Sunday, February 12, 2012

Length and Width

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This week-end I started having some self-doubts. You know the kind. Where someone says something about a situation that explains why they do what they do, but at the same time,implying that their way of doing things is the only right way of doing it;  "btw, your way of doing it is wrong."
And it had to do with gathering info. I'm an info gatherer. It's what I do. If I read a book, I want to know who wrote it and what year it was published. So I look up the author. If the author's parents, or dog, or city look interesting, I look that up too. I'm not ADHD. I'm global. I see connections, make connections, love connections. It's what I do. But I digress.
 I do that too.
Anyway, I started feeling kind of guilty. 'Cause I do that (my husband is practically sure I'm a Jewish mother).  Like I'd collected too much info. I'd been too curious, and not tidy.
 I'd thought about the situation too deeply, and looked cluttered. Not hip at all. Not curious. Just...messy.

Oh well.
Yeah. Just oh well. Cause life's short. And I'm doing the length of my life pretty well.
Like, it's going fast, speed of sound fast.
And I want to do the width/depth part well, too.

All the stuff I've read about "how to have a successful blog" (yeah, I read up on that too, right, cause I have a blog and all) says have ONE topic per blog.
Like that's gonna happen.
But wait.
It has.
My blog topic is this:
LIFE, dude.
It started out about homeschooling. But the reality is that homeschooling is an extension of our faith and we've homeschooled so long that it's more than about school, or even education and is about
a lifestyle of learning, and faith and living.
Not just life. A WAY of life.

My husband, who is very linear and sequential and irritatingly charmingly logical makes jokes about  how disorganized I am all the time. Usually when I can't find something.
I'm like, Dude, I have entire universes of Venn diagrams in my head about tens, probably hundreds, maybe even thousands of topics. And to that he laughs.
And says, I'm incredibly productive and a very hard worker, but the fact that I don't have things alpha sorted and filed proves his point.
Well, whatev. He would live in a cave if he hadn't had the good sense to marry me (it would be the most highly organized, clean cave on the planet, but still...) so I guess it's great that I've saved  him from cave dwelling and he can alpha sort our important documents.(I am eternally grateful for his logical, organizational abilities. Truly). But back to my point....

I've been told a couple of times in the past couple of months that I dont' even use my education.
Hmm. I'm assuming what was meant was that I don't generate income with my degrees.
And that's true. But education, and even degrees, aren't always about money.
It's about digging deeper. Getting pushed, pushing yourself. Seeing what you can do, what you are capable of, what choices you have on the other side of them. And sometimes it's about giving what you have away so that people can benefit from what you have, without asking them to pay for it.
You know, like being the shoulders someone else is standing on.
Odd concept, I know. (believe me, I know. I've been called sucker by everyone and their uncle).

My point is. I like to dig. I want to know more. I want to go farther.
You know? Not just do the status quo.
It's what I want for my kids.
A long life. Deep and wide.
Homeschooling is just a part a that (said via Rizzo impersonation).
But a big part.
Giving our kids the time and space to look up things, follow bunny trails. To make connections. Time to think widely, along with quickly, and go deeply into a subject if that's what they need to do. Melding overview and mastery, rather than having one at the expense of the other.

I really like the line in the new Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe when the kids and the Beavers are running from the White Witch and they get to a summit and Susan says, "It's so big!" 
Mrs. Beaver responds, "It's the World, dear, did you expect it to be small?"
Susan, as she looks out over a vast area of snow and trees, says, "Small-er."

Insatsiable curiosity.
I believe that's what it takes to create a life that not only gets to the end of itself, we're all players on a timeline, baby, but has width and depth as well. I'm old enough at this point to realize that my way is not always best, it's not always tidy, it's hardly ever hip, but trying to create an impression rather than living fully and outloud; well, I just don't have time for that.  I learn and grow and find out about cool things by gathering. It's how I keep trying new things, even though the world and it's minions would like to burn us out (physically, spiritually, mentally) and leave us small and shriveled and small- like a dot, instead of expansive and generous, like a river.

Living the width of our lives. And I'll add depth. Great concept.
Any thoughts?


Sue said...

I found this post through the Homeschooling Carnival and I LOVE IT!!! Especially the idea of calling yourself "Global!" I can relate. I really want to know more about topics that roll out into my path.

As for worrying about whether you're "using your education" - of course you are! And you're modeling this kind of behavior for your kids. Don't put it down, because they can benefit from being a digger of info too.

There will be plenty of time to get back to that degree later. Let the naysayers just roll off your back.

LaughingLioness said...

Sue- thanks ; )!! Have you read Cynthia Tobias Ulrichs book The Way They Learn. Global is one of the ways she classifies learners.