Thursday, June 4, 2015

What I Learned in May


At the end of each month, Emily asks her readers what we've learned. Here's a few of the things I've learned this month:

1. Summer is my favorite season.
I've suspected this for awhile. We had an indescribably amazing Summer last year in Brooklyn and the previous Summer was one of the happiest times in my life as well. I think something about it feels nostalgic and it feels like childhood. I feel like my memories and senses come alive more in the Summer and everything is more vivid. 

2. However, I miss homeschooling so much. It was great to take a break and goodness knows, we really had to. But I miss it for a lot of reasons. It adds structure to our days and I feel much more purposeful. Also, the children are at the age where they still LOVE for us to play with them (and I'm trying so hard to savor it) but really I just can't do that all day. One reason I miss homeschooling is because it forced me to interact more with them in addition to playing like we are rainforest animals. I love the role of a teacher and it comes more naturally than the role of a parrot or a chimpanzee or gazelle, so there's that. 

3. Routine and calm is essential to my emotional health. I knew this already pretty much and I thought I realized the extent of it. I did not. I had such a hard month after we moved back and I knew some of it had to do with being totally off our routine and our house being totally upside down out of order. But I assumed most of it was things I was actually trying to process. It turns out that those big things I was trying to work through were a big part of it, but they weren't the biggest part. I can process them all in a MUCH more healthy way not that things are a bit more settled. 

4. It is totally, 100% okay to buy little boy jams for my little girl. 
She has been so upset because he brother has animal pajamas and she doesn't and she was down to one pair that fit so we got some dino jams. We're flexible with gender roles with stupid stuff like pajamas (which anyone who thinks dinosaurs are just for boys can excuse themselves from life). Plus, financial independence goals mean that I'm going to pick things she can hand down to Graves when I can.

5. Reverse Culture Shock is an interesting phenomenon and something I've been experiencing a bit. It's good to have a name for it. My friend Ellis, who actually lived abroad (in Brazil), told me about it. It's basically this: people who have studied/lived abroad "often go through many changes, re–examining their priorities, their values, and what they think of themselves and the United States". The "reverse culture shock" may be more difficult than the "culture shock" they felt when in the country they moved to. Obviously, I didn't live in another country but I did live in an extremely different culture. And I have re-examined a lot of my priorities and values. I have thought about what I think of myself. And I have thought about what I think about the South. 

6. Along those lines..Our old neighborhood (or the one adjacent that we practically considered ours) "welcomes moms to breastfeed at the bar". I've always wanted to breastfeed while downing a German ale. Just kidding. But I have always wanted to breastfeed in a culture that doesn't shame women for doing it in public. 

What have you learned this month?

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