In looking at my backstory and chronicling my positive and negative turns, a theme should emerge. I laughed as I looked at mine. The first phrase that came to mind was “risk and failure.” For instance, we wanted to build a home. We didn’t want to build just any home, though. We read design books, looked into eco-friendly materials, researched the most efficient heating systems, and considered all the phases we could do ourselves. Then, we chose building an “alternative” home, one that would be difficult to assess because there are no comparisons in the area. We decided to general contract the house to save money. To summarize, we could have written the book on how to make the building of a home extremely difficult. We did all that…

and lost it.

Some friends and I founded a school based on Charlotte Mason methods …

and it failed.

So I thought maybe the theme of my life is risk and failure.

Or stupidity.

Or rebellion against conventions and natural law continues to teach us.

Further investigation proved that some of our risks proved worthwhile. We risked living on a single-income teacher’s salary for me to stay home. I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had with our daughters. Those first five years are full of trust-building and soothing routines. Another risk we took is for me to continue to stay home after they were all school-aged. Homeschooling has brought innumerable returns. Because of the time we’ve had with them, we’ve had an immense effect in the shaping of who they are. Because of our choices to live on less, we’ve been able to till the ground for our family to grow together.

So maybe the theme of my life is perseverance. Paul and I have tried some risky ideas. Some worked; some flopped. But we keep trying.

Yeah. I kind of like that spin on things. You know, Pursuit of Happyness theme.

Things haven’t been that bad though. In all of our financial struggles, in trying to live a life that is different, that has meaning, that has depth, that is full, in the midst of all that striving and hoping and praying, I crawl into bed at night and Paul spoons me and kisses me on the neck and I’m really, really happy. The striving is part of the happiness. I’m glad that I want something. I’m content to want, seek, and search. But sometimes, when I get all anxious and the desires tear at my gut, I step away from my dreams and remind myself to enjoy the journey. If I were to get all I want, I’d start a new journey.

This life is it. Wanting is the constant. Having is quickly forgotten. Enjoy it. Relish it.

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