Epic topic about Opportunity vs. Natural observations, Freedom, togetherness - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-01-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I think MDC may have more moms that can relate to me than anywhere else on the net! This is sort of unschooling topic, but... The moms here may be dreamy, longing, and feeling run down with society in general, and that would be me. 

 

I had an adult campfire sleepover recently and everyone else was drinking but me. They started up on Utopia and selfishness vs. greed. It was a great conversation. Someone wanted to know what I thought. Homeschooling had to be in there. My family is together at free will all the time. We invest our money for income and it pays out enough to eat. We use our savings to pay other bills. We hope to win the lottery :). Anyway. We can do this till our kids are grown. Plus we do tons of DIY. 

 

So! I said of Utopia, that I was much like an Amish person. I believed in teaching my children the purpose of life, the highest good, the best vibrations, and the joys closest to God. In a way: I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. - Henry David Thoreau. I also said when they jumped on me in drones that, you say "this course...that basic math... at least" to have a pure foundation and be ready for the world. I wonder why it shouldn't be a totally natural, artistic, sustainably building, gardening, musical one. Because the world needs more art and less stuff to buy. If fewer the buildings: schools, stores, churches, offices - would you have a need for such dramatic changes to stop climate change? Would you have cleaner air? Would you make a difference that would lead to God and a better world? And that is how I think I am raising my family. It selfish and that was a goal that everyone agreed could lead to a better world. For everyone to be selfish enough about their space and make it better. 

 

This way actually isn't original. These are major Native Hawaiian life choices that I learned when I spent 10 years there. They get a job mostly because they can't afford the community land that was taken from them. Very few of them think that what they do is more important as who they are outside of work, with their ohana and connection to the land and ocean. But! There was a backlash to this and the private school/boarding school, that is only for Native people, has begun to train them like culture warriors to take back the land and culture before it is totally destroyed. This last statement is where I get a little confused about my utopia outlook. But! Again, that is also acting on fear and I pray to be held within the divine daily, so that also gets me to a lower faith in a way. 

 

I am scared. My family is together and we can make it that way, with traveling, and months in other places - if we stay out of the really amazing places to home-school in. A example is Ithaca, NY. Has my ideals/values, but also has a strong level of outreach. Many buildings to, for example, win a swimming race in a huge pool. Or, we can stay here in the mountains of Virgina, live like Amish in a way, but have friends who are in many different paid for classes that are 38 miles away. Also go to DC on a whim. Totally have access to tons of nature. And we did hit a jackpot for a county with such an amazingly low cost of living, compared to many other places in the US that have as much beauty. And everything is also 10 minutes away in town for needs, but classes besides soccer can be pricey, Christian based if local, and if not, really far away.

 

My DH is strongly encouraging me to choose Ithaca. Because "our children may choose to be Doctors, and they still have a chance that is faster through homeschooling programs in high school levels and with the colleges." I wince. Becoming a doctor is not my idea of first place. My idea would be closer to a rock star, sustainably live-r, or even a master of 17th century masonry so that you are called to Europe to fix a church, or really? A mother and father who live their life like masters and artists of their valuable time (us<----). 

 

But! Something is erking me. To open all the doors of the world and let them have it! To have DH go back to work to afford more for them.. It also doesn't feel so close to God. Though it feels like the common thing that everyone else seems happier doing. 

 

What do you think? 


Leslie, organic semi-unschooling mama teaching my children 5 and 2.75, that love & happiness is most important. Letting their light shine, finding out they are teaching me. Love being in the moment & nature.

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#2 of 4 Old 06-02-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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Wow-- I went through this kind of self-argument before kids, and that was a lot easier.

 

First-- you cannot open all doors.  Opening the door to, say higher mathematics and the subjects that can lead to societal success currently, will close many of the doors you are seeking to keep open.  While very little is actually mutually exclusive, you cannot expect all doors to stay open to you *at the same time*.  Few, if any doors, however, become locked permanently.

 

Second-- the divine is in everything.  It is easier for us to feel connected with that in these beautiful places, but the divine is in the subway every bit as much as it is in the mountains.  But it is easy to get bogged down and forgetful.

 

Like I said, I did this trip before kids, and even living in one place and having money in my pocket felt like I was selling out to the mundane.  But there is great spiritual growth to be had every where, and that has been my experience.  In my great *effort* to be at one with the universe, I was actually farther from it.  

 

Would the kids see this?  They are less self-reflective naturally, more in the Now, and I would tend to choose mountains over amenities for them.

 

"Chop wood.  Carry water."  Or today's version:  "Pay the power bills.  Make spaghetti."

 

I'm not sure if I made any sense, or even made my point:  your choice of the mountains is fine, math be damned (though definitely *not* mutually exclusive!).  Ithaca sounds fabulous and you could do well there, too.

 

I wouldn't prioritize occupations for my kids just yet.  Kids have a way of surprising everybody.  Doctor, rock star..... you might just be raising the next four star general in the US Army......

 

My dd thinks if she couldn't be a farmer, she would be a housekeeper like me, or a gardener like dh.


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#3 of 4 Old 06-04-2012, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Sweet Silver! I get everything you are saying.. 

 

in "First" <<<---- That is the biggest "Am I crazy?" feeling for me!

 

in "Second" <- Mine is clutter and things. Aimlessly having fun is a joy I appreciate. Shrug, just seems like life can get bogged down with busy and shopping. Maybe people have a life like they are in Disney world rushing off everywhere to do so many things and can get joy in so much activity. I wish I could be a high functioning person, but it seems like I am just focusing on the important people and plants. 

 

Occupations for my children - true.. guess more of discussion with others bit. There is just one side of that which relates to a book I read called "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. He proposes that people became amazing because they very well may have been in the right place at the right time and not many were. It is a fascinating book. It makes total sense if you think about it in a way. Not all jobs and lives, like you said, are set in stone, but the effects of where we are raised can be a grounding point for dreams to come and passions mastered or a rebel launching pad where mistakes are judged to be corrected with further travel and fulfillment. Of course a thousand shades of gray in there, but the examples for the amazing people were pretty interesting. I can't help but feel it. 

 

All this choosing without a job location in mind, it is a very hard place to be! 

 

Thank you for listening and talking.


Leslie, organic semi-unschooling mama teaching my children 5 and 2.75, that love & happiness is most important. Letting their light shine, finding out they are teaching me. Love being in the moment & nature.

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#4 of 4 Old 06-05-2012, 09:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by greenacresmama View Post

in "Second" <- Mine is clutter and things. Aimlessly having fun is a joy I appreciate. Shrug, just seems like life can get bogged down with busy and shopping. Maybe people have a life like they are in Disney world rushing off everywhere to do so many things and can get joy in so much activity. I wish I could be a high functioning person, but it seems like I am just focusing on the important people and plants. 

 

Life IS busyness and shopping!  They are not the means to a goal--happiness and diversion-- they are the goal.  I mean, it is in the mundane that we find our challenges, and our rewards.

 

Referencing a favorite book of the hippies, Siddhartha leaves the path of asceticism to walk with the harlots and moneylenders.  It is this plummeting into the depths of sensuality and materialism that allows him to see the divine when he finally abandons it.  The same theme runs through his Narcisuss and Goldmund.  I need to reexperience those books, man.......

 

That said, I have chosen the woods.  In a house that is a compromise from the ideals of my 20somethings (and only 45 minutes away from bustling-crunchy-HS-friendly Olympia).  Years ago, I chose the path of what I thought was materialism and security over that of faith and asceticism.  I found, later, that it has taught me a great lesson: that the divine is this, too.  I can never really leave this path I am on, it just keeps revealing itself.  And I had thought that by choosing this path, I was a sell-out, but it has been most spiritually fulfilling.  I am self-employed, and my work is meaningful to me.  That is divine!

 

I still need to be away from the noise, the busyness of modern life.  I am a nervy person, easily stressed.  I need quiet and dark and plenty of trees to sooth my nervous nature.  It is not a spiritual requirement, but it does make feeling peaceful easier, and lets me get into the groove of busyness and shopping when those days come, and makes the quiet on my return that much sweeter.


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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