Monday, March 28, 2011

A Sociable Sue trying to be a Perfect Paula teaching a Competent Carl

For those of you who have NO clue what I'm saying, allow me to elaborate. :)

My mother is the most wonderful person on earth. Really. She's fantastic. She was so organized as a child my grandmother used to take her friends into my mother's room and show them how perfect it was. She even earned the nickname "Peggy Perfect" from friends and family as a school-aged child.

So you can understand that her perfectly organized, extremely type A, beautifully wonderful person is, in Cathy Duffy's terms, a Perfect Paula.

I spent my whole childhood knowing I wasn't like the other kids. I didn't learn like them. I didn't look at the world the way they did. Music was background noise to them. It was what moved my soul. My entire being focused around my music because it was a way I could please the people around me using my gifts. I am a Sociable Sue.

People often think chatty people are Sociable Sues. That's not really what it's about. Sociable Sue's are the textbook people pleaser. We don't come second, or third. We put ourselves at the bottom of the list and devote 100% of our energy to pleasing other people. We're often artists and musicians. Our entire and total language is making other people happy. It's truly where we find our bliss. It's our every happiness.

Being the daughter of a Perfect Paula, I tried to be like my mother. Always having it together. Always being perfect. Always trying to do it all, have it all, be it all. Because, in my heart, I wanted to BE like my mother. It would make her happy. It would make the people around me happy. People LIKE Perfect Paula's.

It's kind of the ultimate irony.

So, up until a few weeks ago, I was a Sociable Sue trying to be a Perfect Paula teaching a Competent Carl.

Perfect Paula's make great homeschool moms. They're the ones who have it all together and have the perfect curriculum and perfect little smiles on their 6 perfect children's faces.

Reading Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum opened my eyes. To me this book was SO very much more than about homeschool curriculum. It showed me, in simple black and white terms, why I couldn't possibly be happy with what I've been doing.

Because I can't be a Perfect Paula any more than I could be those kids on the school ground. I can't learn the way they learn. I can't do things the way they do them. Because I'm not a Perfect Paula. I'm just not.

I'm a Sociable Sue.

I'm vibrant with piles of energy. I love people and I love to be surrounded by them. I'm a free wheeling, fun loving, crazy to the point of almost being insane person.

And somewhere in the middle of trying to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect person, I forgot I needed to be me too.

I forgot to embrace that side of me. To be happy and free. To be that person with a crazy love for life. I forgot what it was like to dance in the rain..yes, literally dance in the rain. I dragged a bunch of my college classmates out of the building one day in the middle of a class and we went out and danced in the rain.

That's who I was.

That's who I AM.

And now that I've found it again, I'm not letting it go. I'm not going to try and be something I'm not anymore to try and make the people around me happier. I'm going to be me. Crazy, fun loving, emotional, borderline psychotic but so much fun to be with you just can't put me down. I'm that wild book you always wanted to read, that crazy woman in the movie that, secretly, you wonder what it would be to be like. I'm a lounge singer, a church cantor, and I sing lullabies to the most beautiful, wonderful little boy on this earth.


And I'm not hiding anymore.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Homeschool Handbook Review

I'll freely admit I'm not a big blogger, but it was easier to write down my thoughts here and organize them.

I just received a free copy of the current issue of The Homeschool Handbook. First off, I'm blown away and amazed at both the content and variety. I'm always on the lookout for new "Mommy" resources that are helpful, uplifting, and cover a wide variety of issues.

Some homeschool magazines are very narrowly dedicated to primarily one thing. They seem to pick one area to focus on in homeschooling such as curriculum reviews, teaching methods, working with younger children, etc. The thing that surprised me most is there really was something for EVERYONE in this magazine...and that's quite a feat when you consider how vastly different homeschooling families can be.

I found articles on everything from teaching primary colors to educating ADD kids. There was a plethora of information presented in a fun, engaging format that was both easy to read and simple to use.

My FAVORITE feature of this particular magazine is in the back. There's a HUGE list of all the advertisements and discussed curriculum indexed by page number with website listings. No more digging through trying to figure out what on earth this or that was. It's a HUGE asset to this magazine and a wonderful addition for moms like me who are always searching and forgetting where they found a certain resource. Simply Fantastic!!!

I can definitely say I would recommend this magazine to any homeschooling mom. There is valuable information there for every parent to find.