When you’re close to something, you often don’t see how extreme or different it is. You have limited perspective. It becomes normal, though if viewed from the outside you might be rather shocked.
I feel that way about our life.
Last week I was sitting in a meeting with a client and we got around to the topic of children and birth. As I shared my perspective and how we live, I saw my client’s eyes widen.
We’re whole food plant based. I’m an advocate of natural home childbirth with midwives. We unschool our kids. I’m self-employed. My husband’s a stay-at-home dad. (Heck, I didn’t even get to the part about throwing away our shampoos and using baking soda+apple cider vinegar.)
I mean, we still use plumbing and don’t have dirt floors. We do share 1 car. Okay, so we’re a bit weird.
“We’re not total hippies.”
“Oh no. You are hippies,” my client said.
I really don’t consider us under that label. Or any label.
We’re just doing what makes sense. And it was a slow evolution to where we are now, one change at a time.
Labels. So, I’d say we’re trying to live healthy and smart, doing what makes the most sense for us.
We started unschooling because we wanted our children to have childhoods free of unnecessary and damaging stress. We want them to learn at their own pace (which is utterly fascinating and encouraging to see) and do so naturally, not with forced expectations that are completely arbitrary or test-based.
We wanted to dictate our own schedule, particularly since my weekends are usually filled with work and we’d rarely have family time otherwise.
Basically, we continue to choose freedom.
Freedom from poor health, freedom from certain social constructs, freedom to enjoy life at our own pace.
On most sunny work days I take a 15-20 minute break to sunbath. Can’t do that in an office. That mental and physical break, making some vitamin D, helps me to refocus on my tasks. It’s a luxury I slowly began to allow myself two summers ago and one that, to me, illustrates the difference between confinement and freedom.
“You’re playing hooky. Get back in the office and work, work, work, you irresponsible sloth!” my mental message used to say.
Now, I hear the gentle tone of self-care, “You’ve worked hard and looked forward to this break. Enjoy it. Soak it in!”
We choose our messages, we choose our freedom.
And we choose this beautiful, colorful life.