Thoughts on the Future

Today is another Amtrak day for me, and I was planning on writing the newest blog post today. It’s so much easier to write when not having to constantly stop to break up fights between warring children. My plan was to tell you about Amberly and Lea’s November school projects. I started outlining the post in my head and couldn’t proceed. It felt hollow and completely unimportant in the wake of the election and it’s fallout this week.

I’m having a difficult time knowing what to write, mostly because I’m still processing. I went from incredulous to dismayed, scared, angry, and resigned throughout the course of the week. The most difficult part of this, for me, was trying to process while still being reassuring to the kids. I tried to console Amberly, two states away. She was distraught and fearful for her future. Joey was just confused that the “big orange monster” was actually going to be the president. I’ve done my best to assure them that things will be okay; the make-up of this country has not suddenly changed overnight. Inside, I’m feeling not so sure. I’m a worrier by nature, and the thought of a Trump presidency is terrifying. I worry about things on a national, global, and yes, personal level. I worry about food security, personal security, access to health care, and the freedoms we take for granted every day.

I feel incredibly sad right now. I’m sad watching the news, I’m sad reading my FB newsfeed, I’m sad talking to my kids, and I’m sad seeing how sad other people are in my faith community. It feels as though we have moved beyond rational thought and appropriate discourse in this country. There’s so much hysteria on both sides of the political aisle that there is no chance for compromise because we can’t even agree on the facts of an argument. This isn’t new, but this election has made it so, so much worse. We are an arrogant nation, and if we don’t change, our arrogance will be our downfall.

On a large scale, there’s not much a I can do. I am a tiny voice in an ocean of voices. I will do what I can, though, to make the lives I touch better. I am stepping back away from social media, news sites, political commentary, etc. It makes me angry and bitter, and those emotions are not conducive to healing. I will instead invest my time in nurturing relationships I have and building new ones. I will work ever harder to teach my children love and compassion. I will take up social justice projects where the opportunities arise. I will read literature and listen to music that touches my soul. I will learn alternative medicine techniques and work to heal my body and mind. Mostly, I will love and accept love, and try to focus on the blessings I have right now.

Excuses, excuses…

I’ve been feeling so guilty lately that I haven’t gotten another blog post written this week. I was all set to write about our trip to the Illinois Military Museum last Tuesday, but life happened, as it’s wont to do.

We’ve had a series of minor medical crises in our house, and I’ve personally been feeling under the weather. I’m sure all parents know that when you’re sick, children don’t stop needing attention. Groceries don’t magically appear, and the toys do not put themselves away. I’m so thankful that we have several adults in our family to help share the workload when we’re all feeling rather poorly.

In addition to just existing this week, school marches on. We are also doing a lot of preparations for a very busy schedule in the next couple months:

  • Amberly and Lea have a trip to Michigan and Wisconsin coming up in the next week.
  • We are working on assembling Halloween costumes before they go.
  • Their school schedule will be drastically different in November (more on that in an upcoming post, I promise).
  • We are planning for the holidays and a massive literature project the girls are working on for Christmas.
  • I have been trying to organize my time and energy to actually finish the several Christmas gift projects for the kids that I’ve been juggling.

So there you have it: my list of excuses for not getting a blog post done this week. Basically, I didn’t wanna, and you can’t make me. We have some fun times ahead, though. I’m really looking forward to sharing these with everyone. Enjoy your week!

Here I go…

img_1884Welcome to the Back of Beyond! I’m Laura Davis, and I’ll be writing a lot about my family. We’re a close, geeky (but not in a hipster kind of way), homeschooling family of six. My husband is Gordon. Our two teens are Amberly and Lea, and our two younger kids are Joey-6 and Evie-4. We like to travel, eat great food, and learn about the world. Our goal is to eventually travel the country full time, but for a multitude of reasons, are currently stationary in Illinois.

I have to be honest; until recently I didn’t really get the whole blogging thing. I felt like I had enough reality just living my life. Why would anyone want to read about and watch someone else living theirs? Then I found myself trying to keep my eyes open reading homeschool mom blogs, and watching grocery shopping vlogs at 1 am. I realized that it was comforting reading accounts of other families-some similar to mine, some different-going about their daily lives. It made me feel not so alone. Other people have lots of kids, struggle to feed their families, fight to teach their ADHD kids to read.

We really are such a voyeuristic society. We like to watch “reality” television where people work through conflicts, try to lose weight, show off their special talents, succeed in some cases, fail miserably in others. We relate to strangers we will likely never meet. We interact via these new platforms, become invested in these lives put on display, and yet so many times we feel all alone. People are more isolated than ever before, but we find ways to connect through blogs.

One of the downsides of reading blogs is feeling like you can’t measure up. It’s human nature to try to present our most polished selves to the public. We don’t want to open ourselves to criticism and rejection. I personally struggled with the idea of starting a blog because I felt insecure about my progress in life–that feeling of sucking at adulthood. Then I realized there are lots of people in that boat, and those are the readers with whom I want to connect. That said, I reserve the right to block or delete comments from people looking to criticize my life choices. If you disagree with my methods, don’t use them. I won’t judge you, please do not judge me. Beyond that, feel free to follow along on our meandering journey!