Sometimes insight comes from unexpected places. Let's start.
I think I might have figured out the reason why blog posts have been so few and far between in recent months. It's a confluence of two factors:
(1) Mark has been working at a manufacturing plant closer to home instead of at his office out in the suburbs.
The proximate effect of this is that he leaves later. I think he was out the door at 7:48 am this morning, and sometimes he doesn't leave till after eight.
I didn't marry a morning person. I suppose I could wonder out loud if he could go away earlier and then come back earlier. But the truth is that it's rather nice to sit for a while with him and drink the coffee and chat, in the quiet before the children get up.
(2) Against all odds, and after ten years of homeschooling, I appear to have actually developed the self-discipline to wake the children up in the morning on time.
That is, about 8:30. I'm not sure why I managed it this year and not in previous years.
Perhaps out of necessity: this particular year, time is tight and priorities are many. I swore up and down I would allot 90 full minutes to spend one-on-one with my kindergartener each of the three weekdays at home, because I believe in the kindergarten year (or at least, in the learning-to-read year, whenever that is), and gosh darn it if I didn't do it. It helps that said kindergartener is an unusually sunny and cheerful worker so that those are just about my favorite 90 minutes of the day. I also have a teenager I want to teach pre-calculus to, and since my 4th- and 6th-graders are getting the short end of the stick as regards face-time, I really must review their work at the end of the day and give them feedback if nothing else. But I don't mind that too much as it insulates me from direct complaining.
Looking over that, I realize that quite possibly the reason I'm managing to put in the school time I planned is that I actually planned school time that I would personally enjoy instead of wanting to chew my own arm off to escape.
Well, what do you know. Perhaps I am gradually discovering the secret of self-discipline.
Wait, haven't I discovered this before? I think maybe it's more like discovering, forgetting, and discovering again.
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So, isn't forty-two minutes enough time to write a blog post? It's enough to write one, but not enough time to drink the coffee that should help me think of something substantive to say before the post. I have a couple of topics floating around in my mind that I intended to write about "when I can sit down and gather my thoughts." Here they are:
(1) Hamilton: An American Musical
(2) My twice-yearly post about eating and exercise habits, which is quite overdue; it shows
(3) Negative internal self-talk (imposter syndrome stuff) and how it relates to homeschooling; the difference between trying to shut the voice up by attempting to do what it tells you you should be doing, and shutting the voice up by creating positive internal self-talk on your own terms
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And even as I'm writing that list I notice something: the list items get longer and more thoughtful as I go.
Here's the thing about me and blogging, and by the way it was true back when it was "here's the thing about me and my dissertation," too:
Writing is gathering my thoughts.
It was only while I was typing out my explanation about the kids getting up at 8:30 that I clued in to the fact that my school days as scheduled, though hectic, are made up this year of kinds of teaching each child that I enjoy, and that it's possibly not a coincidence that this year I've mostly stuck to the plan.
(My brain is going "WRITE THIS INSIGHT DOWN WHERE YOU WILL REMEMBER IT WHEN YOU PLAN NEXT YEAR." Okay, okay. It's on an index card now. The secret to sticking to your plan is to do your damnedest to plan stuff that you will enjoy. Harness the power of people doing what they want to do! Sounds dumb when you write it that way but I have a sneaking suspicion that someone could write a market-economics dissertation on the same subject, if she used longer words.)
I can't prioritize revision; it's first draft or nothing on this blog, this year; but my first drafts aren't without value.
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And now I'm eleven minutes late for waking up those kids. So... here's where I stop.