Christina's son, Max, playing with the other kids.

More Resilient And Less Impatient: A Dancing Rabbit Update

So I was reading this morning about the importance of pausing, feeling what is happening, and learning to accept.

Not sure if you can relate, but it’s a good choice for what’s going on in my world for sure!

Christina here, writing about what I can control and what I can’t control and the painful process of gaining the wisdom to tell the difference (sometimes).

There’s plenty in my life that I’m happy to just let be. As the pastures are greening up, we are moving the goat and cow fence just about every day. I love getting out there in the cool mornings to complete the simple repetitive tasks that I have finally begun to master after about three years. Seeing a baby goat kick up its heels (literally) on fresh grass never gets old. And I also have to admit that I love having Mae make the ultimate decisions about where to go next, whether the pasture is played out, or who might need some extra attention from the vet.

Our vegetable starts are getting just a bit bigger every day and I am already starting to panic a bit about the prairie grass poking through the wood chips. There’s something about committing to what goes where that stresses me out every year. But once the plants are in the ground, I’m willing to do my best to keep them alive while accepting that we might not get any ripe tomatoes until September (like last year) or we might not get more than a small bucket of sweet potatoes (like the year before) or we might get more zucchini than we know what to do with (like two years ago). 

Spring moves on, growing and making things green. Life moves on here following many of the same patterns it has in years past. I have been picking and enjoying wild nettles every few days, eating as many eggs as I can manage, and probably drinking about a gallon of milk every few days on my own. I’m very accepting of all that!

But there are also plenty in my life that’s not so easy to accept or just let be. For one, we have a new puppy. He loves eating fresh cow patties and hunting mice and often is too busy to come when he’s called. He’s mostly house trained but we still worry about an occasional accident if he tries to sneak behind the couch. He wants to chew what he wants to chew and my massage ball is his object of choice right now.

Homeschooling is a constant lesson in letting go of what I can’t control. And by constant, I mean something that I relearn every day and have relearned every day for the past four years. You would think that someone with sixteen years of classroom teaching experience would have it easy teaching just two of her own children, right? Well, you would think wrong. Finding the delicate balance between challenging the kids enough so that they learn and grow while letting them follow their own paths and discover their own interests is a constant work in progress. I get frustrated, I take breaks, I realize that I don’t have many answers.

And then there are the things that I can control: how I react to things that I don’t like in my life, what I do next time to maybe avoid the mistake I made this time, what I can do to make myself a little more resilient and a little less impatient.

I have been going for lots and lots of walks. I know that we are privileged in this — all I have to do is cross the road in front of our house and I am “on the land” where I can easily walk for over an hour without seeing anyone. 

I have been keeping up with yoga. Also lucky for me, I found an online yoga subscription when we first moved here and I was going through gym withdrawal. I’ve found myself choosing more restorative and resting practices than ever before and actually enjoying them.

I’ve been making an effort to have a video call with family almost every day. Of course, this also depends on how frustrated I’m feeling with the puppy and/or math instruction. 

I’ve been creating content for my own business that I hope will help teachers to get students thinking critically about coronavirus or whatever else they encounter in their lives, rather than blindly accepting rumors or myths that they hear from others.

And I’ve tried to throw some money at places where I think it might make a difference. For one, I bought a long-needed new mattress and have been noticing a huge difference in back and hip pain. I’ve outsourced a few homeschool classes in the topics that I just can’t seem to get through myself. And I have also tried to give a little extra money to some places where I think it can help right now. We have been extremely lucky in that the virus hasn’t affected our family income at all — a benefit of what they call a “location independent” income. So I have tried to share a little of that benefit.

And on May 7th, is an opportunity for you to share if you are able. Give STL is coming up soon and this yearly event is a great chance to support the work happening here at Dancing Rabbit. You can check out www.givestlday.org as May 7th approaches, with opportunities to multiply your giving with matching gifts.

In the meantime, I’ll be here taking walks and deep breaths and trying not to smell the cow-patty puppy breath. 

P.S. GiveSTL is on May 7th. Donating between the hours of 12 pm – 1 pm CST will maximize your gift through matching funds and prize money, this is the way to make your contribution multiply. Thank you.

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