen and share back with me.
So where does that leave me now?  It leaves me with a blog that is about a family, who happens to homeschool, who enjoys eating locally grown organic food when they can, who is learning all the time and trying to fit in as many adventures as possible.  It is a place where I share my thoughts as they are at the time they pop into my brain.  I may change my mind, the readers may help me to see things in a different perspective.  My opinions are just that, my opinions, based on what I know and what I am willing and able to validate.  There are somethings I know for sure.  But those things may be different that what someone else knows for sure.  That someone may be my friend who may happen to be a teacher, my friend who may happen to be a democrat, my friend who may happen not to practice a religion, my friend who may happen to be send their children to public school, my friend who may happen to not.  It is a big world.  There is room for us all.  
I hope that in my sharing of my thoughts and feelings and internal dialogue, part of my journey may connect with others.  I have grown exponentially from the questions raised in blogs that I read faithfully.  I often read blogs that differ philosophically from me so that I can seek an awareness of other points of view and be able to constantly support my own views with critical analysis.  I have learned about many different teaching styles and philosophies that I have implemented to varying degrees in my home.  I have tried new recipes, discovered new products, and been inspired to step out of my comfort zone.  Through this blogland, I have made friends....real friends.  Friends I have met in person, spoke to on the phone and like a whole lot.  
This year I hope to continue those relationships and perhaps begin new ones as I continue to keep on keepin’ on.  I will keep writing.  Some may keep reading.  Some may not.  The thing about blogging is even though it is personal, at times deeply so, it really isn’t.  This is just my little part of the world, in a little house, with two children, two dogs, two frogs and two parents who happen to be best friends.  What we do or don’t do really doesn’t matter to anyone but us......but to us it matters more than words and pictures.  It is our history.  It is for me to write and print and read someday when I am old and gray grayer.  I will smile at the pictures of my girls making a garden with their Dad and I will remember fondly our road trips and tag along trips.  I will reminisce about the trials and tribulations of educating your children at home.  I will laugh over the little things that make me angry or frustrated and realize that there are so few things that really should make me angry or frustrated because each and every day is a gift.  A gift I plan to cherish.  Each and every day.  
This is my life...our lives....the way we live them.  This is how I will blog for 2012.

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