Thursday, September 1, 2011

Too long at the starting line

I like to run in races. I am not fast and I'm certainly not competitive. But running and triathlons give me a goal to work toward and a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I'm done.

Every single time I line up at the starting line of a race, I get nervous. In fact, the nervousness typically erupts to the surface around the time I wake up on race day. I have a hard time eating any breakfast. Those butterflies seem to flutter around endlessly. I suppose it is a mix of nervousness and excitement, but I feel it every time. And every time, I wonder (to some degree or another) why do I do this to myself? I've even found myself wishing I wasn't there (particularly at the start of a triathon - I hate open water swimming).

And then the air horn blows, the crowd in front of me starts moving, and I'm off. I start to remember why I'm there, why I do it. The exhiliration, the crowd around me, the sense of achievement. And when I cross the finish line - there it is. The reason I put myself through the nervousness of the morning is to cross that finish line and say, "I did this." That's the part I love.

Homeschooling is my latest race and I feel like I've been standing at the starting line for a week. I know we're going to do it. I have a space set up in our playroom. I have some supplies. I have books and materials being shipped as I type this (and hopefully some arriving tomorrow). But we aren't officially starting 'school' until next week and I'm left with this hovering anxiety and excitement that reminds me a lot of a race morning. I know I will feel better once the horn is blown, the timer is set in motion and I cross that chip mat. Once we get down to business, start working on some of the lessons and activities, I will feel like it has begun and I know much of my anxiety will melt away in the doing.

Until then, I'm left to cope with the anxiety, the what ifs, the how-are-we-going-tos.

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