I often tell newish home educators that even the most experienced of us wobble at times. However it has been a good 18 months since I’ve felt even a little tremor. I felt like I’d perhaps not quite mastered ‘relaxed’ structure but we’d found a path that we were both happy on, which was structured enough at the planning level to give me the confidence that we were moving forward and relaxed enough that in practice it didn’t feel structured, plenty of flexibility in there.
Academic side isn’t really a wobble though. I’ve gone too far with the planning I know – right down to colour coded spreadsheets. But I know it’s because I’m overcompensating for a feeling of lack of control elsewhere in my life. Flexibility is still there and in a day or so’s time when I’ve caught up on sleep (bad insomnia!) and shaken myself out of my doldrums I’ll be able to pick out the key points and laugh at my control freak keys and colour coding.
What brought me crashing down today was going to write an event on the calendar and realising that the idea of going to the local group’s Not Back to School picnic made me feel physically sick. Having one of my really anti-social moods. Been coming for a while, I noticed it at the end of term picnic where I’m sure I came across as rude. I’m okay with people I know well (usually talking 5+ years here) particularly if I haven’t seen them for a while or strangely enough complete strangers. Any one in between I lose all ability to converse with. I suppose it’s a hangover from my own school days and a crippling lack of self confidence in my own social skills and ‘likeability’. The wobble comes in because if I’m feeling anti-social can I meet Sam’s social needs? He’s fallen into routine of being at home over the summer and isn’t asking to see people so can’t rely on him to motivate me. Doesn’t help that practicalities mean we’re likely to lose a couple of regular events from our schedule and the boy isn’t biting at any of the alternatives I’ve put forward.
Writing that down I can see how ridiculous it is though. In the last few weeks we’ve had sleepovers and friends to play and been out with friends so we’re not exactly socially isolated, we’ve also had builders in which has tethered us a bit. Sam’s got good friends and he’s at the age where my social involvement is heading towards coordination and lift arranging. Losing stuff from the calendar is good as we were doing too much last year. This year was to be about slowing down and making more time for home and closest friends while finding the time to actually make it to a ‘group’ regularly and that is all pencilled into my calendar.
I suppose I’m projecting. There’s big changes elsewhere in my life and I find that unsettling. After 9 years I’ve made the very difficult decision to leave guides (not sure yet if I will stay in guiding – perhaps brownies, we’ll see). It’s not a positive decision, more a reaction to a difficult situation and one that will be quite drawn out as need to stay for a term to oversee new leadership. I suppose I’m just feeling low in self confidence, a bit lost (it has been a big part of my life and identity for a long time) and rather emotionally battered. Mostly myself to blame for last one do seem to put myself through the emotional wringer sometimes.
A quiet week making most of boy 1 being about (who is being marvellous 🙂 ), a dusting myself down with a firm internal talking to and getting back to routine and I’ll be fine.
In the short term I might buy some more books that usually helps 😉