Tuesday, March 29, 2011


from Scholarpedia.org: Controlling Chaos
As I mentioned last time, my life (my family's life - I don't live in a vacuum) has been in a state of transition for a while and looks like it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Some of these transitions are good (most, actually) and some are negative. Many are a hybrid. All are stressful.  All cause me to pause and say, "Well, okie dokie. What do I do with this?" I'm a fixer and a planner. My first response is to look at situations and figure out what I am supposed to do about them.

Define and conquer.

So, let's define.

Transitional moments from the year so far and anticipated in the coming months:

1. Two fewer kids. No, we didn't lose any. I had been watching two children during the day in addition to homeschooling my own and the family moved away.

2. 1/3 loss of income. See #1. We tried to find a new family but nothing panned out. (Stay tuned for additional transitions, though. I have communicated with a woman who may need a part-time sitter for her infant next year. Whether we take it or not depends on whether she ends up even needing a sitter and whether other things on the list start generating income.)

3. Foray into self-publishing. The publisher for my science curriculum called a couple months ago to let me know that it would be another 2-4 (more like 4... or maybe more) years until they finally got around to publishing my first book (the first of 5 - which I wrote and submitted 3 years ago) and that they were obliged to tell me that since this violates my contract that I am free to end the contract and seek another publisher although they really like my books and would like me to stay. I've decided to go ahead and self-publish an electronic version then start looking for a publisher for the hard-copy version (if I feel that I need to). So, now I am researching e-publishing and editing, editing, editing.

4. ADD. My wonderful, loving, impulsive, occasionally exasperating, creative, distractable, fun-loving, academic, disorganized, passionate, dreamer husband was diagnosed with ADD about a month ago. I want to hug the inventor of Ritalin and thank him/ her for giving me my husband back.

5. A dog. We adopted a smart, energetic dog. Enough said.

6. Teenagers. Plural. We will have two teenagers in the house by the end of May.

7. High School. Our oldest will be starting high school at the end of this year.

8. Gluten-free/ Dairy-free diet. My husband put himself on a gluten-free/ dairy-free diet about a year ago (I know, but it spills over to the current year, so I'm counting it). It has really helped his asthma and stopped colds from settling-in in his chest every winter for months at a time (he also lost some weight), but it means we have to read every label and cook special (sometimes separate) meals.

9. Photography. I sold a few photos a while ago, and in December I had my first paid photography gig. I've been trying to develop a side business out of this hobby.

10. Farmers' Market. I am hoping to participate regularly in a local farmers' market this summer to get some income from #8 and #9 by selling gf/df baked goods and photos. It also gives me a social outlet.

11. 4 kids. Self-explanatory.

12. Homeschooling. This is the first year that all four of our kids are in a number grade. I don't know how those one-room-schoolhouse teachers did it! I love it, but it's a full-time job... with all the pros and cons a job brings with it.

13. Dissertation.  My husband just entered the dissertation phase. Also a full-time job.

14. Business start-up. I had an idea for a business about 4 months ago, and Kyle loved it. It will take a little effort to get going, but once it's going I think it will be rather easy to manage and maintain. I am really excited about it and will share more once we are closer to launch.

Well, there you have it. Transitions defined. Time to conquer.

Steppin' In

This year is (and most assuredly will continue to be) a year of transitions. And when I say "year" I am thinking school year, not calendar year. I'm kind of forced to since my husband is in grad school and we have four kids (we homeschool, but try as I might I can't seem to break out of the "school year" mindset).

I'm not so good with transitions. I'm a routine, calendar, check list, status quo, live and let live, doin' my own thing kind of girl. Doesn't matter if the transition is good or bad. Change freaks me out and puts me into a weird, often paralyzing, survival mode. I need time to process. To make the transition and its results part of my routine. Part of me. Part of how I see myself and the world.

So, since I love to write and find that I am able to process my thoughts best by writing them down where I can get a good, hard look at them *and* because I am terrible at keeping a journal for more than a week since it just feels like I'm talking to myself (and I already do plenty of that verbally, I don't need to be writing letters to myself too, thank you very much), I've decided to write it out here. And to take you with me, Reader. Just you and me. Into the juke joint of life where the food is fine, the drinks are hard, the crowd is loud, the music is jumpin', and the repertoire includes a good heap of free form jazz.