Sunday, January 1, 2012

If It Were the End, Would You Live it the Same?

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.


Anonymous said...

So right you are! Quiting is not an option for those who want to live enjoying life. The memories of that January 6 are just a reminder of the possibilities -what can happen when you don't quit. "Voila"! You are still here and forever will be. Thank you, Omnipotence! All the joy and wisdom that you have brought to our lives before and after that day's incident are of great value to us all. What's ahead nobody knows, but, judging from the past, I trust that the future in you holds amazing excitement.
Love and Happy Three Kings day to you and your entire legacy, Dad

seekingmyLord said...

If I believed this was the last year on Earth, I would do many things differently--absolutely, I would. I would let my child enjoy days without any lessons, for one, except maybe piano, and spend far more time with people and horses. I know I would waste far less energy worrying over finances! However, the problem is that everyone else would spend their time left differently as well, so the whole world would just go crazy and we would be lucky to just survive until "the end."

The life choices I have made, and will make, are based on three things: 1)the world will continue for me until I die and that could be anytime, the next moment or decades from now; 2)there is more beyond my perception in this existence, a spiritual realm, an afterlife, a heaven; and 3)there is a God, who guides me and will one day judge me.

I can prove none of them, but it is within those beliefs that I frame my life and choose to limit my choices...and I always have had a tendency to take the road less traveled.

I also have this twisted philosophy that I developed from watching my cat play: Anything worth doing should have an added degree of difficulty, so once accomplished, there is greater satisfaction. (It is not necessarily a pathway of itself, but how to walk the path choosen.)

Inner Elder said...

I love you and I am so happy you got that second chance and are here to grace us with your presence, your wisdom and your love. Love always, Mom

Stephanie said...

This is a beautiful post. I had a medical emergency after my oldest was born, though it was nothing compared to what you went through. I had a seizure and my heartbeat and breathing stopped briefly. I sometimes think about that night and all the blessings (and challenges) that have come into my life since then. I like what you said about choices. And thanks for the reminder to step back and focus on the essential and important instead of all the *stuff* in life.

CSPeterson said...

You go Cristina! I'm so glad you got to stay alive. The world will end at some point and there are so many disasters to choose from: tsunamis, solar maximum, candles, Y2K, global warming, astroids. Not a good use of time to focus on them though - unless you are writing a screenplay :-)

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