My life feels like it could be a choose-your-own adventure story sometimes. We’re now a homeschooling, self-employed family who aren’t tied to turning up to work or school every weekday. We could take off and work on the road, or learn at the farm or spontaneously spend the entire day at the beach. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
So why am I not at the beach right now?
Routine can be a double-edged sword sometimes. In many ways I love my routine, because it makes it easy to know what is coming next every day and it helps me get the things done that need to get done each day. But there are times when I find myself stuck indoors baking bread on a holiday long weekend and I feel like I’d be better off ditching the routine, skipping the toddler nap and leaving the laundry to dry in the tumble dryer instead of spending the time hanging it on the line. Times when what is really called for is a total abandonment of the routine in favour of silly summer fun. Those times may not necessarily be the national holidays, but working through a holiday weekend is probably easier to swallow if you’ve just had a day of playing hooky when everyone else is at work.
It’s not easy being free
Homeschoolers, (especially the unschooly sort) entrepreneurs and other self-directed types have a peculiar sort of relationship with holidays, especially the culturally dictated kind. When you’re self-employed, the full responsibility of earning your living falls on your shoulders, whether or not a particular day is a holiday. Projects aren’t always able to be put on pause when it’s a sunny day. Learn Nothing Day falls on July 24th, a time when traditionally schooled kids are in the thick of their summer holidays. Unschoolers set out to learn nothing that day and most end up happily failing spectacularly.
Being self-directed is awesome and so is learning from life all year round. However, it’s important to be able to take a break, to relax and let go of the routine sometimes too. And that means taking the initiative to say, “No, I’m not working today,” or “the laundry can wait,” or “today looks like a perfect day to spend at the beach.”
Otherwise it’s all too easy to let the routine choose the adventure, and where’s the self-directedness in that?