“Passion rules reason, for better or for worse.”– Terry Goodkind
MEANINGFUL VALUES JOURNAL:
I’m still exploring the Kwanzaa values, it’s the thrid week of Kwanzaa in my area (my own mind):
Faith is believeing it’s worth it to invest in myself and my dreams and trying to do better. (Metal/Priorities)
Unity being part of a family who I will protect, as much as I can, or should, deciding how to make that work, what is right, how I can finish my resposibilities. (Metal/Social/Boudaries)
Proactivity is knowing what I want, even if it will take time to get there. (Metal/Physical/Goal Setting)
Teamwork is finding how to work smarter as a gropup, in our school and family. (Social/Mindfulness)
Connection is shareing my passion with the world and accepting others gifts. (Social/Balance)
Purpose know how I will serve others as a mother/teacher/family member, knowing what is most importat, where I stand, who I am, what I need to do first. (Social/Awareness)
Creativity is thinking of new ways to do things that could be better. (Mental/Flexibility)
Social Health: Teaching Karate classes this year: 2.
Adventure Scouts meetings zoo = 2 ocean = 1 park = 1.
The past two weeks feel more real than the past two years. Last week I remember I didn’t enter a day in my journal and three days later I could barely recall it at all… During the pandemic a lot of my passion projects were destroyed, cancelled or just slowly died, this year they are coming to life again like spring blooming through a winter snow. It’s kind of scary to see good things and have fun, scary it may get taken away, barely recognizable is the feeling of just relaxing and enjoying life and having to remember what day things are coming up.
Physical Health: Lost a little weight right away and then stopped, but that is okay, I feel pretty good because that first 2Kg/5lbs is staying off and it looks like about half the belly fat went with it. I am following a meal plan of peas, chicken, broccoli and beans with other things sometimes thrown in there. When I don’t finish my workout that day I find myself catching up at night because I don’t want to miss the next day.
Mental Health: I’m getting better, exercise seems to be helping, but 2 weeks in, I was surprised the first 2 weeks I felt no mood boost. I have energy now, I’m still mentally confused at times, but my body is ready for a hike or beach trip or teaching class, for whatever my life has my body can meet and exceed the needs, yet I wish I could say that of my mind.
Saturday: Looking back on the past two weeks I had a lot of baggage, I’m really hesitant to vent or to be in the space of looking through my baggage, until I can no longer cope. Then I’ll get intensely angry, then I’ll think about why I’m so tense. I’m a tense person, but on a good day I’m a cello string and on a bad day a violin string over tightened… so I don’t know what the future holds, but I can try to live my best life as I’ve been doing since my kids were born, I don’t like the family tension but I can refuse to feed into it more than what it is on it’s own, I don’t like not knowing if I’m doing the right thing disciplining my kids the way I am, but it really seems to be working well for once and ultimately all I can do is what I think is best in the present, it’s still going to take a long time to clean up after the storm, but I like that we are all thinking about how we can build differently, not just stronger, but to make sure we are putting things how we want them and not just how they were before, my clutter is kind of how it has been, I push through to a new status quo and then I can maintain it, yet there is no way for me to do a fast push, I make progress in a room or half a room or a countertop and that’s all I can do for quite some time, but unlike what I’ve heard from others it mostly does stay, with the exception of the places that get used super frequently like the kitchen prep counter and the school office…
Excited I just got some new plastic boxes, because those wood/cloth/woven will get ultra-moldy where we live (in the tropics). My husband brought me home the tubs yesterday and I actually used all of them today! I didn’t make any excuses, instead, I made a lot of decisions about what to keep and where and a lot of progress returning things to where I designated them to be, and then changes and some regular cleaning of hair/gunk/ext…
I made action bins for the most part, like a math bucket with all my son’s math blocks, calculator, abacus ext, so when it is math time I can get the whole bucket down and it’s ready, like a first aid kit, but for math.
There are 14 school kits now, there is a clay/bead kit (orange), painting/drawing kit (orange), math K level kit (yellow), math 2nd grade level (yellow), language writing k level (green), language 1st grade level (green), botany (purple), geography (purple), electronics (blue), robotics (blue).
There are locked sets of legos, blocks and magnet, grouped extra supplies, electronics, books, papers… those things are sorted by when I use them, or what they are. Many things were discarded.
It feels good to have my son’s toys, daughter’s toys, music stuff, and school stuff separated. There are still a few boxes of clutter, about three, but that’s better than what it was before. I am noticing my kids don’t have too many toys, enough for our small space, but actually not too many. They do get to play digitally though, and they enjoy music and art as if they were toys, so the amount feels like enough. It feels like we finally separated the wheat from the chaff as far as the toys go… I feel guilty I have been too tired to pick up the toys for the past year, and that even though I kept my stuff mostly in order my kids stuff did get chaotic plenty of time.
This Saturday I have faith in myself, that I am a good teacher to my kids, that I can organize the house (at least the common parts and my parts), that I will keep being a good teacher to my kids as long as we are together, and that their education will be both enough and helpful in their lives. I didn’t always feel I would conquer the house, but now my husband is helping me by supporting minimalism and funding buckets, having the right materials and furniture is a part of minimalism, which perhaps puzzled me before. There is saving money, there is living with what you have, but there is also not being willing to pay what you need to for the materials you need to live your best life, that’s not healthy long term.
ORGANIZATION – As I am getting more organized I feel a lot more confident, I feel like I can clean easier, do art projects with the kids more, get a better school routine with everything nicely organized.
CLOTHES – I have one rack of dresses, a jacket, a hat, I general I really like having just a few clothes, I think I am at the perfect level to do one in, one out, and that is new.
BOOKS – I think I should designate my book space vs my daughter and son’s, they both have a nice white shelf, so maybe that can be their clothes/book/paper area, I think toys will overflow into other areas.
PAPERS – I had too many papers and notes when I was in college, I moved out with my fiance with a file cabinet and about four boxes, we moved to our first married home with about two boxes, from there I reduced to one box, we moved to Hawaii with less than one box of papers… now all I have is a two file folders. A lot has gone digital, but some was also cut. Eventually, I will have to hit some digital decluttering as well, but it won’t be moldy and no one will trip on it at least.
TIME – It really is a possession, so it has to be decluttered as well.
6 Writing Time 7 Exercise/Shower 👍🏼/👎🏼, otherwise I catch up at night.
8:30 Breakfast/Language 👍🏼
9 Bus/Song Time/Writing 👍🏼 Add day of week song.
9:30 School Roll/Calendar/Writing/Planner/Letter of the Day/Feelings Pond 👍🏼 write date and word.
10 Lecture 10:30 Music Time 👍🏼
11 Story Time Younger/Lecture Older 🔥 Older child wants help, could both read? Or both exercise?
11:30 Block Time 🔥 Same Issue
12 Lunch 1 Outside Time 👍🏼
2 Values 3 Stoic Quote/Play Younger/Story Older🔥 This has become a catch up lecture.
4 Dinner/Science Chemistry Show 👍🏼/👎🏼
5 Lego 🔥
Sunday: Last week hot springs with friends, this week the beach, it was really fun. I try to support my blood family where and when I can, but often my friends become my true family because they accept me for who I am and help me achieve my goals rather than putting me down. “The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” – Epictetus
Monday: Last week added more music and outside time back into the school day, this week we lost the family dog so we took the kids on a road trip. It was a beautiful day, the kids had fun at a new playground and in the water too. It was a proactive day because I decided to take the kids out whether or not my husband wanted to come, he decided to come and I enjoyed it, but I would have gone either way, not so many years ago I acted like a sheep when my husband was around, not deciding what to do because he may or may not want to do something.
Tuesday: Last week we covered chemistry, Wilma Rudolf, my son finished kindergarten math, this week I looked back on a poem from a long time ago:
“For me pain is the key that opens the closed doors, pain is the spark that lights the fire which keeps me alive during a cold night, pain lights the candle in a dark hallway, pain removes the splinters before they become lingering infections, pain is the mirror that shows me who I’ve become, pain helps me remember what matters, pain cuts through illusions of what can’t be true no matter who says it’s true, pain is the sword of truth in my life, the slap in the face that wakes me up before I fall off a cliff playing Pokemon Go, pain has been the Bonnie to my Clyde and I can’t imagine who I would be without it.”From “Cookies and Pain.”
I realize that the post “Cookies and Pain” was the metanoia of my life, I know where my darkest point was (when I lost my baby), where my loneliest point was (in my sielumaisema in Yosemite) and where my turning point was (outside the college snack shop), I feel like I’ve never hit my high point yet. I feel like I lived my life not as myself and therefore wasn’t a good “me”, I feel like I’ll need to be a good me to reach that high point and it may take some time, but there is a little joy in not having reached your high point, because that means it is still to come, unlike our much-beloved dog, which is clearly dead and past now. My sister had left on a trip, the dog very ill, my sister came home and the dog, which could barely walk went to the gate to show she wanted to see my sister, they cuddled and the dog smiled a big smile and wagged her tail weakly… we always accused that dog of being food-focused, but in her last week she didn’t eat and she was focused on her loved ones, so I guess I misjudged her. No one knows what happens after the shell of the body is cast off, but I don’t feel like it is the end, so I’m not sad, to be sad I would have to know there was a loss, but I don’t really know if it’s a loss or a transfer, I don’t think I will ever know while I am alive, so why be sad about an unknown?
I’ve been looking at old posts consolidating common themes like my journey to build a writing habit ext. and trying to consolidate them into articles that combine about 10 posts each.
Wednesday: Last week zoo, karate, our dog was really sick. This week the dog is dead, we are still arranging the cremation… we had a nice art workshop day at the park.
Thursday: Last week harsh discipline, left quad tear, wanted to put systems in place at home over time. This week, I realize that I’m living my best life now, it’s a bit more seeing the kids playing outside with friends, a bit more exercise, a bit more writing, and a more bit martial arts, but it’s not 200K more of income or parties of 60+ people, it’s just two or three families with little kids playing, a lot like RIE Regional Infant Education was, it’s like the extension of Magda Gerber’s RIE. I was always looking for a clear and crazy purpose like I make political mugs or I teach dogs ballet, but I guess for me it’s 1/5 helping kids, 1/5 exercise, 1/5 martial arts,1/5 writing, 1/5 music, and art, that’s my “perfect life” and it’s been pretty close to me I just didn’t understand that it could be found and that it would be so messy. The pandemic stripped me of what I love to do, but it stripped me of many things I hated doing that other people pushed on me, having both those things stripped away it’s very important to me that I don’t just start doing the things I hated again when people try to guilt me into them, this gave me a clean break, it was hard, but now I have the habits I most enjoy spending my life doing, right now is a critical time of guarding my habits until they can grow stronger and more natural feeling, it’s important to be slightly flexible, but then stop before other people’s agendas have taken over all my free time again.
At midday I got sick, I had chills and a sore throat, hoping it will pass soon, did most the normal stuff, dishes, cooking, school, fed the animals, but didn’t feel like extra laundry or gardening.
Friday: Last week our dog really threw me off timewise, I wasn’t mad then, now I knew that she was dying and I’m not guilty because I wasn’t mad, I was just noticing that it threw us all off-kilter and that’s okay, it’s okay to notice, it’s okay to be off-kilter, and it’s okay to need support. I’ve been working on organizing the house, eating better, consolidating old posts into longer posts (specifically the one about how I formed a writing habit – kind of), but I’ve been taking it a bit easy, not exercising Thursday and Friday because I’m sick. Took a COVID test, negative, but I’ve heard the tests are sometimes false negative so I’m acting like it’s not yet still keeping track of my germs, washing hands, not coughing in the common space ext. It wasn’t a perfect week, but I was surprised it wasn’t worse seeing that our favorite family dog died last week. I dropped off the body for cremation on Thursday morning, don’t know when the pickup is yet… I’m hoping to get mostly or all better before Sunday so I don’t have to cancel martial arts… Spent a lot of Thursday and Friday reading Hamlet with my daughter, halfway through. I had never read it, sure I read Shakespeare, but it happened to be “Romeo and Juliet” and “Othello” and “Midsummer’s Dream” when I was in school. Never thought I would be reading Hamlet’s part even at home…
Keep exercising – keep taking the kids to the Adventure Scouts Meetings – Keep teaching Karate.