When Amazing Things Aren’t Happening

I haven’t felt my usual self this week. Perhaps it’s got something to do with my son Thomas’ recent birthday and death-day. These days consume a lot of energy. There isn’t much left over for other things.

So for the past week or so, I haven’t felt excited about learning. I haven’t jumped out of bed each morning eager to do something amazing. I haven’t worked on my many projects-on-the-go, or helped my girls with theirs. I’ve been drifting through each day doing not much at all.

So how has this affected our unschooling?

I’ve written and spoken a lot about how I have to be very involved with unschooling. I can’t just say to my daughters, “Go off and learn something.” Unschooling doesn’t work that way. I have to ignite my children’s passion for learning by showing them I enjoy learning too. I get involved with my girls’ interests and share my own with them. I’m always on the look-out for resources for all of us to use.  I also need to find time to record each fabulous learning experience in my homeschool records’ book. Unschooling requires lots of energy.

And this week that necessary energy is lacking. Is that okay?

Although I want to be constantly available and involved with my children, I know they’re not going to suffer if they have to do without me now and then. They’re independent learners. They won’t stop learning just because I don’t feel up to doing particular things with them at the moment. They’ve been playing the piano, taking photos and editing them, discussing and writing novels and blog posts, cooking, reading, and doing various other things.

And while they’ve been working productively, I’ve been wasting time. Or so it can seem.

But in the quiet moments of my days, my mind has been very busy. My head is full of new ideas. I’ve been mulling them over, refining them, expanding them, wondering if I can do anything with them. Would you like to hear about a couple of those ideas?

  • Thoughts of Thomas led to thoughts of a new podcast. Each week, I could retell one of the grief stories I’ve already published on my other blogs. I haven’t done any grief writing for a while so I’d enjoy returning to this aspect of my life. I’d like to share Thomas again.
  • The second thing I want to do is blog about my children’s novels. So many times, blogging gets in the way of my creative writing. Why not share some of that writing on a blog? When I have enough blog posts, I can gather them together and publish the stories as a book. Well, that’s the idea.

I shared the first idea with my Facebook friends and they were very encouraging. I am definitely going to go ahead and create a grief podcast. When? Each day, I tell myself, “Get on with it, Sue! Go to Podbean and create a new account.” But I haven’t done anything yet. Maybe I’m not quite ready. I think I need some more quiet time before I jump into a new project. (I need a name for the podcast too. Any ideas?) But I’ll get there.

Life seem to have its rhythms, its ups and downs, its exciting hectic times and its low-key quiet times. I’m in a quiet time at the moment, feeling just a little bit low. But that’s okay because little bubbles of excitement are starting to develop. Soon, I won’t be able to help myself: I’ll want to jump back into action.

Next week, I could be shouting, “Hey girls! Look what I found! Do you want to watch this video with me?” We might sit side-by-side on the sofa and enjoy every minute of a Youtube documentary or perhaps a Shakespeare play. Afterwards, we will enthusiastically discuss what we watched from every angle. Gemma-Rose could say, “Remember that other version of this play? Can we watch that too?” Or Sophie might remember the sonnets I seemed so excited about the other week.

I will create that new Podbean account for my grief podcast. Soon I’ll say, “I’m off to record a story. Please don’t make a noise outside my bedroom door!” Perhaps I’ll redesign my grief blog. I might even pull out my draft copy of my next children’s novel and see what I can do with it.

Once more, life will be racing along in its very exciting way.

I’ve been talking about myself, but what about my children? Can they have quiet times too? Is it okay if my girls aren’t doing amazing things every single minute of every single day? Oh yes! That would be very tiring indeed. And anyway, who knows what thoughts and ideas will occur to our children when they slow down? 
What do you think? Even in seemingly unproductive times, could amazing things be happening after all? 

This is Michael, Thomas’ birthday bear. The photo was taken by my daughter Sophie. If you’d like to see her other Michael Bear photos, please visit her blog, The Techno Maid. I think they are amazing!

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  1. Reply

    Well, you said there are little bubbles of excitement, that is a sure sign that all will soon turn around and great things will burst forth from the mind of Sue once again 🙂

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, I think you're right! Things are about to burst forth from my mind once again. I don't know if they will be great things, but I'll have fun woking on them!

  2. Reply

    Dear Sue, I never wake up exited and I suck when it comes to lighting a "learning fire" under Benedict! Maybe that is why he is floundering?!! Truth is I can only be me warts and all, exhausted, grumpy and in pain. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is OK to be in the valleys. Often the best fertile soil is found here, I think God has something planned for you and being dry is part of the deal.

    With love

    San xxx

    1. Reply

      It must be difficult for you to exude excitement when you are in so much pain. It's very easy for me to jump out of bed with enthusiasm, but not so easy for you. I do wonder though if you get excited about such things as your sewing. Benedict will see you immersed in your interests, creating wonderful things and enjoying yourself. I remember how he wanted to help you with your online shop. Do you get a chance to work together and share this experience?

      Being dry… Your words remind me of going into the desert of Lent. Yes, these times can be very productive despite their appearance. And who knows where God is lending us? You are so right. Lots to think about. Thank you! Love to you too! xx

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