"Free" Time

To a genuinely well meaning friend/acquaintence/family member:  An advance apology.

It's not your fault that you happened to be the unlucky person to ask me what I am doing with all my free time on the day I snapped.  Here's an outline of how it's been spent, in case anyone has been (justifiably) afraid to ask.

From the day I sent the kids to school in early September until 2 weeks ago, I was picking apples.  Out of the 12 working days since I finished that job, I have had sick children home for 10.  Judging by the hacking, sore throats and crying, tomorrow is not promising. 

Oddly enough, having the kids in school has not eliminated the need to cook, do dishes, shop, clean the house, pay bills or do yard work (to be fair I rarely get to the cleaning or yard work and Jeremy does a bunch of the food stuff).  I teach an  exercise class and coach gymnastics twice a week as well as fit in small social work contracts.  The return to school has added germs, packing lunches, rushed mornings, pick ups, drop offs, special events, exhausted kids, and paperwork.  Of course there are lots of good parts to it too, but I'm in black hat mode today.

The unspoken-for time I have had has been glorious.  I feel naughty going for mid-morning coffee and am revelling in the occasional daytime pottery sessions, but it's somehow not living up to that holy grail of "all the spare time I'll have when I'm not facilitating home learning".  Yet.  I'm not really unhappy with our choice and am not pulling the plug.  I'm just grouchy, adjusting, and still busy.  I think it's called "life".  First world problems. 

Update: It's morning, the sun came out for a while and I've learned (again) that blogging when I'm tired is a bad idea.  Putting on the yellow hat.   Life is good, even if there are crazy moments.  For all the families I've irritated that somehow make things work when both parents have full time jobs, I  am in awe of what you manage to do. 


Off we go!

photo credit to Jeremy

The first day of brick and mortar school warrants a post, right?  I've had a lot of days in the last half year where small things feel like great irritants, even though I know they aren't major.  Today was the opposite.  In theory we all should have been up to our armpits in stress with starting new schools after not attending at all for 4 years, but the kids had their games faces on and great attitudes, despite cases of the nerves and not knowing what to expect.  So proud of their attitudes.

Ivy went straight into middle school (I guess I'm older than I like to think).  Within seconds of arriving she was noticed, greeted and hugged by a friend and classmate from grade 1.  I got the thumbs up from a discreet distance and headed off to the elementary school to drop off Ella.  I hung out with her a bit while things were getting organized and was so thankful for every wave and smile she got from kids (and adults) she was acquainted with, it made all the difference.  I left her in great hands as she was going on a custom tour for new kids, the school did a great job of making her comfortable. 

Then after that dropping kids off for the first time thing there was the part about the courtesy car not starting and waiting for a tow truck, but I didn't get wound up like I would have expected on a day like this.  The experiences were so much better than what I was dreading that I was borderline euphoric.  There were only a few times I was close to tears, and they mostly involved feeling extremely thankful.  Everyone I met was encouraging and understanding and the kids reported the same.

I know it's a honeymoon phase and it won't be all roses, but we're off to a better start than I had imagined.  I'll take it.  We'll deal with the less awesome stuff when it comes up but not worry about it before it happens.

PS - Ezra only starts tomorrow, that might be a whole other scene!


get over it

Right, actual learning doesn't come easily, and being a good teacher is hard.  I was stressed most of yesterday and had a crappy night worrying about teaching a class this morning.  Then I got mad at myself for being ridiculous about it, which also kept me up.  It's not rocket science, it's a one hour fitness class for crying out loud, but there were some new elements I am not used to teaching and well, new people.  And an evaluator doing the class with us.  It was okay, but not fantastic and sure as hell not perfect.

I got great feedback about areas to focus on and ways to do it, so why does it feel crummy? That's kind of the point of being supervised - to work at things and improve. I can give my kids an amazing lecture on the topic but can't seem to cut myself any slack. Do ya think they'll pick up on the words or actions, hmm?

Standard theme for me - I have a very developed fear of failure and incredibly high expectations of myself.  I read about it and practised it, so why can't I do it perfectly the first time out?  I can talk myself out of it but am so frustrated that I have to.  I know it was okay, and I'm not looking for a chorus of "I'm sure you did great", I'm just wondering if this is something I'm going to learn to deal with efficiently in this lifetime or not.  You'd think I'd have had time to work it out by now.

Side note: If/when I find myself in the role of evaluator, I love giving people a chance to share their own feedback on how things went first. They usually know what their challenges and strengths are and it's liberating for them to be the one to bring them up first. It provides a great opening for discussion on where to take things next without the fear of judgement. My two cents.


I can't do it all (and stay sane).

Really.  This may have been obvious to the outside world for some time, but I'm really just finally acknowledging it.  I've been feeling a bit hollow for a few months can only hope I've been more functional that I feel.  Some of the stress is non-negotiable but in other ways I've just started to offload whatever I can.  Back to basics, priority setting and all that jazz.  Time, money and energy somehow had/has to get split between home schooling, social work, fitness, family, friendships, pottery, house/yard maintenance and maybe even leisure time.  Neat concept.  I'm hoping to find a new balance again over the next few weeks that is more sustainable.  If all goes well, I might even blog again!



This is a draft post I made a few weeks ago for the Tyson Method member site, but it never did get posted there.  For all of the lovely ladies I met there, this is the thank you you deserve.  A special shout out to all the trainers I've had the pleasure of getting to know - rock those Bruce Lee's! 
Change is often hard.  Everyone I’ve been in contact with on this site has felt that, and pushed themselves further than they thought they could.  It has motivated me to look closely at my life goals and dreams.  I still don’t know how they’re all going to fit into one lifetime!  Through this process, I’ve come to a tough decision to move on from the Tyson Method in order to free up more time and energy to pursue some of those ideas. 

I want to thank all of you for giving what you to do this amazing program.  I have been inspired, loved, encouraged and supported.  You are in fantastic hands with the unbelievably generous, energetic and fearless Tami, Charles, and the other amazing trainers you’ve come to know and love!



It's amazing how I can love a glaze/glaze combination on a piece, but then appreciate it in a whole new way when it's out of context.  Jeremy's got such a great eye for the abstract.  I hope he posts some of these on flickr eventually, but for now here are a few of my favourites.

Photo Stash

I got out some of my pottery that's stashed away in the cupboard(s) and Jeremy was kind enough to take nice photos of it for me.  It's kind of sad how I limp along with my point and shoot snaps when there's a real photographer and camera in the house.  It does take time though, and it's so hard to get the shots with all that gloss & glare.  Thank you for taking the time!