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The Slow Family Project

One family's journey to slow down.

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So I’m not totally sure I know exactly how I am going to structure this post today. But I do want to say upfront, that I am writing emotionally tonight. My daughter just asked me “Do you have an owie” after seeing my blood-shot, cried out eyes watch her playing in the tub tonight.

I guess I’ve just had it with people’s opinions about my life. What I’m doing. How I’m going to do it. Where I’m going to live. What am I going to do. Yes, me and my family are making changes. So?

Can’t we all just be happy for one another and get out of our ego stricken states of mind? And another thing that’s bothering me lately is this. The way we Judge one another. And especially how we Mother.

I really didn’t want this to be a negative post. But I think some people just might relate, so I will just let loose.

Becoming a Mom, being a Mom. And I’m sure, becoming a Father and being a Father too…comes along with it a force for you to come to terms with your values, the cycles you’ve grown with and would like to change and what you really, really want out of life. At least for us, it has done this for us. Looking back to the day we brought our daughter home to today, we have done a complete transformation and the effects of this are only coming to life.

But why do you have to rain on my parade?

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I gave notice at my “job”. The next thing people ask “What are you going to do now? Do you have a job in the new city?” A few people can relate. And that has been surprising. That people do “get” the concept of living slowly and more frugally.

I do feel the emotions that result from Judgement. Why do I feel this? Is this me? Where does this come from? Why can’t people  just be happy and supportive. Understanding. Compassionate. Not jealous. Why do we spend time judging one another? I guess it feeds the Ego. I guess this is just the way it is.

I just want to be a Mother. And so I am able to do this. So what? Why do you lament?

We live in a community. Let’s support one another in all our decisions.

This crazy world could end tomorrow. Life is here for all of us to live, the way we dream it. It’s my hope that somehow, we can overcome whatever it is that is holding us back from living authentically, which means supporting each other  in whatever it is that you want to do with your life. (well may be not people over at BP, but you catch my drift).

Don’t Judge.

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How many times did you check your Facebook today?

If you are the typical user, you’ve checked your Facebook 27 times this past hour.

Can you believe this?

Recently, after returning from a family trip to Las Vegas (Father in Law purchased for us for Christmas), I received an email from my Sister in Law titled “???”. I opened the email to find her asking if I’d taken her off my “Friends” list and what was going on?

Is it really this bad? That if someone would like to take a sabbatical from Facebook (like, ah, me) in pursuit of their dream to be less cluttered and time drained on digital social networking sites, that this means you are not friends? I guess to be fair, one might wonder why one day you are friends and then the next you can’t access their pages. I get it. But I guess so this is life now for us all. That we have become so accustomed to this social networking tool, that it has become a way of life, a way to think of one another. To relate.

I took about a 3 week hiatus from all things Facebook. I de-activated my account and didn’t look back.

Recently things have slowed down (quitting my job was one BIG HUGE relief here) and I found myself last week perusing the wall again. But this time I found I was looking in with a fresher perspective. For some reason I was less interested and it seemed far less trivial to me. I’m not sure for how much longer I will stay “activated”. I have learned that in fact, I don’t really get much out of it anyway.

Will I stay or will I go? I think I will go soon enough.

Cable is off as of tomorrow. This will be another B-I-G Media change for our family. I know this will be a good thing. I can’t wait.

Life is starting to feel much, much lighter these days 🙂

Last night I found myself on the Ministry of Education (here in Canada) website looking at the Curriculum for my daughter from Kindergarten to Grade 9. It has me thinking. Really thinking. Thinking about the types of things she will learn. Thinking about the classroom setting in which she will learn some of these values, life lessons.

Alright, I will come out and say it. I’m a bit afraid.

Most of the curriculum seems to make sense. Basic life lessons, how to act appropriately, basic letter and number skills – the foundation. And that is not what is concerning me.

What concerns me is that they have a whole section dedicated to “Career Development” and it is described as such in the Table of Contents itself!

So I was curious to read into the other Grades curriculum. Honestly, I was shocked to find that every single Grade has this integrated into the plan in some way. By Grade 5, the students are measured based on their determination of what they want to do when they grow up! And their “success” being “measured” on their ability to set solid “goals” and “achieve” these goals. Sorry, but Grade 5? Are you kidding me? Obviously not.

Sorry, forgive me here, but what happened to Childhood? Why are we putting this on our children so young, to think about “Career”. I didn’t even know what the word “Career” meant until I was at least in Grade 10. And even then, I had no idea! I still have no idea what I want to do when I grow up! (Kind of) (LOL)

This achievement, success by goal setting/attaining goals culture is frightening me.I’m sure there has got to be a way to balance this. May be I home-school for a period of time, while integrating her into other programs to get out and socialize and play? May be we just let go of this concern?

Do you home-school? How do you integrate the children into the school system at a certain age? Is this possible?

So far we’ve had a very slow day…spent the morning together in bed until the late morning and listened to Raffi while dancing naked on the porch (well not all of us 🙂 and we aren’t hippies, I don’t think).

We decided a couple of days ago on a whim, that we’d invite a few neighbours up for Happy Hour, so while the little one was sleeping today, I popped down to the local store to stock up on beers, wine and coolers, along with some simple goodies like chips and dip.

There is something about connecting with those around you. Community is so important. Building community is important, moreover.

Mr. Sun, keep shining down on us today as we enjoy the company of our surroundings…

Happy weekend!