Feeling Challenged

I’ve been wanting to write for a while, but I’ve had so many thoughts running amuck in my mind that none of them have seemed worthy of your time.  The following may not qualify either, so feel free to click off at any moment…

Here lately I have been feeling very challenged.  Challenged to change my parenting style when it comes to my kids’ schooling, challenged to stay positive in spite of frustrations that I am sure we all share, and challenged to even get up and get going each day when all I really want is to have lazy, do-nothing days with my precious family.  Maybe this will help to explain it a little better:

I’ve always been a bit of a hard-nosed, educational snob who cracked the proverbial whip at my kids by setting extra high expectations, albeit ones they are capable of surpassing.  I have always tried to teach them by example, things like out-of-the-box thinking, beyond-the-necessary creativity, and a love for information-seeking discovery.  I still think all those “things” are critical to success beyond grade school and imperative to being a well-rounded, knowledgable, lifelong learner, but I’m forcing myself to back off a little and give them a break from the driving force called Mom.  Today’s FB post with link to a WSJ article says it all:

fb post

Suddenly, success feels futile.  I am tired of working so hard, and I am tired of seeing my kids stress and worry and stay up too late doing loads of homework just to keep up and yet never feeling like they actually learned a thing.  I am tired.

To be fair, I must say that not every teacher they have is spinning them on a hamster wheel.  In fact, a few are quite amazing, and I pray that their impact outlasts the fatigue we all feel.  I just wish that educators (myself being one) could tattoo the following somewhere highly visible so that it never leaves their minds:

Advanced learning comes from deeper teacher, not faster teaching…the art of discovery is a beautiful thing!

I feel challenged to stay positive because I feel like being all “rah rah, life is perfect” 24/7 is living a lie.  I am not always pleased with the world around me, but if I ever reveal that, then I am being too critical, too negative, and too vocal.  I used to believe that I could improve the world, but as they say, “with age comes wisdom,” and my advancing years are telling me that this world does not want to improve.  Rather, it wants a pat on the back and a gold star for the status quo.  No one wants to hear recommendations nor suggestions for improving.  Rather than seeing those as an opportunity to do better, people see them as mean and rude and negative.  I find that pretty sad.  In my years of teaching, practicing real estate, and direct selling, I felt desperate for feedback and ideas to make myself even better because I did not feel threatened; I never thought that getting help meant I was a failure.  I knew I had talents, and I also knew I had weaknesses.  For the life of me, I don’t understand why people today are too defensive to accept help??

So, I’ve given up my role as Lead Academic Parent, and I am forcing myself into silence when I really want to help those around me, so I’m left with a strong desire to never leave home.  As in, after the kids leave for school, I really just want to climb back in bed, nap, read, watch some TV, and pretend like the rest of the world does not involve me in any way, shape, or form.  I want to spend days on end with my amazing Coach, these two kids who are the greatest gift I’ve ever received, and be complete and utter homebodies!

But that’s even more sad than anything else I’ve written about here today, so I am determined not to let myself become THAT stay-at-home-bonbon-eating-soap-opera-loving-beached-whale-of-a-mom.  And since it is October 1st (I am numbers girl, remember?  I like starting and stopping on meaningful days!), and since I am already feeling so challenged, I might as well challenge myself in a few good ways…

#1:  30 Day Ab Challenge

30-day-ab-challenge

#2:  30 Day Squat Challenge

30-day-squat-challenge

#3: October Unprocessed Challenge

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These are just three of the hundreds of thousands of similar self-challenges to be found with a 0.3 second Google search; they’re just the first three that caught my eye.  They appear to be doable and doable at home (since I’m currently opposed to functioning in the big world…). My plan is to add in some Zumba and maybe even a walk or two with my crazy dogs or even crazier kids.

In 30 + 3 days I’ll be celebrating yet another birthday – With you as my witness, I challenge myself to do it with a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy attitude.

Here’s to the next 30 days…may they be as challenging as the last 😉

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