The more I’ve focused on the things I want to do and that make me happy, the more I see how much waste there is all around us. As we’ve been slowly changing the world around us we’ve been getting rid of things that bring us down and stress us out.
As parents this means things like only doing good work that we enjoy. Getting people in to help with the things we don’t enjoy so much (cleaning, admin, accounts). Reducing wasting time – like a long daily commute.
On the other side of this is adding things that we do enjoy. More time with the kids. Chill out time. Exercise. Hobbies & interests.
In our previous life, with a ‘full time business or career’ to live up to, we put up with many things we didn’t really want to do and life was just too busy. ‘One day’ we kept saying to ourselves.
But ‘one day’ really isn’t good enough. Not when life is short. Not when life is full of too many regrets.
Naturally, as we think of this ourselves, we think of this for our kids. Which is one of the big reasons we decided to unschool. Life is just too short for our kids to be spending time on things that they really aren’t into.
These things that they didn’t really enjoy or value are personable to each person, for our kids it was things like:
- anything religious like prayers and going to church (we’re not religious)
- school plays
- reading books and doing projects on things they weren’t interested in
- wanting to read during quiet reading time, but being unable to do so due to distractions
- having to be around people/kids they didn’t really like (not all of them, of course, but it only takes one or two people on a daily basis to make life miserable).
- the time getting ready and coming home from school
- sitting through lessons and not really learning anything
- play time that wasn’t much fun and often full of unpleasant experiences
I could go on. And this is just an example, our example. Things my boys didn’t enjoy and just put up with because, well, that’s just the way things were.
For me, all I could think of was that life was too short for them to have to live through that. I knew they could learn and do great things without the things that bring them down. I knew they would be happier if they could focus on things they enjoy.
I knew this, because I had been through the same process as an adult.
If I cut the things out of my life that bring me down, then my kids deserve the same.