A Journey Not a Race


When we decided to homeschool, I expected to find the entire process stressful and overwhelming. While there have been many challenging days, they have been infrequent. Honestly, this process has been easier than I expected. The peace I’ve felt through this transition is directly linked to insight the director of our tutoring program shared: homeschooling is a journey, not a race. Although she was talking about homeschooling, I think this wisdom can be applied in many different areas of my life.

In addition to homeschooling, I’m pushing myself to get dressed every day (in a real outfit, with my hair done, no PJs). I’m calling this the #30DaysGettingDressed Challenge. It sounds trivial, but just getting up and taking some time for myself each day has been transformative.

I’m documenting the experiment on Instagram, and that has presented many opportunities to apply this lesson. Scrolling through Instagram can be a mine field. Photoshopped happy, perfect people are everywhere.

Today I struggled to stay joyful, as I took lack luster shot after shot on my iPhone. I was worried my photos wouldn’t be good enough to gain attention or “likes”. I was worried about how I looked. Thoughts like; my neck is flabby and my thighs look lumpy in these leggings were running rampant in my mind. I’m so glad that I was able to go back to her words.

This is not a race. This is not a competition. You are on a journey.

A race is competitive, comparative, stressful, final, and focused on the outcome. A journey is individual, collaborative, meandering at times, and focused on the process more so than the outcome. If we’re all trying to get from point A to point B, we can grumble and complain, or we can chose to enjoy the process. We can grow bitter as we see other people sprinting past us, or ignore the distractions and accept our own pace as it is.

Looking at other homeschoolers, blogs or just talking to other moms can easily make me feel inadequate. My daughter isn’t learning three languages and she isn’t playing sports and learning an instrument simultaneously. I’ve found confidence and peace remembering that my journey is unique. I’m not competing with anyone.

I’ve learned to choose what is important, rather than what is urgent. They are not the same. I’ve learned to choose calm over chaos. I let the schedule slide rather than stress everyone out trying to be perfect. I’ve learned to choose patience while my daughter learns at her own pace instead of obsessing over my plans.

The key word in all of this is choose. I’m choosing to stop racing so that I can enjoy my journey.

Homeschool, LifeKristus Ratliff