Homeschool mama self-care begins with self-evaluation and a solid sense of purpose.
It’s been four years since our family trekked to West Africa. But I keep notes on significant moments and things I’ve learned.
As we drove twelve hours from the dusty town in northeast Ghana toward the capital city of Accra, I jotted my notes in my orange iPod.
Enjoy each comfort.
Comfort seems to be the backdrop to our North American culture. Certainly something we strive for. Definitely something we have constantly draped in front of our faces. Not so in the developing world. The basics are the luxuries…like clean tap water, flushing toilets, food (organic, gluten and dairy free are outrageous concepts). Though we know comfort isn’t our only goal in life, we can be thankful that our every day is filled with them.
Your daily existence is yours to create.
In the developing world, there is the threat of disability, disease, or poverty disabling the ability to provide for one’s family. Economic or educational opportunities radically shift one’s lot in life. In North America, potential is available to most people in some form. In the developing world, this keeps many locked into focussing on the basics of life. We don’t live in a culture with that magnitude of disease, poverty, lack of education or economic impossibility. So paint each day’s pallet into something meaningful.
Purpose is created by you; purpose is not created by other people’s approval of you.
You can take up stone masonry, accounting, musical pursuits or physiology teaching–no matter what the activity, you were meant to do something. Certain people may not understand your interest or your activity. But you were meant to eek out a purpose in this life, to create.
Don’t take your kids’ education too seriously.
They’ll figure out what they need. They see us actively learning and creating, so they’ll follow suit. Since I watch and listen and pay attention to their interests, I am always encouraging them in developing themselves. I cannot script their young lives or their older lives (though I’ve tried;) They have me as a guide, not as a conductor.
Don’t be greedy, eat what you need.
Frankly, to match what I saw in Ghana, or Kenya two years earlier, seems like a dietary impossibility. The general body fat is far too low. Mine, not so much. The dietary options are endless in North America. Though I don’t live in a typical city where fast food options abound (somehow our town has kept even Tim Hortons and MacDonald’s away), I still have endless options to purchase or create and over-consume, even if it is a nightly snack of rice crackers, avocado and hot pepper flakes.
Too many activities does not make life more meaningful.
Never was this more of a reminder to me than when life slowed dramatically in Ghana. We avoided nighttime outdoor activities due to malaria potential (I still contracted malaria). We avoided daytime outdoor activities because the humidity and heat were suffocating. (Though we did play games with orphaned children and sit with dad on pediatric rounds.) Our conversations with western families and locals was meaningful. Many activities does not make a meaningful life.
Share yourself with those in your world.
Sharing this life with those who are in and around my community, from my authentic heart, is the most profound and meaningful thing I can do.
So, live life on purpose.
Get at it. Be intentional about your work and your play. Be intentional in your community of relationships. Live on purpose.
Homeschool mama self-care starts with living on purpose.
And living on purpose begins with the thoughts we think.