Friday, February 17, 2012

In which I have an alarming amount of Q's

Have you ever had something special just for you? Something that you love to do and take pride in? Something that you have always felt you were quite good at? Like said talent was your perfect medium?

What do you do when the time comes to take criticism on your work? Are you cheerful and accepting? Do you work the critic into your continual work to become better? Or do you become bitter and outraged because honesty who do think they are? Last time you checked you weren't friends with any experts.

Obviously I had a bad experience recently and while I want to be the accepting and cheery version of these scenarios I'm finding it nearly impossible to be. Yes I understand I'm not everyone's cup of tea, but how do you differentiate between that and forcing yourself to realize that maybe you aren't as good as you thought.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

In which I receive an answer

A friend of mine had a quotation on a facebook status a few weeks ago. It was simple and straightforward; no need for searching for a deeper meaning. It quite honestly shook me to my core.

''If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.''

This rung loudly over and over in my mind the last few week and after some quick google searches I found that it was an excerpt from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's commencement speech given at Harvard University last spring.

These 12 words quickly became my own personal idealistic conviction. I have never been one to dream big as they say. I had dreams of course, marry the man of my dreams in the temple, have a happy and healthy family, and accomplish something. Just one thing that will make a difference. I have struggled over the last few years to pin point what particularly that was going to be. I am by no means an idiot, but lack a college degree so I always felt that limited me in more ways then one. I will never be a concert pianist that is spotlighted with the New York Philharmonic or save a persons life by being a world class, or even a mediocre Neurosurgeon. I have always had a love of writing though; journals, high school news paper, bloging, and even on special occasions work on my book. I had a thought recently that maybe what I will be "known for" is that I was a great mother. And in truth that would be enough for me. If my children grown up happy and safe, follow their own dreams and hearts and become an inspiring positive force in the world then I will be a happy woman. To me there will be no greater accomplishment.

But-- Seeing as how my children are 4,2, and 1 and who's to say we won't have more I'd say I have a long time until the day comes when I look back and feel that certain accomplishment. In the mean time I need to continually be loving, patient, and something else....

Since we have decided to sell everything we own, rent our home and travel the world everything came full circle for me. Maybe this is my chance to once again find that something that will continue to help define me. All of the experiences that await me and my family; the possibilities are limitless.

Then the so called realistic side of my slips in and I begin to worry-- You are going to a country who's primary language you don't speak. What if you can't communicate with ANYONE. What if I can't make friends? Worse yet, what if your children don't make friends. What if they feel so disconnected by the culture and language differences that they become unhappy? Yes, you are moving your entire life to South are radically changing your life. No more netflix, no more car, no more 24 hour a day plug in to social media, no more family close by, no more familiarity. What am I suppose to do now that I have all this free time? I ask you to take my word for it when I say, at times it can be a terrifying thought.

Then I take a deep breath that snaps me out of my terrifying reverie. The words if your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough whisper in my mind and I think to myself maybe I am dreaming big enough. I welcome the brightside that is I am embarking on an adventure of a lifetime. If I'm having a hard day communicating with the locals I can easily turn that into a english speaking day with my husband, because I can always find happy stability in him. I will learn not to be affraid of free time. I will not worry that I should be doing something else. Playing with my children will star at the top of my to do list. There will be no more answers of, "We'll do it tomorrow." No more tomorrows for tomorrow my children will be grown up. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today." Well said Mr. Franklin, well said.

- Etheline.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Viral Monday

Morning darlings--

I don't know about you guys but some days, normally Monday's, I need a musical pick me up to get my little behind moving from the relaxing and carefree weekend. I am loving this song lately so I thought I'd share. Dance around the room and wave your hands in the air.

What's your favorite musical pick my up?



Ps. Does anyone else think the lead singer looks like Guy Pearce?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

In which I reveal partial secrets

Several of you have asked where are you going, why are you going, how long are you going, and how are you paying for all of this?? Well, I'm going to you my darlings.

Let's start off with the most popular question shall we?

1. Where are you going?

We were originally planning on going to Prague, as some of you know, but due to hike in airline prices {nasty business} we reverted to another location that was on the short list. After careful thought and prayer we decided on a place, bought the airline tickets for all 5 of us and we leave the first week in April.

*Yes, I did notice I didn't say were we are actually going; we are keeping that top secret a little while longer.

2. How long are you going for?

We will be in our first destination for 6 months. Ideally the plan is to continue on from there with more travel, but we may have to come back home for a while and regroup/take care of a few things before we go back out. All in all, extended travel is the plan.

3. Why are you going?

I have lived in my dream house for just about 2 years now. We have updated the kitchen, spruced up the back yard, painted every room, installed hardwood throughout the entire bottom floor, renovated bathrooms and our dining room and have had a blast doing it. We have played together and laughed together, welcomed a new baby, and helped out family members in this home. It's not that we aren't happy here, but if I'm being honest with you all, Georgia is not a place I've ever wanted to call home forever. We are northeastern folks. Five years in Georgia is enough for us.

Instead of plotting the next places we want to spend 5 years waiting to be bored yet again we thought why not do something radical. Have you looked at a map lately? There is a whole lot of world out there. So many people to meet and cultures to experience. In our family we home school and the plan to see the world just fit together so perfectly. The idea of learning through hands on experiences resonates with me so strongly that one can only ask, what better way can we teach our children about the world than by exploring it together as a family?

4. How are you paying for this?

Well I think the biggest way we can afford to do this is the fact that we are totally debt free. No student loans, credit card debt, car payments, etc. We are finding it leaves us with extra funds to play with.

We are in talks with a home management company so that we can rent our home out while we are away. So that makes our mortgage payment a nice little wash.

Besides special keepsakes, everything else we own is being sold to friends or via craigslist to help fund this adventure. We are going to be using it so why not get rid of it.

Royal has the ability to work from anywhere. He is currently the IT director for an Atlanta based company, and is also a contract employee for other local companies. If he is hired via elance to build a website for a company to bring in some extra cash he can do it from our back deck or a mountain base camp in Nepal. {presuming they have internet at said base} It really is a beautiful thing.

Well I hope this clears up some questions that you may have had. If not...please do NOT hesitate to ask. I'd love to answer them.

Happy trails,