Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Glutton for Punishment?

Yesterday I realized I was tired. I thought something was wrong. I felt depressed and void of energy. It took some explaining to my mother-in-law Doris to realize that I’m just a wee bit exhausted.

Simultaneous to my declaration of a year of surf and ocean worship has come the choice to home school Trinity for second grade. This has brought an entirely new learning curve into my life at the moment I thought I could exhale and do some learning just for me. I’ve tried to avoid changing Trinity’s school for two years. Her school has offered a lot, and she hasn’t totally hated it. But there have been some problems that have not been going away: that her teacher informed me were getting worse. A couple of weeks ago, we finally had to admit the shit had hit the fan.

This is not a small decision, but it’s been supported by a child psychologist we really like. We went to her, somewhat desperate, but finally feeling smart about asking a professional to help us determine whether our daughter is troubled or just trying to tell us something. Before the first meeting was over, I’d made peace with the fact that Trinity is gifted and needs an enriched environment. I immediately started looking into schools with gifted programs only to discover that it was too late in the year to register her anywhere for September: hence the plan to home school for one year in preparation for third grade in a new school.

It’s been scary, exciting, daunting. It’s felt courageous and possibly foolish. And yet, I have to say, when I look over my entire life, “courageous and possibly foolish” has characterized a lot of what I’ve done over the years. Taking the subway an hour each way to go to high school downtown when I could have gone to an excellent school in my own neighborhood. Being raised in the Bronx and going to a swanky college. Moving from Chicago to LA with nothing but a Visa card and a Toyota Corolla.

Maybe “foolish” isn’t even the right word. Maybe what has characterized some of my most exciting adventures has been a great expenditure of energy. I have not taken the path of least resistance but rather the path that has required the most of me. Time and again, I have made the uneasy choice that has caused me to curse and shout and want to quit. I've made the choice that has stretched me to my limits, broken me down and put me back together in a new and (I hope) improved way.

Independent filmmaker - check. Marriage to spiritual artist guy – check. Home birth - check. Stay-at-home-parent - check. Put child on gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Raise family on one modest income. Drive thirty year old car. Learn to surf at forty. Home school second grader with toddler underfoot.

All while being an extremely serious person who often thinks that something has gone very, very wrong and who can have a very hard time laughing at the absurdity of it all. You could say I’m a glutton for punishment. Or that my life has never been boring.

But here's something I haven't mentioned before - I've been closely reading my cards this whole time. And they, the cards and hence the spirits, say go, go, go!


  1. I'm going to enjoy reading this blog. Please keep it up!

    You should see the following movies:

    Thicker than water (by Jack Johnson)

    Surfwise... must see this movie!

    Also... Riding Giants is good.

  2. Hey Matt, yeah, I've got thicker than water on my netflix queue. And i've seen the other two. Surfwise, in particular was a...uh...not exactly a hit in my family, but a conversation starter for sure. Thanks for the encouragement :)