HALDEN

My life often feels a bit countercultural.

We haven’t done preschool.

We homeschool.

We only have one car. (And a moped).

The four of us live in a two bedroom apartment.

We try to embrace our limits.

The kids aren’t super involved in extracurricular activities.

We work really hard not to have too much stuff…toys, clothes, you name it.

We’re working really hard (not super successfully) at not being busy.

And most days I feel quite secure in our decisions.

Most days I am confident we’re making the best choices for our family based on our family values. And most days I sincerely hope everyone else is doing the same, regardless of how their lives compare to ours.

But then there are days I freak out. Because sometimes I’m not okay with swimming upstream. And I just want a house with a backyard for my kids to roam in. I look around and am resentful for what other’s have. And I want to send my kiddo packing when the bus comes along. Some days I wonder if we’re crazy for how we’ve decided to live our lives.

And on those days? I tend to vacillate between jealousy and judgment.

I find myself resenting our limits and railing against others’ (perfectly acceptable) choices. I begrudge other’s good fortune. I convince myself that the way we’re doing things is the right way and everyone else is off base.

And then I remember. (Don’t be fooled. Sometimes this take a bit longer than the space between paragraphs).

I remember how incredibly privileged we are to have choices. Yes, we have limits. Financial, relational, emotional limits. But many of the decisions we’ve made to do things the way we do comes from a place of having options.

I remember all I’ve learned from those who do things so differently than us.

I remember why we’re making the choices we’ve made.

I remember that almost every choice we’ve made is up for debate. If something isn’t working for us, we can change it.

I remember that jealousy and judgment are the easy ways out.

And I remember that an attitude of learning and the hard work of relationship cultivates gratitude and appreciation for what I have, for those around me, and for the choices and limits currently shaping our lives.

Do you ever find yourself vacillating between jealousy and judgment?