How many defining moments and missed opportunities have you had in your lifetime? Almost every decision we make could be a defining moment or a missed opportunity. How do we keep the balance from questioning our decisions to going along peacefully with the tide of our lives? Sometimes it is hard to make an important decision. Do you ride it out? Do you make the decision after careful thought?
When I decided to leave my job in 2010, this was a defining moment. Figuring out what to do next was the hard part. As parents, we are torn between taking care of our kids and being available for them and putting them in the hands of others to take care of for us. Obviously as a homeschool parent, I have been home for them most of their lives. Working evenings full-time then 75% of the time was just a way to meet my goal and have it both ways.
Since 2010, I have had the opportunity to explore what is important to me. I first followed a friend’s advice to “say yes to every opportunity”. Three volunteer jobs, a home business, and a part-time job later; my husband complained that I was busier now than I was when I was working nearly full time! At the end of 2011, it was time to back up and evaluate. After a faith community sermon on “saying no so that you can say yes” I was justified in letting go of some of my commitments so that I can focus on others.
What is important to me?
- Helping other preserve their stories primarily through photos.
- Helping others through major transitions in their lives.
- Ensuring my children enjoy learning and providing them an individualized education.
Ok, no small order there but a start. I can look at any request of me and ask myself if it meets any of the goals above. If not, I say no. Of course, I left out my marriage and ensuring that stays healthy…is there room? Ok, add goal number four, ensuring the family unit is happy, healthy, and loving.
Whew…now I am getting exhausted thinking of this. I still have my part-time job, I still have my home business, I am still volunteering through my faith community though have dropped other volunteer commitments, I still homeschool my kids.
So I have it all planned out, right? Well one kid said to me at the end of last year, just as I was figuring it all out, “maybe I would like to go to public high school”. Another said to me, “maybe I would like to go to that private school nearby for a year”. UGH! Don’t you know I have just figured everything out? Don’t you know how hard it was to get to this point? Anxiety creeps back in, that unsettled feeling that things are about to change in a big way.
I love the fact that the older children are separating and becoming these wonderful adult-like creatures. I love the fact that they want a peer group and not wanting to play with mom every second of the day. But does this mean homeschooling is over? Does this mean the 3rd child has to go to school too because his siblings have shaken the apple cart? Does this mean I pursue a higher paying job to pay for all of this?
2012 looks like it will be another year of sorting it all out again. We roll with changes, evaluate options, make decisions. It all works out in the end…