Each new year seems to start with promise, it’s summer and the world is one’s oyster so you think up glorious plans that this year you will achieve. Term one has a cover page perhaps with a list of formidable goals that one cheerfully thinks are so totally do able in that excitable new years hype. Term two and three seem to muddle along with shorter days and less expectations. Now it’s term four. I got out my ideas for this year that I wrote in term one. How funny they are. What was I thinking… among other things I once again have not made my oorary or our raft project. I now feel I have lots of catching up to do, must tick something off. I feel that I have failed Helena, failed at the home school lark. I feel we have done nothing this year. I’m sure that lots of people feel this way, new resolutions are just part of the human condition.
But wait a minute I made these ideas up! Who says we have to do them? It is all made up… MADE UP, as in I imagined them at one point in time when I had those interests. I like having big ideas. I went away with some quilters for a weekend (had the best time) and they have a saying – UFOs as in Un-Finished Objects. I have soooo many of them, they are only dwarfed by the pile of Meaning To Do Objects. Helena does not have the same loyalty or fixed mind set over her projects, some she just forgets (looses interest), but some she revisits later (as in years).
Here is a recent project example – “Do you want to do a project with me?” Said to her friend. He does… well to be accurate she tells him it’s about floating and sinking and he says that’s what he was going to do anyway. Next step seems to be to get all excited about getting stuff, she’s saying that you need to get stuff “you think will float and stuff you think will sink”. I silently curse as I watch a particularity random group of objects getting taken from here and there to the great outside and I imagine the careless putting away, or not, and the ensuing argument. Once the objects are taken outside, as in the very next minute and breath, it’s become all about the objects and who has what. The project has become a negotiation that then leads on to some compromise and the objects never, ever, ever find their way into the water. This “project” has not been revisited, the desire to do it was intense and fleeting. The objects are even all put away. I of course could have joined in, made it all adult, kept them on task, done the activity, maybe even written it down but then it would have been my project, or it would have been highlighted as the kind of project that gets you adult approval and given some kind of elevated cue-dos of an esteemed activity (I think of this subtle prodding as the “little girls look nice” problem).
It’s also not true that we have done nothing this year. I’ll have to make a list. Helena can’t have learnt nothing this year as she seems so much older, wiser and more capable. If life is like some kind of path that we are following I guess we didn’t take the route we planned but some other one with different scenery. Maybe in future we should do that planning classic of the post event plan, Retrospective Planning, perhaps that is more natural. Living in the moment ‘n’ all.