Indecision

Indecision cripples me on a regular basis as my frontal lobes freeze like a bunny in the headlights, blinking stupidly as life bears down on me without a care for my inability to choose which way to leap.

Indecision governs my choices or lack of them, depending on how much choice I’m faced with in any given moment. Because I am indecisive I avoid having to pick from many choices, I shop at Aldi because there is one type of pasta, not many. It also makes decision making agonisingly painful at times as I cringe with the weight of the ‘what ifs’ dancing around me. Early on in our relationship, indecision introduced me to her twin sister, called procrastination…. but that’s a whole other blog post!

Indecision has always frustrated me but maybe it isn’t so bad after all? I have come to realise that it simplifies my life quite considerably for the reason that I avoid complicated multiple choice scenarios. No, I’m not talking about those awful never ending questionnaires you fill in online with the promise of getting paid 7p for your efforts, I’m talking about life…… shopping, clothing, holidays, food…… indecision is leading me on a winding, bumpy road to minimalism and simplicity, and that’s just fine by me! I am learning so much and meeting interesting people and trying new things along the way.

Maybe it is a reflection of my multi-potentialism…. I am interested in so many things, I am clever and creative and fascinated and I want to engage in so many wonderful things…. poetry, pottery, reading, writing, cooking, walking, natural crafts, painting, gardening, decluttering, planning, enabling….. that I can’t decide what to give my time to, so often I find myself dithering the time away and doing none of these enriching things!

Time alters my decision making. I perceive that I have precious little ‘time’ to just focus on myself and my own interests…. or so I assumed, so that when I have ‘time’ I panic…. don’t waste it, I must make the most of it, quick, decide what to do, DECIDE WHAT TO DO FOR PETE’S SAKE…… yep, you guessed right, there come the headlights, I bunny freeze and away slips my precious ‘time’ and I do nothing but stress, fritter (that’s a fun word!) and pine….

Take this blog for example, there are so very many ideas and words whirling around my head that I haven’t written anything since I created it as I couldn’t decide what to write about (spot the recurring theme!!). Somehow this evening I sat down and out poured these words through the keyboard while I break off every now and again to jot other ideas and themes down with paper and pencil before I lose them…. Do you do that? Do you grab your twirling, whirling thoughts and pin them down with a pencil to prevent them evaporating into the indecisive ether of your mind? Or is it just me?

Now, to publish this post now, or read again tomorrow before I hit the button? Decisions, decisions!!

Binning the books….

OK….. I’m not exactly binning them, I’m recycling, selling, gifting and donating them on but they’re going…. most of them…. But don’t home educators need a gazillion books in their home covering every subject under the sun? You would think so, and I assumed that we did, but apparently not! After mulling this step over and discussing it with various people and forums for a few months, I came to challenge my assumption. Here are the reasons why we don’t need all those books…

My older two children don’t enjoy reading for pleasure. They read but they don’t enjoy it and therefore the majority of the informational books go unmolested by child sized hands. They merely make the shelves look busy, cluttered, overstuffed and give me a get out clause should the Elective Home Education person come calling unannounced as I can just point dramatically in the direction of the chaotic shelving unit and say “see, that proves that we provide an education that is suitable to the age, ability and aptitude of my child”. It just isn’t fashionable to diss books when you’re a home ed parent, I’m treading on thin ice here, but confident of my ability to evidence the stellar educational environment  that is provided if I were asked to. It just so happens that environment exists without all those books, in fact it exists *in spite* of all those books, goodness knows how, they were choking the life out of that corner of our lounge!

Many of the (very high quality and excellently written) books had been collected during a previous phase in our home educating lives when I was convinced that we *should* be following a plan, *should* be covering certain subjects that *should* be adult directed and that the children *should* be reading books every day. Although many of them might at some point be useful I realised that I wanted to release all the painful remnants of the *should* phase once and for all. Besides, nigh on all of it is available on the internet for nothing AND it requires no storage space and if the apocalypse ever happens and we have no more internet access, I think we will be far more concerned with meeting more basic needs…..

When overwhelmed with choice I am not good at making decisions. It goes a little like this, “ooh that’s a good book, oh and that one, yes we could do this, they might like that, ooh I’d forgotten about that one” and before you know it I have five or more books spread open in front of me. Would you care to hazard a guess how many of those books and activities actually get utilised? Yup, you’re right…. absolutely none…. because when faced with too many competing options I feel overwhelmed, my brain fogs and that is the end of it. This is the reason I shop in Aldi, I don’t want a choice of ten brands of frozen peas, I just want frozen peas. I had a lightbulb moment before Christmas that my shopping preferences could be applied to my educational and interesting book shelves. How about if I just kept a small collection of the most inspiring (to me), most motivating (to me), most accessible (to me) books and jettisoned the rest? Maybe if the fuel load of books was lighter, I might actually hit the landing strip with a few…..

So feeling brave and ‘out there’ I talked my sweet hubby into humping bags full of books up to ‘the shed’ a few days before Christmas. I felt instantly soothed and inspired by the emptiness of the shelves and the lack of visual clutter. It has opened up the floodgates for me in terms of creatively approaching all of our lives in this little house! The shelves in the lounge are a work in progress still as I’m taking the radical reshuffle as an opportunity to thin and sort toys and resources also….

What do you think? Would you liquidate your stock of books?

I should add that I didn’t include the chapter books in the cull as the girls love me to read to them, and neither did I slash the number of younger children’s picture books. Having been unschooled from the beginning, my middle two have a completely different relationship with books…. but that is a discussion for another day!

 

I assumed I wouldn’t find the time….

Thanks for stopping by…. I have always enjoyed writing, and used to write a blog back when I was childminding and home educating in a more structured way. I mothballed it some time ago now since much of it no longer represents the way we go about unschooling ourselves! Since then I have challenged many assumptions, both mine and those of the wider unschooling community. We continue to grow and thrive as a family and I’m hoping to make time to document a little of that here…..

I haven’t written much in a while because I assumed I was too busy for writing more than shopping and to-do lists. What changed? Well after a week of poorly children and sleep deprivation of sorts, three of them fell asleep halfway through ‘The Cat in the Hat’ tonight, two are spinning in hammocks watching YouTube and giggling and my husband is watching snooker, leaving me free to…… start a blog…. finally….. funny how these little moments pop up now and again just when you need them isn’t it?!