These days we're moving back into routine. Being away for ten days- ten days full of adventures, great hikes, and time with family is so, so good, but so are our own beds and routines. Home is always a good place to return to.
While so many children and teachers are beginning a new year, this week our school life picked up where it left off two weeks ago. Story of the World introduced us to timelines and archeology before we left. Now we're reading about nomads and the Fertile Crescent. We learning about the moon cycles, reviewing place value, and letters A-F. Time alone has been sought in abundance this week, and sleeping in had more than once. Vacations, I've found, need little vacations built upon their end. It's a lot, transitioning in and out of them.
This year, while our homeschool life feels set, the unknown of what our family's year will bring feels hugely overwhelming. It feels this way every year. We never know what income will be coming our way, what classes will be taught, if we'll be moving...
For seven years I've imagined what it would look like when the PhD was done and our time here in Indiana, a limbo of sorts, was over. As the last year begins, I feel like I'm holding my breath a lot. Leaving the only community our children have known, the writing community that helps me breathe, the friends that keep me sane, the homeschool community we are loving- well...it's becoming to hard too speak of, and yet...yet...we are not living a sustainable lifestyle. Our savings is quickly running out, and we're ready for a house we can make our own, land we can farm, dogs (so ready for dogs in our life again) and chickens and bees. We're ready for more travel and despite all the things I've just named, we're ready for less.
Less space to clean, stuff to need to own because we're too far from town to bike or walk, and maybe...oh please...less stress of trying to make ends meet.
Even when I worked full time the stress of making ends meet was huge, even more so actually than when I stopped. With childcare taking a chunk out and not always knowing if I'd be paid...the last seven years money or lack of has ruled us.
That's not to say we have ever wanted for or know what it is to truly need. We live well on what is considered in this country a lower income, and we are truly grateful we have been able to do so.
So maybe it's the not knowing if we can make it work this year, or maybe it's the realization that I have to truly put into place all the sustainability practices I can, or maybe it has NOTHING to do with money and everything to do with place and where that next place we call home will be.
Regardless, I'm in this place of unknown.
Some days it feels exciting.
Some days it feels like torture.
Some days it feels too overwhelming to imagine.
And along with all the stresses of what will be and what needs to be done, are the daily no matter where we are chores and needs.
There is always so much to do...it feels like it anyways. But then I make a list and there isn't really that much. It's just my anxiety and the unknown making the list feel huge.
So, I'm sitting here way past the time I should be, still in my pjs while the kids play outside, inside, upstairs, in harmony and in tears, writing all of this to remind myself (and maybe you, if your head ever spins) that all I have to do is-
Take a deep breath
Do one thing at a time.
Just do one thing at a time, and we will make this year work just like we've made the other seven. And by work, I mean, we'll enjoy our days and appreciate what we have, and laugh a lot.
Because I can't do much else...
Here's to the routines, community, and laughter that keeps us grounded even when we feel like we could spin off into space.
Here's to doing just one thing at a time and knowing things do work out just how they are meant to whether you worry obsessively about them or not.
Happy mid-week joy to you!