All posts by Webmama Tina

A crate full o’music

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Doing some reorganizing and decluttering and look what I found! An entire crate FULL of kids’ music! That’s right! This is a square milk crate and it truly is ONLY filled, right to the top, with kids’ CDs!

Yes, I did have a bit of a kids’ music habit once upon a time…having been a preschool teacher whose specialty was music and movement circles (ask me about my afternoon dance times, back in the day! I ROCKED OUT to these tunes with the kiddos!!) Those experiences I then took with me years later to a mommy and me science class I created and ran at a local science center for awhile with fun circle times, which led to me opening my in-home mommy & me biz I ran for around 3 years…so fun!!

But in my defense, not all of these CDs were collected by me. I did start reviewing kids music on my local website around that time as well…and asked children’s performers to send me their music for review. And send me they did! So a whole lot of this are review copies…(and a lot are, sadly, not very good…but I’ve not yet had the heart to get rid of them.)

Well now I’m in the process of decluttering…and I’ll be going through this whole crate, slowly but surely… and I would like to bring to all of y’all (that still have littles), some new reviews and recommendations for some of MY favorite kids’ music that is out there!

Because I know some AMAZING STUFF!! And if you think kids’ music is boring, you are SO WRONG! I actually enjoyed some of this stuff so much that I found myself even listening when my kids were not in the car! And to THIS DAY these tunes put a smile on my face and make me sing and dance like a crazy person! I just need a couple preschoolers to join me because my 11 and 16yr old s are just not havin it, lol! Maybe I can borrow my next door neighbor’s preschoolers for a dance party from time to time, lol!

But I’m telling you!! Kids musicians are some seriously talented musicians and are worth looking into…Because while I totally get that people want to expose their little ones to good quality, “real” music…and I totally AGREE with that…they SHOULD still grow up with adult music as well…I do still feel like children are missing out if they don’t ALSO get to have music of their own. Music that was written by people who GET THEM. Who get how important it is to be silly…who write songs on topics that littles can relate to (vs adult topics that kids don’t even understand), that write lyrics that are so quickly and easily memorized and belted out at the top of their lungs and felt down to their toes because they are songs with a child’s heart, that kids KNOW. Because they talk about things that kids can relate to, that kids can understand, and that kids can totally get behind. And they are catchy!

Because true children’s performers are children at heart and they GET children. They love what they do, they love their audience, and it shows in their music and the children can feel it in their songs.

And  did you know some popular regular performers offer kids CDs in addition to their regular music? (Kenny Loggins and They Might Be Giants immediately spring to mind)…and there are some performers that you know in other areas that might surprise you as amazing kids’ performers (my favorite is John Lithgow!!) and some famous kids’ musicians started out as regular musicians for just adults…like the most famous of all kids’ performers, Raffi!  Amazing performer with an amazing story! I HIGHLY recommend his autobiography!! LOVE THAT GUY!!

And some of my favorite kids’ performers you probably haven’t even heard of yet…but you will!

Anyway, I digress…I’ll share some of these CDs in future blog posts..but if you’re eager to take a peek at some of what I’ve got in this crate, head over to the music review section of this blog…I already reviewed quite a few of them. It’s just not been updated in a very long time.

More to come! Stay tuned. I think I’m going to reach behind me and pull out one of these cds from that crate now to set the mood for what I’m working on next…

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Anxiety and depression are no joke

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I talked about perimenopause in my last post. But I need to talk some more about some specific symptoms today….

I dealt with the blues in my adolescence and early 20s, now and then….And I’ve always been a bit of a worrier…nothing really serious. But this stuff that perimenopause is throwing at me is “fer really real,” y’all. I had no idea what this really felt like until now. I’ve read and heard about depression and anxiety for years….but WOW. I am impressed. This is some serious stuff.

It doesn’t help that the last 6 months or so have thrown me some life experiences that have seriously rocked my world. And one after another, with very little break. I’m not sure I’d handle it any better if I was NOT dealing with all these hormones. It’s pretty intense.  But to throw them at me while I’m going through the turmoil of perimenopause and all that she has to dish up to me daily…that’s just not fair.

Come on, life, cut a mom a break, will ya??

This is a time when I need to surround myself with my closest friends, and that circle is shrinking. But I am so extremely grateful for the ones that have been there for me…even though I must tire them with my unloading. (I mean what I say, friends…You MUST RECIPROCATE and unload on me too soon! I WANT YOU TO! Friendship is 2 ways, ya know…I am here for you guys too. Actually I feel like I probably would be better for someone else than for myself right now. It would be nice to think of someone else’s problems for a change.)

Seriously, these friends, and they know who they are, mean the WORLD to me.

And my husband. Oh my husband. He’s my lifeline. Seriously. I have the world’s best hubby.  He is there for me. He loves me completely, and I feel it. And maybe even more importantly during all this…he makes me laugh daily.

And my kids…they are my life. I live for them when things get rough like this. I live for making their lives better. And they make MY life better. They need a whole mom, and dammit, that’s what I’m going to give them. It just will take awhile to figure out how to do that again.

And my brother. Second only to my husband in my life. Thank you, bro, for always being there for me. I tear up when I think of it.

And my parents….oh the crap I’ve made them listen to me whine about over the years…so patient, so loving. More tears. I love you guys.

 

So I have finally seen a doctor, and I have hope that I’m finally going to get the help that I so very much need right now.  A referral to a therapist is happening. Finally. And there may be anti-depressants in my future. In the meantime, I am searching the net for ways to cope.

And what I found is that there are actually a lot of homeschooling moms that are educating their kids while struggling with depression.  That is oddly comforting to me.

And since I always have a very strong need to share my feelings…to get them out…because it feels oh so much better…I thought I’d write this blog post to try to get a little out. And then also to give a heads up to what’s going on with me, why Noodle Homeschool and the Savvy Homeschool Moms podcast have been so often on hiatus these past 6 months or more…and maybe my post might help someone else not feel alone. Because that’s how those other posts out there about homeschooling with depression have made me feel.

I’m not going to go into it all here, though…because there’s some personal stuff that I don’t feel like airing my dirty laundry about. And some of it I am not allowed to share, as there are loved ones whose privacy would be at risk.  And those parts aren’t for me tell. They are their stories, and I’m just along for the painful ride. Trying to help where I can, while keeping myself together, worrying about them, and dealing with my own life events. GAH.

But suffice it to say that my world lately has pretty much been a roller coaster of events and emotions, and sprinkled into the mix, the feelings of having the hope and joy ripped from my embrace unkindly.  Replaced by feelings of sadness, anxiousness, fear, and flat out RAGE. Yay.

But I’m a survivor. And I know there will be light at the end of this miserable tunnel and I’m determined to get there. So for now, I will follow the advice I’m reading online….I will make short to-do lists to check off so I can finally feel accomplished. I will cherish the NOW, and just do the NEXT THING. I will get outside into nature more because that means so much to me personally. It’s always been so uplifting and energizing. I will try to get more exercise. I will try to give my children the opportunities to experience the fun that I am incapable of currently giving them. I will listen to my iTunes playlist of “calming music” that helps center me. I will laugh with my husband and kids daily, because I can’t not. They are just that weird.  And when the time is right, I will unburden this pain in my heart to the appropriate people…even if it’s just to a therapist and my husband.

If you’re also struggling with anxiety and depression while homeschooling, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Misery loves company, ya know. We are not alone. We can still provide a quality education for our children, despite these setbacks…and we will get past the low times. I know we will. Right now I just am aiming for getting a day without these crushing feelings of overwhelm and sadness.

One. day. at. a. time.  It will happen. I know this.  And until then…thank you for having patience with me.

P.S. These articles helped me…maybe they will help you too:
And the overwhelming amount of comments on these articles makes me feel like there’s a LOT of us out there dealing with this. It’s sad, but comforting.

Homeschooling with depression: The hardest part of Shawna’s homeschool year

 

Homeschooling with Depression, Part I – Survival Tips

 

 

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Homeschooling with Perimenopause

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hs-w-perimenopause

Oh, my life.

If you are going through this too, I SO want to hear from you in the comments. Maybe we should start a Facebook group for us. This is HARD.

I have always been an emotional person, prone to perhaps overreacting a bit. But I also have always been a very positive person. My husband was always the pessimist while I was the eternal optimist. There was very little in my life that could knock me on my butt once I made it out of adolescence and my emotional 20s. I was pretty rock solid. Usually. My mom’s cancer, my dad’s car accident, that sort of serious stuff would knock me for a serious (understandable) loop…but in general, my life was pretty consistently stable emotionally.

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The look on my face when I’m trying to keep my grip on reality!

NOT so anymore. Thanks to perimenopause.

I feel like I’m losing my grip on reality these days, guys! So much time spent down in the dumps, stressed, depressed, anxious…EVERYTHING freaks me out and this constant low-grade feeling of stress is wearing me DOWN.

It is making homeschooling damned near impossible.

Stressful situations that I would probably in the past have taken in stride…I was usually pretty good at handling stuff like that…are now seriously knocking me on my butt in a big way.

And I know this is totally hormones and not normal for me. And I know this won’t last forever. But it doesn’t help knowing that.

Hubby & I at the Magic Kingdom last week
Hubby & I at the Magic Kingdom last week…happier times

It doesn’t help that lately I have some really serious stuff going on with pretty much every member of my immediate family. From my husband, each of my children and both of my parents…everyone has serious stuff going on that keep alternating and worrying me and some of them even freaking me out…the latest and most serious and scary with my mom….who had triple bypass surgery 2 months ago, a heart attack a week ago, and just a few days ago during our Disneyland vacation was taken by ambulance from the park to a nearby hospital because of totally separate heart issues…long story but she ended up eventually being fine and we got her back home (only after some major drama at the hospital, ay yi yi) and she again had problems so as soon as we got home we had to take her to our local hospital where she stayed overnight til they got her straightened out. GOOD GAWD, enough with the drama!! This was just this past couple days! It’s been a ROUGH week! I haven’t yet fully recovered emotionally. But I know that’s my hormones holding onto things.

And her issues are the most serious, but there’s other stuff that is happening with other loved ones as well and other stuff in MY life as well… that I won’t go into (though nothing else is life-threatening, thankfully, but VERY stressful)… the list is pretty long…that cause me to be in a constant state of stress nearly 24/7. We make it to a calm place for a bit and something else will happen. Because most of these things are ongoing. ARGH.

I KNOW others have it worse. I KNOW this. But that doesn’t lessen MY stress or make my emotions any less difficult to deal with.  If you’re like me and feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed because you know someone that has it much worse–DON’T. I’m giving you permission right now (and myself) to FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL. Because just because someone else has it worse than you doesn’t make what you are feeling invalid!! And don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise!!

So…homeschooling…hasn’t really been happening as planned lately, needless to say.

We’ve talked about homeschooling during chronic illness on the Savvy Homeschool Moms show…but I’m starting to wonder if we should maybe do a show about homeschooling during times of extreme stress. Because my entire life has been this way for MONTHS now, and I don’t see an end in sight…not with perimenopause whipping everything that happens into a tizzy for me. THANKS PERI! (Although, admittedly, a lot of this stuff actually is pretty serious, so it’s understandable.)

If you follow our show, this is why our show hasn’t been happening lately. I just can’t. I’m just trying to hold it together right now. Being on the verge of a breakdown regularly is all I can handle right now. Keeping it together and trying to function for my kids.

It’s perimenopause, I KNOW it’s the hormones making everything worse than it really is. But DAMN.

I have a local friend going through the same thing, and is also homeschooling…so I think it’s time for more girl time with her. We take comfort in each other, I think. Misery loves company.

Also time for another doctor’s appt to see if there’s something more that I could be doing to help myself.

In the meantime…I’ve always found that writing helps me. So I am blogging here today and I will also journal more intimate things. And music. Need more music in my life.

And I also find that nature is a big healing thing for me…so it’s time for me to take my kids out on some nature hikes. Especially now that it’s FINALLY cooled down here in the Central Valley.

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My son in the green/yellow kayak.
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My daughter kayaking recently.

 

We did go on a short kayaking field trip recently…so that was fun. We need more of that.

 

 

I have found that, for me, homeschooling takes a back seat during times of extreme stress. I just have to handle the immediate issues and emotional health of myself and those around me…and focus on us. Math can wait. I just cannot handle too many things at once and I’m just trying to find a happy place again right now for myself and my children.

My kids & I getting ready to go "under water" on the Nemo ride at Disneyland
My kids & I getting ready to go “under water” on the Nemo ride at Disneyland

The kids seem to be doing ok, but I do need to check in with them this week and see what they need because this Disneyland trip was a mixed bag. Fun and stressful.

Perhaps we all need a good cry and go sit out under some trees and just be with nature for awhile. My (newly) 16yr old will need to draw, my 11yr old will need to run and play with friends. I just need to have quiet time to calm down and new, happy things to distract me.

tinasadventureslgThankfully, I do have a new source of joy in my life: my new business, Tina’s Adventures. Fun field trips for homeschoolers. I started it so I could earn some money to finally get my kids out of the house and take them cool places. And so far I’m really enjoying pulling it all together and all the logistics of it. I like doing this sort of thing, these sorts of details of planning group trips…so that will be where I will focus my attention to bring myself the joy I need right now. Get my attention away from the hormonally enhanced anxiety and depression. It helps.

And somehow I have to get my kids back on a schedule this week. THAT will be “fun”. As an ADHDr, I’ve always been schedule challenged…so…it’s always a struggle. So I’ll be looking forward to that challenge…NOT.

At least our homeschool charter program is doing some fun stuff this week, so that will help, I think. Less for me to have to do.

My birthday is this week, on the 11th. I’ll be 46. I’m like 50% grey at this point and showing my age and embracing it. I am totally cool with being this close to 50 and ready for whatever is next. If I can just make it through perimenopause, I think I’ll be ok.

I’m sure most of you out there are dealing with your own levels of stress in your lives…how do you deal with homeschooling while dealing with all these emotions and stress? I’d sure love to hear your techniques! I’m still trying to figure this whole thing out for myself.

I know that what DOESN’T work for me is a super busy schedule. That makes things much MUCH worse for me. So I try to keep our lives as simple as possible. Less stress.

So for me: SIMPLIFY THINGS is a big help. Also nature, fresh air, etc. And journaling. And talking it out with friends and family when things get really bad. And music.

What do YOU do to help your homeschooling and mental stability during stressful times??

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Multitasking is not a Badge of Honor

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multitaskingThis post was inspired by my (at the writing of this) 10yr old son. I wrote this post several months ago and for some reason never hit publish. Since then I got offtrack with all that I wrote here. Today I rediscovered this post …at a time when I really needed to remember what I had written here, and rededicate myself to my quest to change my life in this way. I am publishing it now to remind myself of all this post contains and how important it is to me…and in the hopes that it might help others as well. I really needed to read this today, when I’ve been spinning out of control for weeks, months, and at all time lows, deep in the throes of perimenopausal hormones and fighting to learn how to work with, not against, my ADHD self.  If this post rings true to you as well, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

novasciencenowI don’t remember what started the conversation, but the subject of multitasking came up in the car recently and my son started quoting me the facts he learned in an episode of Nova ScienceNOW (a favorite show in this house…), where they talked about how multitasking is bad for your brain.

My 10yr old son really made me think about my multitasking and how it’s affected not just my life, but his.

just-when-you-get-used-to-pmsthey-tell-you-youve-got-perimenopause-82179I’ve been doing a LOT of thinking lately about my life and how I feel about it. At 45 and a half years of age, I’m in the throes of perimenopause and all the hormones and emotional roller coaster that entails, which has caused a lot of self reflection…How I feel about my life, my stress level, my busyness factor, my inability to follow through on any sort of regular daily routine (a lifelong problem), and ESPECIALLY: the multitasking ridiculousness of my life due to my drive to always be accomplishing something because of that NEVER.ENDING.TO DO LIST!!

Not long ago I finally started to really face what some things are doing to my life.

So I took the Facebook and Facebook Groups apps off my phone (to stop the constant compulsion to check my feed and the inevitable distractions that causes), and I’ve started making a conscious effort to cut back significantly on much of my multitasking, and instead FOCUS on tasks and people, ONE.AT.A.TIME. At least, as much as possible…and for the most important stuff.

There is, of course, some multitasking that is relatively harmless. Listening to a podcast while doing dishes, for example….Or watching tv while folding clean clothes….some things just don’t need you to really focus. But a lot of things are done significantly better when my attention isn’t divided, I’m learning. And PEOPLE, deserve undivided attention.

I’m only just beginning, so I’ve not gotten very far yet. Babysteps. But I can already feel a difference. The removal of Facebook from my phone alone has been HUGE. The rest is going to have to be slowly, but surely. It’s a tough habit to break. I don’t even realize I’m doing it half the time. But I DEFINITELY was feeling it. I just didn’t realize what it was until now.

That constant NEED to be doing something, but then never really feeling accomplished, never really feeling like I am successful…always feeling like a failure because my to-do list never seems to get smaller and the things I try to accomplish never feel up to par.

Now I know why. Because they CAN’T be up to par, when I’m dividing myself to the level I was. And on some level I guess I knew this, because I haven’t been able to feel truly happy. Sure, moments of it…but in general, overall with my life…that constant low level unsatisfactory feeling like I am reaching reaching reaching and just NOT getting it!

And I thought the solution was to TRY HARDER. WORK HARDER.
DO.MORE.THINGS.

It’s not.

I have started to realize the cost of the frenetic life. I’m starting to realize that the solution isn’t to work harder, but to SLOW DOWN.

So I’ve started forcing myself to sit and reflect and journal again each morning, like I used to always do, prior to motherhood. Back when my life was less chaotic. Back when life was slower. (Although I didn’t realize it at the time.) Because this was always a very meaningful thing for me…and I had forgotten it’s impact on my life. The importance of quiet time to sit and reflect and JUST BE, cannot be overstated. I am finally realizing how huge an impact it’s had on my life…my neglecting this for so long.

My emotional life has been less than fulfilled for some time, (due to my never ending quest to be successful at all things, yet sabotaging myself every step of the way with bad habits like multitasking)…but with the onset of the emotions of perimenopause, I’m reaching a critical junction in my life where something has to give. And I’ve finally realized that it’s time to make some major changes.

I’ve always rejected the insane pace that is the norm in our culture these days.

I have never had my kids involved in a multitude of activities, driving them to and from events on a daily basis with little time for anything else…nor have I had myself involved in organizations or groups that involve tons of meetings and activities on a regular basis that would keep our lives so full that we constantly have no time to be home or spend time with friends and family.

I have absolutely refused to live that life. It is part of the reason that I homeschool, to keep that madness from my children’s lives…that work schedule that the public school forces on the children, overloading them with homework and the culture to fill their after-school time with extra-curricular activities.

But I’ve since learned that it’s not just the public schoolers living this way, as I do still see this same crazy over-filled schedule in many homeschool families.

It’s our country’s modern culture. You see articles on the web daily about how childhood is gone, children are no longer allowed down time, and free play and boredom (both extremely valuable things) have been practically eradicated in our modern society. I’ve prided myself in not allowing this lifestyle into my children’s childhood.

And yet…I’ve somehow allowed my own daily life to be equally as stretched through multitasking.

We all do it. Women are renowned for our excellent multitasking abilities. We pride ourselves on it!! We see it as a badge of honor, we brag about our abilities! But I have long been reading here and there about how multitasking is not necessarily a good thing…I’ve been reading that  when you do many things at the same time, you do none of them well. Oh you may THINK you are, but you are kidding yourself.

Recently this has been coming up again and again for me because this is a huge topic in the business podcasts and Periscopes I listen to and watch. Multitasking is a big no-no if you want to make it big in business. You HAVE to focus HARD if you want to get anywhere in business. You need to CONCENTRATE your energy at the task at hand and give it your UNDIVIDED ATTENTION so that you are doing your BEST.  Otherwise, you are just doing half-assed work.

HO.LY. CRAP. If this is what they say about multitasking while working with writing articles for a blog post or social media or working on creating content for a product…WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT MULTITASKING WHILE RAISING A HUMAN BEING????

HOW CRAPPY HAVE I BEEN DOING THINGS AS A MOM???
AS A HOMESCHOOLER???

All these years….multitasking my mothering….my homeschooling….only half-assing it, only giving partial attention to my children most of the time, as I’m constantly busy with all these THINGS I am constantly trying to get done…which are constantly pulling my attention away from them!

I’m not suggesting that we should devote 100% attention to our children 100% of the time. That’s simply impossible, and we do deserve our own time. But I’ve long read about the value of setting aside focus time for separate things. Time for the kids, time for the work, time for the projects in your life, etc. I am starting to see the value in this.

Today my husband forwarded me this article. This article is very eye-opening. No WONDER I was feeling drained all the time, constantly feeling compelled to check my Facebook feed all the time and being pulled into article after article, and thread after thread….constantly being distracted. And NO WONDER I’m never able to maintain any sort of a routine with those distractions constantly!

Here’s another article: “Why Multitasking is Bad for your Brain.”

And here’s that video of Nova SciencNOW that addresses this issue again, in case you missed it above. It’s really an excellent and eye opening segment, I highly recommend checking it out. I have the link set to start right at the multitasking part of the show.

And here’s the article that is mentioned in that show, “Is Multitasking Bad for Us?

Here’s a quote to think about from that article:

“Do two or more things simultaneously, and you’ll do none at full capacity.”

And, what they learned from research they conducted:

“They put students through a battery of tests designed to measure their cognitive capacities when not multitasking. What they found, Nass says, was shocking.

High multitaskers were bad at filtering irrelevant information from relevant, something that, one might suppose, a multitasker should be especially good at. High multitaskers also had diminished powers of mental organization and extra difficulty switching between tasks.”

And this is an article linked to in that article that is good as well (in case you missed it.): “Why the Modern World is Bad for your Brain”...In this article, I found this quote particularly telling:

“Once we start multitasking, it’s hard to stop. Each time we complete a small task—sending an email, tweeting, etc.—our brains are blasted with a dose of the reward hormone dopamine. It feels good, which means we’re likely to keep bouncing back and forth between tiny, unimportant goals without getting anything major done.”

It’s like a drug! I totally have been feeling that. And breaking that cycle is hard.

And:

…(our brains are) “not wired to multitask well… When people think they’re multitasking, they’re actually just switching from one task to another very rapidly. And every time they do, there’s a cognitive cost in doing so.”

Now this is REALLY interesting, I think (emphasis mine):

“…a neuroscientist at Stanford, found that learning information while multitasking causes the new information to go to the wrong part of the brain. If students study and watch TV at the same time, for example, the information from their schoolwork goes into the striatum, a region specialised for storing new procedures and skills, not facts and ideas. Without the distraction of TV, the information goes into the hippocampus, where it is organised and categorised in a variety of ways, making it easier to retrieve.”

And:

MIT’s Earl Miller adds, “People can’t do [multitasking] very well, and when they say they can, they’re deluding themselves.”

This article also talks about how shifting your attention back and forth with multitasking  causes your brain to burn up the fuel (oxygenated glucose) it needs to stay on task…which leaves us feeling exhausted and disoriented. And multitasking effects decision making and impulse control. Well HELL. Maybe I’m not ADD, I am just suffering from information overload and I just need to stop multitasking! Sheesh, I am starting to really see where my problems lie now! (Though, I do still suspect I am ADD….I don’t think multitasking to the degree I have been doing it has helped me one bit.)

So….the little changes I’ve made….I’m already feeling in big ways….

Since I took the Facebook apps off my phone, I do still plug in to Facebook via my laptop, but I’m much less compelled to sit at my laptop all day. It doesn’t pull me in like my iPhone does.  And now I feel much more motivated to get things done daily around my house when I don’t have those apps pulling me in from my pocket every minute of every day.

I’ve already felt more at peace. Not just from the slowing down, but also, because there’s been SO MUCH negativity on Facebook lately, especially in the news. So I’m not being bombarded so much by it. PHEW.  In fact, I’m finding that now that I’ve had a break from it…I don’t WANT to plug back into Facebook very often. I’m even going most of the day some days without checking it…I suspect I may get to the point of going days without it even.

I’m not anti-Facebook, though. I do see the value in it, and will not completely unplug from it. But I feel like I’m on the right track here. This is a much better way for me personally to interact with it.

And … I’m getting much more done around my house and with my kids!

And…where I used to start my day lost down the rabbit hole of my Facebook feed…checking back all through the day while trying to accomplish other things (and getting lost down the hole again, inevitably)….now I’m sitting and journaling and having quiet time in the morning to reflect on my feelings…and it is making a change in my emotions as well.  Instead of getting caught up in the waves of emotions that all the news on my Facebook feed and dramatic threads in Facebook groups pull me into….I am now getting control of my emotions and how my day goes by making a conscious effort to limit my time on Facebook and focus on tasks at hand, instead of constantly dividing myself. And instead I am working through MY emotions and life in my journal, and having a time of peace to reflect and sit and just BE. Which always benefited me greatly, years ago when this used to be my regular routine. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to remember this.

Another thing that I’ve recently unplugged from is podcasts/audiobooks. I had this serious compulsion to multitask by plugging in podcasts or audiobooks while I work around the house, so I could feel I was getting MORE DONE. Always with sound pumped into my ears. Never time to just think. I have stopped doing this as well. And it’s really weird, going back to being alone with my thoughts instead of trying to get through more podcasts at 1.5x speeds, so I can cover more business info and learn how to further my biz. Or learn something educational to share with my kids.

I’ve realized that there is great value in being alone with my thoughts. And maybe the podcasts can be saved for other times…for a focused, allotted podcast listening time…but for now, I need the quiet, thinking time more. I’ve really missed that. I hadn’t realized how extremely valuable that time was to me until now.

I feel like my whole body is just starting to go AAAAAAAHHHH, thank you. Finally, she’s slowing down. And my relationships with my family members are improving. Because when you’re plugged into a device or staring at a screen, or trying to accomplish a million things at once all the time…HOW do you find time to focus on BEING with your children or your partner? When I would realize I couldn’t remember the last time I looked in my children’s eyes, I realized that I needed to slow down. I’ve been struggling with this for some time…this is not a new revelation for me…yet that compulsion to constantly keep so many plates in the air and multitask to accomplish MORE all the time…I just couldn’t let go of that. It’s taken my 10yr old pointing out the research saying how bad it was, for me to go in and FINALLY really read it and watch the video he referred to and really READ what the research says (do a Google search yourself: put “multitasking bad” into a search a see HOW MANY articles come up!!)

And finally I have had my lightbulb moment that it is time to make this change to our lives, to our homeschooling, to our home. It’s time for me to lead by example and teach my children how to focus on the task at hand, to unplug from everything else and FOCUS. On tasks, but especially on PEOPLE.

Because plugging my earbuds in to listen to a podcast at every available moment so I don’t miss any opportunity to learn another biz tip….or watching videos on my phone all the time….or having the tv on all the time….or constantly browsing through my Facebook feed or chatting with friends…or sitting at my laptop constantly….that doesn’t teach my kids how to prioritize or how to focus and get things done.  And it certainly doesn’t make them feel how important they are.

And in this crazy information age, with things coming at you from all directions ALL.THE.TIME…people skills and the skill to focus on tasks at hand are things they really need to learn. And the first step is to model it. And just about every single person we come in contact with in our lives these days is certainly not modeling it….face in screens, 24/7 multitasking…..No, that’s my job. They learn the most from me, the mom who is home with them and teaching them every day about all the academic things that they need to learn….and life lessons are part of their learning. This is important.

Time to get down to business and go focus on my kids now! 🙂

One more article before I go:
Don’t Multitask: Your Brain will Thank You

 

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I reject your reality and substitute my own

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i-reject-your-reality

I feel like I am living this….Everything around me is running a zillion miles an hour and I HATE that lifestyle with a PASSION…and find myself, sometimes unconsciously, sometimes consciously, rejecting this lifestyle. Things speed up around me and I often find a way to slow things down without even trying…many times unconsciously.

That go-go-go lifestyle that is so common in our culture? EX.HAUSTS.ME. I want a slower lifestyle, and I am so exhausted from fighting our culture and the tendency to keep piling everything on top of everything. Even in homeschooling!

Many days, I would rather just stay home and veg.
And we do.

Don’t get me wrong…there are plenty of things out of the house that I want to do…travel, explore nature, have fun with friends/family, that sort of thing…I am not a total homebody.
I just prefer a slower pace.

My family is much like me. They would rather stay home and veg, or create things or enjoy a lazy day together. NOT run all over the place every friggin day!

slow-down

I’m so tired from fighting this lifestyle…to keep things off of OUR schedule, and hoping friends will find time in THEIR busy schedules for us. Even among homeschoolers it’s quite common.

As homeschoolers we have the opportunity to slow down and let our kids set the pace (I suppose some kids would set a hectic pace, but I tend to think most kids would not, if given the chance…) and yet so many homeschoolers continue our culture’s break-neck speed, just with home education instead. I suppose if that works for them, more power to them.

For our family, we’ll pick and choose our activities very sparingly, as we feel inclined. We are not hermits, we do like to get out and about.

I am turning 46 in less than a month and am in the throes of perimenopause and all the ups and downs of hormones, so I am finding that I don’t deal as well with all these threats to our family peace as I used to. I’ve become the grumpy one…wishing the world would slow down and enjoy life more.

I just started a homeschool field trip business, “Tina’s Adventures” to host field trips for homeschoolers in the Central Valley, CA… and that will be a lot of fun, I think, because I can pick and choose all the destinations that I want our family to experience…*I* will be the one in control of the schedule and destinations. This works for me. And I can get my kids and husband involved in the decision making so it works for them. Seemed like a good way to get us out more, yet on OUR terms, vs being pulled in multiple directions by all the stuff going on around us. I can create the life I want, and invite people along (and make some much-needed money in the process!)  🙂

I listened to a podcast recently and one of the hosts talked about her “Year of Nope“. Just saying no to things, to keep her family’s schedule manageable. Yep, that’s my life. Not just a year of it…I think I’ve done this always. Not always consciously. But I have 4 people in my family (every single one of us), that just don’t like to be BUSY all the time. I don’t think it’s healthy, and *I* just hate it. Short stints of it when necessary, sure…but not as a lifestyle. NOPE.

I reject that reality and substitute my own, slower pace. 

 

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