Time to Say Good-bye (to the newspaper)

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A photo I took of my very first column in the newspaper seven years ago this month.

Note: This column was published in the Barrow Journal on July 6, 2016. 

It is bittersweet for me, but after writing this column for seven years, I find it’s time to say good-bye.

I started this column when I was pregnant with my youngest son, who will turn seven-years-old this August. Unlike his older brother, he was a much more active baby and toddler. We had to build a cage around our television and speakers to keep him from knocking them over. Somehow I found time to write while he was taking a nap and his brother watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Word World.

Both boys have come a long way since then, and neither of them could bear to watch such childish shows as Mickey Mouse or Word World anymore. Changes happen so quickly that I can’t keep up with them. Luckily I have some of it recorded in my columns. Otherwise, I might only have photographs and a few sloppily written journal entries.

While writing these columns, my husband and I decided we wanted to homeschool our children, and I’ve shared our decision making process and the highlights of our experiences. My eldest son has gone from wanting to be a “snake scientist” to a roboticist and now that he’s almost ten-years-old, he’s considering the life of a classical pianist. (God help us!) It’s been a wonderful journey learning about these subjects with him and teaching other important subjects too.

My six-year-old has had only one interest for the last year and a half, and that’s birds. What fun we’ve had with that! I’m sure this will continue on, and I’m sure other interests will come and go. Though graduation is a long ways off, whatever qualms I had about homeschooling in the beginning have died. Keeping the family together and exploring the world together has been the best decision we ever made. Any other issues are minor and can be worked out over time.

For five of my seven years at the Barrow Journal, I wrote every single week (save one or two), and this proved to be a great learning experience for me. I know writers who sit on their work for years, never quite satisfied with it, and fear keeps them from sharing it with others. When you are forced to write something quickly and get it in on time, you let go of perfectionism. You learn to be happy with things that aren’t quite right because everyone will have forgotten about it the following week anyway.

Sitting down to write or create anything on a regular basis is a great discipline to acquire, and just by doing that, you will get better over time. Not everyone will like your work, but that’s not important. What is important is that you have created something of your own. You have used your time wisely instead of wasting it in front of the T.V. or on Facebook.

If it weren’t for writing this column, Amy Sharony, the owner and editor of home/school/life magazine would not have found me. I’ve been working part-time for her for the past few years, changing my role as my life’s needs have demanded.

I helped her launch the magazine, wrote countless articles, managed the social media, and now I’m pleased to see she’s creating so much more than a magazine. There are online classes for homeschoolers, a store, a blog, a podcast, and most of all, a community of like-minded people who offer support to new and seasoned homeschoolers. (homeschoollifemag.com) Because of the work I’m doing there, I have to prioritize my time, so I’m letting go of some things, including this column.

You can also find me on my personal blog, mamaofletters.com. I will continue to document our homeschooling journey there as well as all the different parks, towns and venues in Georgia we try to visit each year.

I am very grateful to the Barrow Journal, especially Chris Bridges, for allowing me to babble on for all these years. Chris is a kind person, and he has been great to work for, and it’s been a pleasure to be part of his team.

If you are one of the few readers who have enjoyed my column over the years, thank you so much. I hope you will reach out and find me in other places. I am not gone, just moving on. Have a wonderful summer.

 

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