The Weekly Walk habit | Day 206 of my 2023 Journal
🇩🇰 Read in Danish 🇬🇧
The few times we lived in Catalonia for months, we grew the habit of what we called The Weekly Walk. When we were systematic, we set aside one day a week (for some reason, Wednesday, which might be because of the matching W) to walk all day.
For the past weeks, we have not been doing that. Have we seriously been too busy? This has been our general perception, which annoys me. How can we be too busy to keep up with such a great habit? Of course, we are not systematic enough to sustain something that has to happen every week on a specific weekday. I often don’t know what day of the week it is.
That said, we finally did go for a 10k+ walk in Leicester. From our friend's house to a street with second-hand bookshops (in the plural, yay), cafes, and an organic shop. We walked past a lot of very British houses, neatly side by side with their doorways hanging on the outside, the pretty window constructions also bumping out as little greenhouses, with a lot of roses, some almost hysterically perfect patches of grass, a lot of hedges perfect or not.
We passed a park with swings arranged in a circle for the large group of kids to enjoy. I love how unschooled kids dare to stay being kids. Literally, the first one on the swing was my son, 17,5 years of age. “A swing! I am totally going,” he shouted and jumped over the fence. Just for the neat and orderly British visitors of the park to kindly show him the gate. Haha.
We enjoyed looking at the other dog walkers, noticing a flood of doodles (are they all millionaires over here, or are doodles cheaper, I wonder?), all smiles and polite “how do you do” or “hi-ya.” Of course, we had to stop to photograph the ice cream van; sadly, it did not play its little song for us. We had to stay high on the adventure vibe looking for everything quintessential British. All that we can recognize from books, songs, and tv and urban myth about this country, we are on the lookout for it.
We had a very boring sandwich in the cafe, cleared a bookshop of Shakespeare-related books (plus some Neal Gaiman), had a very good coffee, and walked back from Kings Road; the Laidies and I nonstop talking about unschooling, a crazy world, and where our boundaries would be in case of this and that - just to realize what we already knew: It will be a contextual decision always.
It is such a relief and yet so intense to have these conversations all around the clock; my brain is struggling to get its rest. Yet, I must say: If you are new to unschooling but see the light of it - go find a friend, preferably someone smarter than yourself or at least more experienced or with a slightly different perspective plus context, and make sure you talk until you drop on the floor sleeping. This is the cure, the way, the work that has to be done. Sarah always has the meta-analysis ready, seeing structures in what is going on, and Luna just is the queen of letting go.
We can easily be misunderstood as more radical than we actually are and as not caring or neglecting because the mainstream view on childhood demands all these things we do not do and has these rules, standards, and restrictions we choose to let go of. These mothers are so devoted to their lives as mothers and work hard to ensure a very good life for their children. They and I just do it from a very different perspective.
I loved the way Luna said it was a game changer for her when she, from a spiritual point of view, realized we all chose this life to begin with, including our personal challenges, and this means our children chose us as parents and the trajectory of life attached to this constellation. It, therefore, can not go wrong. We don’t have to mend the world for them, smooth reality, change ourselves, ignore our personalities, and protect our children from more or less everything theoretically harmful, because they have always been on the right path anyway.
What we need to do instead is to stay honest, authentic, present, supporting, and offering our perspectives while creating a space of unconditional love.
This is a good one to remember. We can not control what will happen, nor can we control what our children choose in this life. We can choose how to handle it, be it with kindness, support, understanding, love, and resources or with measuring sticks, rules, standards, judgment, and anger. It is our choice.
At the end of the afternoon, we came back to tired legs, cooking, and happiness. One of the things that very often happens on long walks is it creates space for long talks, long thoughts, and thinking them through.
And I am so ready to ensure we come back to our weekly walks in this family. On the horizon, we have a week with my friend and her sons next week, where the plan is to walk a national park every day, and four weeks after that, we have the Camino del Norte coming up, so basically, I have to make sure we do a walk in each of those four weeks. I think I can do it. And if it fails, it will be okay in the big picture.
🇩🇰 Read in Danish 🇬🇧
Thank you for reading
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Have you heard the latest podcast episodes?
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#35 Jen Keefe | Unschooling and Mental Health: A Parent's Perspective
Da Ladies #3 - Navigating Social Challenges in the Unschooling Journey
#34 Erika Davis-Pitre | Homeschooling as an Answer to Race-Based Educational Inequalities
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