I thought I was doing so well!
I thought I was dealing with all the changes and facing more changes with optimism and excitement. (mingled with a bit of grief of course)
I think I might have been REALLY wrong about that!
Along with watching our third son get married last month, and helping our fourth son finish up the college admission and audition process, we have felt led to step down from directing the local campus for Artios Academies in Littleton, Colorado. That means, I won’t be teaching next year or directing any shows, and this year’s production of Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang is my last show to direct.
Someone told me yesterday that they are surprised I’m not excited about my next season of life and that I “need” to be excited about this next chapter. She is probably right. I mean we won’t have to drive down the mountain to Denver every week (2 plus hours one way), to teach on Monday, spend the night, teach on Tuesday, and then drive back up the mountain Tuesday night. That should be a huge relief. I SHOULD be excited.
But, currently, I’m not at ALL excited.
Don’t get me wrong! I know it’s the right decision, but for now, that doesn’t make it any easier.
Why am I sharing this?
Well, I guess it’s because I need to….AND, because there aren’t too many women out there talking about this. Most everyone in my circle of influence is talking about NOW….the trials of NOW….homeschooling, being overwhelmed, curriculum, cooking dinner, and more.
But, as I have said before:
There is more to life than homeschooling….
One day, you will wake up and realize that life is about to drastically change. There are no more concerns about what curriculum to use, what activities to do, and what homeschool organizations to join. There are no more days of reading aloud, of swearing off of math forever, and no more days of listening to narrations. The days ahead will seem….well, empty.
It’s funny and wonderful to watch how God has led things along in my life. Artios Academies began as a result of the needs of my children. It grew far beyond anything that I could imagine and with that came more responsibilities to help those that were directing, teaching, and attending various Artios campuses around the country. That’s all well and good right?
And, while I still had children at home, God allowed me to continue to direct and teach at Artios while working with the other campuses. I did not want to give up the teaching and directing at a local campus. (The fact of the matter is, I still don’t…but that’s beside the point.) So, God allowed me to do just that and to somehow juggle the growth of Artios as well. (Sometimes better than others, of course!)
But, I expected to keep on directing and teaching…at least for awhile after my last one graduated. I thought it would make the transition a bit easier and smoother. And, to be quite honest, that thought was helping me deal with the idea of having an “empty nest.” I mean I love being around the kids and seeing what God is doing in their lives as they learn how a Biblical worldview must be applied in every area of life, including the arts and academics.
So, when I began feeling God’s leading to pull out completely…..well, it caught me off guard, and it has taken my breath away. I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I guess I didn’t see it coming. I should have! With an empty nest, I can turn my full attention in work on teaching teachers, directors and parents, to finish tons of Artios projects that I just never had time for, and to have a bit of margin in my life.
But oh my! So much change all at once!
I don’t even know how to imagine how my days will look. I am a people person. Does this mean that I will be on a computer and writing alone for days on end? Does this mean that I will never have that close teacher/student relationship with any more students in the future?
I don’t have answers for ANY of these questions!
I’ll also be transparent and you can judge me if you feel the need!
After ministering so hard and so long in one area, it’s hard to know that a campus will be better off without you and better with someone that can give it their full attention. When I announced my leaving yesterday, I actually felt like people were relieved I was stepping down . Not that they don’t love me and support me! (I’m sure they do…at least most of them I think! Wink! ) I think they were relieved because they have seen me carry such a heavy work load for so long, that they, too, know it’s the right thing. And, I’m sure they are ready to have someone’s undivided attention on that particular campus.
Okay….so, if it’s the right thing to do why do I not feel excited! And, like a friend said, I SHOULD be excited.
But, I’m NOT!
- Grieving that I have just a few short months of a “chick in the nest” and then it will be forever empty.
- Grieving that my homeschool days are coming to a close. (Yes, it’s true. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.)
- Grieving that my days interacting regularly with students appears to be coming to a close.
- Grieving that the future is unknown and that past seems so sweet.
- Grieving that I can’t do it all and do it all well.
- Grieving that I won’t be a part of that Artios community anymore. (And you can ask anyone involved in Artios, and they will say the community is one of the best aspects of what we do.)
Just plain grieving!
So, there you have it. Emotions that are raw and emotions that deeply bruised and bleeding. Emotions that not many people seem to talk about. Women who are at the tail end of homeschooling just seem to slowly disappear, fade away, and melt into the sunset. I don’t hear much about life after homeschooling.
So, I’m sharing.
I’m sharing for me….as I process, and I’m sharing for you as you move through life toward “the end in mind.”
Yes, The End in Mind site is taking a bit of a breather, and I guess you can probably see why. I need some time to be still, to find joy in the coming season, and to be sure I’m moving in the direction God has for me. But, from time to time, when my heart is so full it feels like it will burst, you will see a random post like this one pop up.
It will be for me….and for You.
Faith and Courage,
Lori and John Lane have been married 32 years and live on a small ranch in the beautiful Colorado Rockies. They have four sons ranging in age from thirty down to seventeen, three beautiful daughter-in-loves, (soon to be three) and a four (and another on the way) precious granddaughters. Lori is the author of Beginning With The End In Mind and The Artios Home Companion Series. She is the founder and executive director of Artios Academies. Lori oversees the ministry of The End in Mind as the official blog of Artios Academies. You can follow Lori at The End in Mind where she blogs about a variety of topics with a focus on beginning each area of our lives with the “end in mind.”