Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Exhausted? Depressed?

Eh, feeling a little out of sorts today. I felt a little dizzy this afternoon, opted not to take Maylin to karate, and instead, took a long nap with Stefan. I woke up feeling...exhausted. I don't know if I'll ever get caught up with sleep. I feel like I've gone for weeks with 3-5 hours of sleep a night, which means I'm missing out on my REM sleep, the most valuable sleep-time you can get. I've been missing out on my exercise classes as well. My body's starting to really crave that regular physical activity. My hip hop and jazz dance classes can probably help with my sleep problems. Maybe Thursday evening, if I'm not totally wiped out, I can head out to a class.

My body wasn't too happy today, and neither was my mind. My mind should be at ease. After all, we met with our homeschooling charter school's education coordinator and she helped me understand the state standards for third grade, which didn't look as daunting as I had previously thought. Yes, there's some multi-digit multiplication and long division on the spring state test, but it's not heavily emphasized, and who knows? We might be able to make it there by that time. Maylin's picking up new math skills quite easily. It's the memorization part that is hard to make her do. She can do it, but she doesn't like doing it -- I can tell. It's tedious, it's boring -- it's just not creative at all. Not a fitting activity for a super-creative eight year-old who would rather write penpal letters, e-mails, newsletters, how-to manuals, and novels (she's written nearly 5000 words now!).

Ah, while writing the last paragraph, I felt a dark cloud being lifted away from my head and my eyes. I feel loads better mentally! I had a feeling that the writing might make things better for me. This is my therapy.

I was going through quite a bit of anxiety in the last couple weeks. I had had a mammogram and an ultrasound, showing two lumps that were questionable. I was very upset and shocked. I had expected to walk out of the hospital with an a-ok. Instead, I came out with an appointment for a biopsy the following week, a ball of pain down in my throat, and tears that I wouldn't let come out. The worst part of the ultrasound-guided biopsy was my reaction to the local anesthetic (lightheadedness, nausea, imagined sweating), and the agonizing wait for my delayed results. Fortunately, everything came out just fine. The lumps were benign and no follow-up would be necessary. What a relief!

I'm wiped out. Having the kids 24-7 is starting to wear on me. I haven't given myself enough alone time because I've needed to be at home to rest. Tomorrow, I'm going to take a nice, long walk on my own. Maybe take along my laptop and sit at a cafe. Or go to the music library on campus and find some scores I want to study for an upcoming audition tape I need to make.

I've got some research to do. More later!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Failure at novel writing

Maylin's doing great at her novel -- writes regularly and is fast-approaching her 5,000 word goal. In my case, I wrote 2,000 words, gave up on it because I couldn't resolve several mini-plots, and then I started another book -- more like a childhood memoir, but I don't see myself realistically making the 50,000 word goal by November 30. I'll keep writing at my own pace. Why add stress to my life? I want writing to be enjoyable for me, not painful.

I haven't been able to focus on the writing at all, really, as I had intended in the late summer. I am back in love with my first love, music. Didn't expect it to happen, but it did. The right mix of music and people, and bam! I got the music bug again when I thought I had convinced myself that music really wasn't all that important to me. Now it's almost the most important thing to me after my family. How's that for a turn-around?

I haven't been able to make it regularly to my dance classes either. Health issues, sleep issues, I've had lots of excuses. I'm shooting for December to get back into physical fitness.

Speaking of health and fitness, I had a mammogram and ultrasound a week and a half ago, confirming one lump and discovering a second. Monday, I had an ultrasound-guided biopsy to check them out. Tomorrow, I should be getting the results. My guess is that it won't be cancer, but that one lump may have to be removed. That will still be scary to me. Yuck. Don't want to think about it now. We'll just cross that bridge when we get to it.

The big news doesn't end there. Maylin and I are considering completely homeschooling without strings attached. This means that we are thinking about leaving the charter school that has supported us with guidance from a teacher, books, classes, and money for extracurricular activities. We think it may be worth it to remove ourselves from the pressures of state standards, state tests, and continue at our own pace, which for math, may seem slow, but is very thorough and fun. Language arts -- Maylin's breezing through that. No problem. I don't want us to get stressed out about mastering stuff like long division by April, when I don't see the value in stressing out a third grader unnecessarily. If she learns it next year instead (so she can spend this year fully understanding the math concepts), I don't see any harm in that. Even if she learned it in fifth grade, it wouldn't matter much either. I will further discuss this with our Education Coordinator and other homeschoolers, but I think this may be the right choice for us. The main reason for us to homeschool to begin with, was to avoid bureacracy and protect the child's natural enjoyment of learning. I feel our charter school (probably any similar organization would do the same) is beginning to encroach on our freedoms. I think we're outgrowing it. To be continued...