I adopted a new life philosophy when I decided to homeschool.
Ready! Fire! Aim!
I thought I wanted to homeschool, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. I didn’t know what curriculum to use; I didn’t know if I would like it; I wasn’t sure how to schedule the day; I wondered how the kids would do. I worried about long term effects and short term logistics. I questioned my own patience, time, and skills. I just didn’t KNOW.
As I pondered my decision, I figured I had two options: I could always wonder OR I could try it and see. I also figured I could take a year and do research, ask questions, sample curriculums, interview homeschoolers, study up on teaching methods and plan months of lessons OR I could just pull the trigger. I could do my best and learn as I went along.
I studied what I could in the small amount of time I had, but ultimately I decided to just go for it! I fired! I knew I was competent and capable. I believed I was inspired to consider this option. I reasoned that if I waited until I was ready, I might never actually be ready. I would never be prepared enough for a decision such as this. Plus from past experiences in all phases of life, I knew I could wait and plan and learn and research, but it never goes how you think anyway. Theory often looks different in real-life practice.
I mean think about parenting.
You can wait to have kids until you think you are ready, until you have enough money, a house or the perfect job. You can read and gather and study and save all you want. But one day the baby comes and you have him for the first night alone and he won’t sleep and you are exhausted; or she gets thrush and you get thrush and nursing is torture; or he has colic and cries and cries; and you realize no amount of aiming could prepare you for real parenting life. Some things are meant to be learned in the act — in the experience — in the moment — not before. Sometimes you are meant to fire before you can aim accurately.
My Ready! Fire! Aim! philosophy applies to many areas of life –like getting marriage, going to college, changing jobs, starting a business, trying a new hobby, going on a diet, sharing your testimony, etc. Any dream really. You don’t have to know exactly what you are doing when you start. Just shoot and you will learn the lessons you need to learn as you go.
Now I am not saying be irresponsible. I am not saying have babies that you can’t handle and quit your job to travel the world. I am not advocating a reckless, throw caution to the wind, crazy, do whatever lifestyle. You should be an emotionally stable, responsible citizen and put some thought and prayer into your decisions.
But I would bet that most of us are too cautious, too planned, too deliberate. We may lack faith or courage to take a step into the unknown. We want to know how its all going to turn out before we do the hard thing. Many of us are stuck in the planning or dreaming phase. We stay there because it makes us feel like we are doing something and that we are being productive or forward thinking. We aim and aim and adjust and aim again, but in reality, we are afraid to shoot. Of course there is work, research and planning to be done. But I am saying don’t wait until you are totally comfortable, totally prepared, totally ready, before you take your shot because the likelihood of that happening is slim to none.
I heard this beautiful quote in yoga the other day that says perfectly what I have been trying to say imperfectly in this post. I am mixing metaphors, but it backs up what I am saying:
“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of our wings. You may not know where you are going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the wind will carry you.”
I have no idea where I am going with this homeschooling journey, but I took the shot. My wings are unraveling and we are flying.
Take risks. And take them sooner than later. Trust yourself. You’ll figure it out.
Ready! Fire! Aim!