Friday, August 26, 2011


1: drained of strength and energy : fatigued often to the point of exhaustion

I'm tired.  Exhausted.  Completely lacking energy.  The good news?  I felt this way this time last year, too. 

Why is that good news?  Because this year, I know it will pass. 

Last year, I feared that homeschooling would suck every ounce of energy and leave me totally depleted.  This year, I know that this tiredness, this fatigue will pass.  It's partly a function of adjusting our sleep patterns, our eating patterns and even our daily expectations.  Some things are easier during the school year and its scheduled days:  laundry gets done more regularly and with greater ease, grocery shopping slips into its slot on the schedule, dishes slide into the emptied dishwasher instead of being piled in the sink as we head out the door for the lake or the pool.  Other things are harder to release: slow mornings, lazy afternoons, time to just relax and be together with no agenda whatsoever.

I will adjust.  We all will.  As Julian of Norwich reminded us, "All shall be well and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."

As if to prove Julian's words, as I settled down to write this post, I realized that despite my Friday fatigue, this has been a lovely week.  Three successes:

1) For literature this year, we are doing genre studies.  I've selected three books that I think typify several genres of literature.  A and B will each choose one book from the three classics to read.  After reading a classic, they'll read a contemporary book from the same genre and see if they can spot similarities, references, homages.  We're starting with the mystery genre.  A and B both selected an Agatha Christie book.  A finished it in two days.  And promptly asked to please read another book by Mrs. Christie.  As she said today in the car, "I just never would have thought I'd find a writer I really liked by reading a book for school."  Score one for me.

2) B is doing a composer study on Johann Sebastian Bach.  (She chose him, in part, so that she can learn to play Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.)  I requested several books from the library for her to read about Bach's life.  This evening, K sat on the sofa reading about John Sebastian, as she calls him.  She then asked me to read her another of the library books about Bach at bedtime.  It makes my heart happy to have any of my daughters read books that are hanging out on the library bookshelf - especially when "school books" become "pleasure books."  That's a line I want blurry and easily crossed.

3) B taught her first art lesson today.  Twin kindergarten friends AW and CW came over.  B shared a poster book and showed the girls a self-portrait poster with words that describe art incorporated into the portrait.  We each drew a (somewhat abstract) self portrait, then came up with a list of words to describe ourselves.  Not surprisingly, B's portrait was the best one.  She's a natural artist and a natural teacher.  I love seeing her use her gifts.

The Fred Babb Inspiration

B's Self-Portrait

My Self-Portrait

I'm still tired after recalling these successes, but recounting them helps me recast my weariness.  Instead of the tiredness that accompanies an illness and leaves you depleted, perhaps the way I feel now is more the post-workout kind.  Yes, you're tired, but because you've given it your all.  And while I don't have the post-workout rush yet, it will come.  There will other small successes to lay alongside these, as stones of memory to remind me that the journey is worth it.  All will be well, even when I am tired.


EJN said...

OH, how I needed to read this post. What an encouragement! Thanks a billion. Keep up the great work, it is indeed among the most precious work of the Kingdom.

Misha Leigh. said...

I have said the last two years that my back-to-school exhaustion when we start back up with homeschooling rivals even the bone-weary newborn exhaustion I went through with babies! It's so, so, so tiring. Hang in there... I love your perspective and will be reminding myself of it in a couple weeks over here!


WordGirl said...

Thanks for your comments. As I wrote this post, in the back of my mind I hoped I wasn't whining about my life. It helps me know I fully expressed what's hard (the tiredness) alongside the good (the successes) if it was encouraging.

Misha - I completely agree about being as tired as with a newborn. On Friday (the first Friday of our first full week), I was exhausted all day long. I couldn't concentrate, longed for a nap and felt like I was sleepwalking through my day. Here's hoping it gets a bit easier from here on out...