I just got a phone call from my sister that absolutely blew my mind! In the course of the conversation, she told me I'm everything she's not. Which is probably true---why else would I admire the socks off what she has done?!! She is in the process of publishing her first book on the principles of Emotional Health, offers classes on the same topic (and people actually pay to come), mothers 10 children, adopted four, lost one just before his first birthday, taught at a private school her children attended in exchange for their tuition, survived her husband's time in Iraq (with 10 kids at home), and is a certified cranial sacral therapist. She also just finished speaking at a national Thomas Jefferson Education symposium in Salt Lake City on how parents can teach children the principles of good mental health. Did I mention she homeschools? All but that one year in the private school anyway.
On the other hand, I struggle to make sure we actually do something productive each day, keep my kids entertained, occupied and *educated*, and somewhat quieter than is their natural inclination. I struggle with mood swings that coincide with monthly cycles, and the daily question of "What in the world are we having for dinner?" Oh yeah, and the "Yippee! I finally found some curriculum that works for all of us!" I guess that is what has swung me hard into studies of mental health, and especially how to keep me on an even keel so our family and educational process also stay on an even keel. So maybe she's right.
But onto what she is right about. Or wrong. I don't know, but I'm excited about the possibilities. It could be what I've been searching for to keep me stretching. (As if my 5-year-old Primary class at church isn't enough---there's enough fodder for emotional health for children just with one of the children!)
The reason she called though was to suggest the possibility of a partnership between her, a friend of hers, and I in sponsoring a symposium about mental health in families. And how to use the principles of mental health purposely in our families. It's something I have been working on within our own family with varying results, depending on the day, for the last three years. The other two have a serious leg up on me because they both teach classes that are quite popular within their own areas. The friend is someone I am acquainted with that helped get me started in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). The other challenge is that I live half a country away, and here in the U.S., that's a lot of land!
The funny twist to the conversation came at the end. One of her points is that I'm more detail oriented on the business side of the house. At which I retorted, "So why is it that you were the one that always dragged all my junk out from under my bed when it was your turn to vacuum our room? I never did that to you." It really made me mad at the time! She calmly replied, "I did it to get back at you because I was always the one making the messes. Your stuff always was in order." I laughed at that because she was right. Her side of the room was always messier! If a bed wasn't made, it was hers. Something has happened in the intervening years unfortunately. Maybe neatness was my way to get back at her because she was the one who always practiced the piano, always did her homework, was such the good writer, etc.
Anyway, I'm excited about the possibilities. We'll see what happens! First my husband is beginning to branch into professional photography, and now I'm interested in this possibility. If you're interested in seeing (and especially commenting on) what I'm creating, check out the sidebar for Principles for Creating Happy Children or some such title. Remember, this is a journey, and I'm not an expert!