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Thursday, January 10, 2008

U-turn

Time for a post, I'd say, maybe even one slightly relating to home education.

I've spent most of this week -- when I'm not off visiting or cashing in gift cards or making returns or just enjoying the heck out of my big comfy bed -- reorganizing my bookshelves. Many books have been culled. Many books have been added. Many books had been pulled and packed in anticipation of our return to Australia. Oh, but it is not quite so easy as that, because plans, they are a-changing.

After a homeschool friend years ago recommended I read Eckhart Tolle, and after placing him on my To Be Read list, and then promptly misplacing the list, another friend actually put his book in my hands last week and today I should be finished with it. One of the lessons reaffirmed from this book is to accept what is; do not fight it, do not worry about it, just accept it.

Therefore, I have come to realize that the situation we find ourselves in, with Jorge now planning to stay and work in Florida indefinitely, and me and the girls planning to return to Australia to continue on with our lives for at least another year, will only be a fight. We are totally resisting the reality of what is: A 60% depreciation of property values in our (FL) area, the estimated two years it may still take for our market to bottom out, the expense of maintaining a third residence (when we have two perfectly fine ones to begin with) in a country with a strong economy and where everything costs more, with a weakening US dollar and a strengthening Australian dollar.

Dealing with hardship we can do, but this is no unforeseen adversity, this is us making our lives more, and unnecessarily, complicated. Keeping the girls in school over there and enjoying the safety and stability of the area was my priority, and though it is certainly worth sacrificing for, and I know military families live with long separations all the time, it will do nothing but make poor Jorge's life more difficult. He's willing and able to accept the challenge, but it's not fair. The girls and I need to accept what is.

We have our five year visas, we can ride this out. Jorge, fortunately, has more work available to him than he can handle in an economy that has most other builders singing the blues. We still have our idyllic little island house as well as a land base, that until this trip was always referred to as The Green House (or, The Duck Poop Green House, if you are Elle) and functioned purely as a sleep-in warehouse for the stuff that didn't fit out on the island, but is now simply called Home.

This will be another learning experience for the girls, dealing with sometimes unpleasant reality and realizing it's not "all about me." We are considering Sarabelle's options, possible early admission to the local community college or homeschool with participation in the high school's sports and music extracurriculars or getting her tested "gifted" to attend the gifted school (with Grice, in that case.) Grice, assuming Sarabelle has no interest in attending the gifted school, and Elle will resume homeschooling.

To buffer the disappointment and fill in the time until the new terms begin, we are seriously considering a Grand Tour intermezzo. Friends, beloved and sorely missed homeschool buddies, are already potentially easing the adjustment (still as yet unknown to Sarabelle and Grice) by taking the girls on nature hikes, farm tours, and craft classes, and tonight, weather permitting, a visit to the observatory for stargazing. One has even given Sarabelle the book to study for her driving learner's permit.

In case Bee's mom reads this before I have a chance to speak to her on the phone, let me just say:

Don't worry, Em, we are returning with your daughter!


But the plan at this point looks like we will be back only as long as it takes to wrap up loose ends, sell vehicles, ship books and clothes, say farewell to friends, and fly me, the girls, and Lulu back to Florida.

So, blame it on the comfort of the sanctum sanctorum that is my bedroom and library, or Tolle, or the economy. Or don't. Just accept it. And don't worry about finding room to pack all those extra books.

3 comments:

Bayberry Roost said...

I accept this just fine and so would Kelly, because we'd LOVE it if you move back here.

See you at the observatory tonight.

Bayberry Roost said...

For culling books, I use Paperbackswap.com.

If you decide to use it, my ID on there is Bayberry and I get one free book if you join and say I sent you. It's free and you'll get to choose instant free books as soon as you list your books.

Becky said...

You sure keep us all on our toes lol.

If I have any sort of religion, it's the belief that everything works out for the best :).

Yeah, people live with long separations, but they live more happily together without them. And the Grand Tour sounds Grand. If the girls don't want to go, I do!