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I can change my mind

Spring was late this year, and slow to arrive along with it was my annual need to clean up and clear out. Purging is good for the soul of a house. We spent a lot of the last couple of weeks doing just that, focusing on the garage, then on the basement, the two places in our house that collect those things labeled "I don't know what else to do with this" throughout the cold, feet-dragging winter months. We re-stored a lot of things, re-labeled a lot of things, sent more things on their way to new lives elsewhere, and even started a pile for the community garage sale, taking place this weekend. I'm tired just thinking about it.

A cleaning out is good for the mind, too. I like to think of it as "sweeping away the inconsequential" (which I think is a quote from Atlas Shrugged if I am to give credit where credit is due). The homeschooling/unschooling process is one that is constantly evolving for us and I am routinely throwing away old concepts, plans, or intentions and replacing them with altered ideas. This is not a matter of trading in last year's hot item for the newer model, but my mother has repeatedly told me since I became a parent that no matter what decision I make now I can always reserve the right to change my mind later, and, rules and consequences aside (and sometimes even there), this has become my mantra.

It's the games that have got me really thinking about this on the eve of the sale, because in our clearing out this weekend a lot of games have gone into the "not to keep" pile, some of them games I had listed just months ago as being among our favorites. But I've changed my mind. They are games of chance, and the more I look at them the more arbitrary and inauthentic they seem. And as I watch Calvin grow the more convinced I become that learning can occur in a completely natural and authentic way, that life in general ought to be lived that way. It isn't about following directions, or dice, or spinners, or cards, it's about making decisions and seeing how they play out. So I've changed my mind—I reserve the right to do that— and though we've enjoyed many evenings of Hi Ho Cherry-O, I don't think it will be missed when we're playing Carcassonne in its place.

As for the garage sale coming up this weekend, I really am tired just thinking about it. There is nothing more depressing than watching the world at large glance over your things, discarded though they may be, and passing quick judgement about their worth.

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