Living Lots of Lives | September 2021

It's not easy to find time to write down my thoughts. But that's not the only barrier to entry. Most of my experiences and thoughts as a teacher can't be shared publicly. Sharing political opinions online isn't usually productive. Big kids don't do as many photogenic things as little kids. And it takes quite a bit of mental energy to figure out what I can and want to share here. 

Aaaah. Disclaimers. 

But you readers know that it's worth it, right? Once I get down into the cellar of my soul, it's usually therapeutic. And it's nice to have some kind of record of life lived. 

So. September. 
We returned from our cross-country road trip, and I jumped on my bike almost immediately to make up for lost time. I only had three weeks of summer left before teacher things started. We met up with some friends and did a quick overnight in Spokane and a day at Silverwood. 
It was a smokey few weeks because of forest fires everywhere. Summer actually felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. Maybe next time, skip the 24 day road trip? But then we wouldn't really have made any special memories. 

That's the recap...

We just finished our third week of school and the rubber has met the road. What can I report? A very full classroom [largest group for me yet]. Still wearing masks [still very annoying]. I'm trying to keep my job in its place and not let it take over my entire life, but that's still really hard. #worklifebalance 
Tim and I celebrated our 15th anniversary this August. Time is weird. We had kids right away, so I don't really feel like we've had a chance to be "fun" married. It's just been real. Sometimes real hard. We've had two trips together without kids [Portugal + Victoria]. #thankfulforthat

Fifteen years. How is that even possible? Sometimes we talk about what life might be like with kids in college, but it's hard to imagine. We're just plugging away at this point. We're tired, but we're making it. 
The fall weather is getting really lovely. We've been disc golfing and also enjoyed a hike with a glorious view last weekend. Tubing down the river has been really nice too! 

And now, time for Deep Thoughts Found in Laura's Brain. 
You can probably guess that my shower was longer than usual to come up with all of this...

I feel like I've lived many many separate lives. The life I lived in Kamloops, going to Brownies and dressing up for Halloween and starting swimming lessons and earning money on a paper route feels like a completely different life from the life I lived in Lacombe, with best friends living on either side of our house, playing violin in the orchestra, playing softball in the park and skating on frozen streets. 

I feel like I lived at least eight different lives even before high school. 

Then, I went away to boarding academy my senior year and lived yet another brand new life that year. 

I had three college lives. One life in Portland, dating Tim. One life in College Place as a young mom. And now I'm in this life where I manage the education of more than 20 little minds, all while trying to keep my own kids fed and loved and keep the house from falling apart. This life is crazy. 

But here's where the unknowns haunt me: Would this current crazy life be any better if I hadn't lived so many different lives before? What if I still lived in the same town with other extended family members to love and support me? What if people at church actually knew me and knew my ancestors too? I remember going to campmeeting in Hope and people would say, "Oh, you're Darol's granddaughter!" That felt really good, to have my identity connected to his like that. People loved and respected my grandpa and saw me through that lens. 

My grandma Phyllis turns 90 today and I admit that has made me feel really retrospective. It feels like the last twenty years of my life are one big blurry streak across the timeline of my many lives. Not as much moving, (thankfully!), but still a blur. 

After making a list of lives (including an exciting 10 months in the Philippines -- another life!), I calculate that I'm probably on my twelfth life now. Might as well live a few more, since I'm already this far along!! How about a life in Europe? A life in a tiny house with my bicycle and paddle-board? 

We've been studying indigenous cultures in history, which has also informed my reflections. Some of these cultures lived in the same village with aunts/uncles/cousins/friends for their whole lives. I imagine the strength of connectivity and support would really affect feelings of well-being and general mental health. How far we have drifted from this type of living! It just makes a person think... 

Okay, time to get out of the shower and back to less ruminative thinking. There's a lot of laundry and lesson planning to do! 

These last three photos might need explanation. It is not every day that Ez has a Klondike Bar in each hand!! #specialtreats He spent some of his money on new LEGO trains and train tracks, but then only played with them for a couple days. #sad And we have only been mountain biking once, maybe twice this summer. #alsosad 

How to wrap up? 

Happy birthday, dear Grandma!!! I'll try to post here more often!

Cheers to LIFE #12 and to all my family and friends who I was able to spend more time with in previous lives. Prayers that I will be able to launch my dear boys well over the next 6-10 years and keep my marriage strong so Tim and I can enjoy life #13 together. 

Love you all. <3