The year is now 2012. The end of the world, according to some doomsayers. I find this amusing. There are some who will perpetually look for signs that the world is ending, and I always feel like they seem to be missing the point. To spend time wondering when the world will end seems to be a poor use of our time. It's like waiting for the doctor to tell you you have an incurable disease and twelve months to live. Isn't it more important that we spend each moment as if it is our last?
Now please understand, I'm not saying we should ditch all of our responsibilities and focus only on pleasure. That too would be a poor use of time, and rather selfish and self-destructive. What I'm talking about is using the time we have on this Earth to make a difference with your life, rather than sit around thinking about it. On January 6th I will celebrate seventeen years of my own second chance. Had I lost my life that day, only Marina would be alive. Most likely she would have followed a more traditional educational model, since I would not have decided on homeschooling for two more years. I don't say these things to be morbid, merely to supply the facts.
My brush with death was a gift. It helped me see things differently. I was not as focused on the material as I once was. I believed in my choices more firmly, especially things like attachment parenting and extended breastfeeding. Believe me, these were not easy choices for me. Neither was homeschooling. I feel I am at heart a free spirit. I really don't like to feel tied down or depended on, but I would eventually have three young children who would each spend three years at my breast and almost as long in my bed. I would be tied by the regulations of my state as I sought to homeschool. I would hold my tongue except among other homeschoolers who understood my angst and anxiety. Outside of those circles I faced the confusion of well-meaning family and acquaintances who thought I should simply send my kids to school if it was so hard.
Choices are freedom, but they are not guarantees of an easy road. Life is hard, whether you choose the life you lead or allow your road to be chosen for you. I've chosen my paths. Whether it was homeschooling, unschooling, or, more recently, deciding to self-publish, I know I am walking a path of my own making. Sometimes I'm even trailblazing, cutting through brambles and climbing cliffs to reach my goals. But at the end of the day--the end of the world--I can look back over what I've created and know I chose the right road.