Duck, duck, duck, GOOSE! That’s me. The goose. I’m it. Now let’s all run and run and run and run in circles!
Does this feel like you? Ya, me too. I am once again at home, drinking my pot of tea, and looking over my to-do list.
Looking down the list, I have come to the sinking realization that I’m “it.”
A very near and dear friend used to live across the street, and we spent a lot of time together. We spent time walking every evening, we sang together a few times, and we talked a lot. Her youngest daughter was the same age as my oldest daughter, and she was homeschooling her older children. She was a great inspiration to me, and was a constant source of encouragement. We moved across town while my oldest was in 1st grade, and the following year we began homeschooling.
This is our 8th year of homeschooling. When we started homeschooling, I knew lots of people with young children who were also homeschooling. As time has gone by, most of those people either aren’t homeschooling any more, have had their children go to college, or, like my friend, have moved away. I know of a few others who are still homeschooling kids this age, but it seems like the older they get, the harder it is to find time to get together, because the older kids are busy doing things.
Our homeschooling group here used to do things together; more than just park day. We used to have events and take regular field trips as a group. We had an email list – that not many people were on - and we had one mother who was the “keeper of the list;” a comprehensive list of who in our town was homeschooling, contact information, and names and ages of children. Boy, was she organized! She stopped doing the homsechooling list at some point; I’m not quite sure when. She’s still homeschooling, though.
It took me a while, but then it hit me that all the people who had been the planners and organizers of the group were no longer doing the things they had done for so many years. And no one else was stepping in to do it!
Being the introvert that I am, we didn’t generally participate in a whole lot of events. This does not mean my children weren’t socializing, and I’ll go into detail on that in another post, since it’s a rant all to its own. We went on field trips that fit in with our schedules and went to parties as we could. When I got sick, I spent over a year in bed, and basically lost touch with a lot of people, outside those that I saw regularly or was on the email list with. I think it was during this time that the shift of planning and organizing happened.
Believe me when I say that I am NOT looking for more to do! I tried to organize a get-together for Christmas, but started too late. So here we are now, at the beginning of January, and the party is happening. I would have been content to let the idea drop, and just wait for a holiday, like Valentine’s Day. It was suggested at work (the week before Christmas) that I host the party before registration for the new semester began. I agreed, but the negative feelings started creeping in almost immediately.
In my other work prior to this job, part of what I did was to have monthly meetings. This involved making monthly phone calls to contacts, usually 20 to 30, sending out reminder emails, and lugging around snacks and several crates of books and other materials. Given that I don’t like making phone calls to begin with, this effort was a stretch for me. I did this nearly 7 years. In addition to all my other duties.
The bad feeling I get from planning any kind of event is that the amount of effort going into making the event happen - trips to the newspaper for advertising, getting snacks, etc etc – does not always = the reward of people coming. This time, I have confirmation that several people are coming. This is encouraging to a degree.
The last event I planned was a field trip to the vet’s office. With all the people responding, I wondered if we would all fit! The night before, it happened to snow. A little bit. This to me means “a dusting.” It wasn’t on my radar that everyone would bail because of a dusting of snow. To be fair, two other families came, so it wasn’t a total loss. It just wasn’t what had been planned for.
Homeschoolers in general are pretty flexible, in my experience. I don’t know if that means reliable. One of the main reasons we homeschool is so that we CAN come and go as we please, and not be bound by another schedule.
At any rate, it looks like I’m it. I don’t mind doing my share, and I feel that getting others connected to support is often *vital* to their success, so in that regard, I am happy to do it. It can be daunting to start homeschooling, and challenging to continue past the first year or two. I remember being “new,” and having the deep appreciation for those that took the time to share information and experience with me.
Being on the other end of the experience pole, I feel like I have information to share that might make a difference for someone. It occurs to me that maybe I am not without passion and deep feeling of any kind – *this* is a topic I feel *VERY* strongly about. Another sudden realization I just had is that in my old work, I did *a lot* of writing, daily. Perhaps I do process more of what’s in my head by getting it out on paper than I originally thought. It seems I have missed that particular outlet more than I suspected.
The rest of the week is going to be busy. I’m going to be more busy than I would like to be. But, I am feeling more and more confident that this event is going to be a success. At the very least, I’ll be there with my kids and the 4 speakers/presenters I have scheduled.