The One Where I Complain About Everything

We spent last week at Walt Disney World, and as usual it proved to be both fun and exhausting. The Agents can now muddle through longer days, more waiting time, and generally less predictability without falling apart, but I feel like we still could have {and perhaps should have} reined ourselves in a bit more. 

While it makes sense logistically {and financially} to spend an entire week and make the most of every day when we are flying from over 1200 miles away and paying an exorbitant amount for tickets, in reality these trips are more enjoyable when we pace them more appropriately. Living close enough to visit more frequently—and justify the cost of an annual pass—somehow diffuses some of the “pressure” of wanting to “fit it all in.” 
Agents with chipmunk friends
This is also why I prefer to visit fewer places {museums, zoos, etc.} with a membership enabling us to show up randomly throughout the year as often as we choose, as opposed to trying out every possible nearby venue. I’d much rather invest in an annual pass for, say, a quality zoo or children’s museum, than try to corral the Agents through this and that minor attraction just because it’s there.

Which leads me to another thought: upstate New York is pretty damn boring. Granted, you can “get to” a lot of interesting places from here—both Boston and New York City are three-ish hours a way, for example—but there is not actually a whole lot here. Oh, there’s horse racing in Saratoga Springs {not a fan} and mountains and winter sports options in the Adirondacks {me and winter sports, ha . . . that’s funny} and some cultural/nightlife stuff down in Albany, but . . . nothing about any of that excites me. 

I’m always amused when I tell people I’m not a particular fan of my current living conditions and they offer sage advice like, “you just need to get used to the weather.” Um, hello. Spent the first couple decades of my life mostly living in the northeast. I know cold. I know snow. I know ice. Then I lived in various places with much milder climates for a dozen or so years. Once I acclimated to areas where 70 degrees Fahrenheit qualified as “a little chilly” there was no going back. 

My other favorite tip is, “you need to get yourself and your kids into {insert cold weather activity here}.” Typically this is suggested by someone who is a fan of skiing, sledding, snowboarding, ice skating, or the like, and cannot understand why someone might not be. Even when I lived in areas where those kinds of activities were feasible and common, I never cared for them. But, yes, of course. Let me go back in time and completely change my personality to that of someone who enjoys all the same things you enjoy. That will definitely make living here more tolerable.

I don’t know if people even pay attention to the words coming out of their mouths when they offer these nuggets, or if maybe they just can’t understand the desire to live anywhere other than where they currently do because it’s all they have ever known. 

I also don’t want to sound like I’m totally down on living in New York, as some aspects of it have been rather enjoyable. We’ve met some good friends. I think the Agents finally feel like they put down a few roots, and they will remember living here more clearly than any other place they’ve lived so far. Homeschooling as a lifestyle really solidified for us, especially now that all three Agents are of “school age” and we’ve been at it long enough to feel like it’s simply our Thing. We “discovered” the UU community while here, which gave the Agents a chance to bond with other adults and explore—judgment free—how they feel about myriad issues in a way they truly hadn’t before.

Since this was supposed to be a wrap-up of our homeschooling week, I guess I should get back on track now. We ended up having a three-day week due to some delayed and canceled return flights resulting in us not getting in until 3:00 a.m. Tuesday instead of 6:00 p.m. Sunday. I hoped this short week would be a bit of a review and/or time to finish up a few things in preparation for starting some new units next week, but when it decreased from four days {we had initially planned to use Monday to “recover”} down to three, some things had to be consolidated and others had to go. 

Topics we did address this week included {among others} the history of clocks and calendars, the Greek mythology story of the Calydonian Boar, evolution, the life of rhinos, Inca civilization, Andy Warhol, Duke Ellington, and First Aid. It seems like we are “doing” a lot more work {reading, written work, and just covering more subjects in general} than we have in previous years. I anticipate next year will be more of a “slower” paced academic adventure. I think part of it is that I got wrapped up in the paperwork jungle that is homeschooling in NY and felt a lot of misguided pressure to Do All the Things. I’m looking forward to a time when our learning can be a bit more free form and natural. I think the Agents are, too.

I feel like mostly this post served as a means for me to complain about how much I dislike winter in the northeast, but maybe that’s just what needed to happen today. Snow flurries flutter from the sky as I type this. Again. All three Agents cough in the background. Again. Maybe it’s post-Disney letdown, or maybe it’s mid-winter funk, but every once in a while I dream of greener pastures, and today is apparently one of those days.

Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers graciously hosts a place for us to link up each week. Be sure to stop by and say hello to some other homeschooling bloggers and read about their weeks as well.

6 comments:

  1. I'll be honest, I find posts like this refreshingly honest! In a perfect world I would live where it is always spring or fall - without allergies. I'm not a fan of hot or cold. I don't mind rain. Unfortunately we live in a 4 season place so we've been watching snowflakes fall today too. Brr.

    Isn't it funny how we can get caught up in feeling like we need to 'do all the things'? I still have to guard against it and we've been at this homeschool thing for over a decade.

    Have a restful weekend!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Tristan. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  2. According to Lonelyplanet.com I live in one of the best places to visit in the USA ~ Ha! Not necessarily the best place to live. So many of my friends think this is the best place in the world. While I love much about the area, there is much to dislike as well. I hope winter isn't to rough on you. It is good to vent sometimes.
    Blessings, Dawn

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  3. I live in the middle, but I grew up in Southern California. I have no desire to live there again, but I miss the ocean more than I can say. It took me 10 years to stop feeling claustrophobic every summer when the foliage gets so powerful and I still panic at every prediction for ice in the winter. I love my home now, but I understand about getting used to it all. :) Wishing you joy in the remaining days of winter--however you find it!

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    1. Thank you. I love being near the ocean, too. I didn't realize how much until we moved away from it, ha.

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