Today I figured out how to mulch leaves with my reel mower. I had spent a lot of time researching this online, and the result was that no one thinks you can mulch with a reel mower. I like being "green" when it comes to my yard, so I tried finding an alternative method that wouldn't require gas or electric, but there is none. OK, there is one, but the bike pedal mulcher I found on YouTube was a one of a kind invention. I decided I would just pile up the leaves and see if I could get my mower to do anything, and it did. It isn't a perfect system, but as long as I keep raking the leaves into a pile and slowly work the mower through, I can shred all but the biggest oak leaves and get a good workout in the process. It works for me.
As I mowed my leaves, I thought about other areas in my life where I have been told I can't do something, or that I'm not doing it the "right" way. I lost my inspiration to write because of helpful critiques of my writing. I've started to write again, but I spend a good portion of my time trying to turn off my inner editor, who desperately wants to catch those passive sentences that seem to be the bane of my critics. My inner editor just wants to be accepted by her peers, but the writer in me can't write if she's interrupted every five seconds to fix punctuation and dangling participles.
I also think about homeschooling and my progress toward unschooling. Again, the naysayers were always there. They questioned my ability to teach my own, how my children would socialize, and how would I teach with a toddler running around. As I proved myself new questions and helpful advice surfaced: "How will you teach two with a baby?" "What will you do about subjects you don't understand?" "What about labs?" "Unschooling? How will they learn everything they need to know?" "What about college?" And the ever helpful: "Well, you can always put them in school if it gets too hard." It's interesting how no one ever tells parents of traditionally schooled children, "Well, you can always take them out and homeschool them if it gets too hard."
If I accepted the ideas that it can't be done, it's too difficult, or it is simply beyond your abilities, I would not home educate. I would not write. I would not mulch my leaves with a reel mower. I choose not to do things the easy way. How can I find out what I am capable of if I do things like everyone else?