Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The State of the (Mai) Union

Today it has been two weeks since our journey began. About now, on our normal trips from home, I'd be thinking of arriving back to our house, our regular routines, our mountains of "vacation laundry". But today, that end is nowhere close to my line of vision; if anything, we have only just begun.

And, on the whole, I think we are fairing pretty well.

Sleep deprivation set in around day 2, and we have yet to remedy the problem; the concept of a "bed time" must have gotten packed away in the box of curtains and dust ruffles now sitting in our storage unit back in Pennsylvania. Oddly enough, the meltdowns have been kept to a minimum (myself included).

Currently for homeschooling, this Civil War Unit fills most of our study time. During history yesterday, Cade decided that if he lived during the Civil War times, he would move to Alaska till all the fighting was done. Then, infused with a surge of courage, he changed his mind, choosing to be a soldier in the army, but only after he had invented the telephone so that he could talk to his wife while on the battlefield. Our school time consists of these types of conversations on a regular basis; sometimes I think I let my kids talk too much.

On the domestic front, the process of keeping us in clean clothes still eludes me. You'd think that without an entire house to maintain and daily chores to do, I'd get the washing done. The problem is, when you're at home everyday, sometimes the only excitement you have in your forseeable future is restoring your toilet bowl to it's original splendor or vacuuming your living room floor in geometrical patterns. On the road, sharing a dish of white chocolate bread pudding in a chic little restaurant in downtown Charlotte is time far better spent than squatting next to a pile of dirties, sorting darks and lights. Ultimately, it puts my priorities back in order, but we all do look a bit unkempt. (Truth be told, I've been wearing the same sweater for the past 36 hours, through the night and all. I assure you that this is very unlike me...)

On a more serious note, I do find myself feeling rather unsettled, a little anxious much of the time. Perhaps I've jumped the gun a bit, but already my mind is thinking, "What will we do when the trip is done? Where will we live? How different will the second half of this year look compared to the first?". And the problem with this thought pattern is that I'm missing the "now" when I spend my mental energy trying to predict the future.

Hence, here goes the pep talk; feel free to listen in:

"Maile, you get to take this trip, the very trip that you are currently smack in the middle of and have dreamed of for the past twelve years, once. Don't wish it away looking to the future. Don't ask for answers that you don't need right now. Because there will always be questions, Maile; but this moment passes in a breath.

So breathe deep."


  1. Great pep talk! Here here! Embrace what is right in front of you and the rest will come about in due time. I am a bit of a planner/worrier, too, so believe me when I say that I feel your struggle on this topic. The sad truth is that we will miss so much of the quality of life if we can't learn to be present in our own lives. I will join you in breathing and appreciating the moment and TODAY before it passes. Take Care and TY for the post.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Maria. I'm already feeling the good benefits of leaving the future to the future(of course I've been practicing it for all of about two days now-ha, ha); perhaps "living in the present" will be one of the side effects of this trip. That's a side effect I can live with:)

  2. By the way, I loved the Civil War rabbit trail Alaska-telephone conversation with Cade. Those conversations with kids are the best!

  3. Another great post. I enjoy your voice. It reminds me of Kristi's writing voice. I'm always trying to get her to write/blog, as she is a superior writer to me. Hopefully someday. I love your attention to quirky detail and honest reflection. Keep letting those kiddos talk. : )

    1. Thanks, J; I always appreciate your comments. And yes, I agree that I do need to keep letting the kids talk; these conversations are truly priceless. As my mom constantly tells me, I need to be writing them down...
      And keep trying to get Kristi to blog; maybe I can join your campaign when we meet up (hopefully) in a couple months. I've honestly found blogging to be so therapeutic, especially in the recent months. Yet I know the time to do it can be hard to come by, especially as a mom with little ones. Still, I'd love to see her on the blogosphere.

  4. loved this post...especially your pep talk at the end! :)