Creating a life I love

In March of 2008, I wrote this introductory post called, Who Am I?
I was coming out of a really dark place when I started this blog…I was often depressed and in despair. Prior to blogging I felt hopeless and completely lost and some days could barely get out of bed because I just couldn’t face the day. Every morning I’d wake up and it wouldn’t be long before my intense middle daughter would wake and start her series of meltdowns over seemingly inconsequential things (like when I opened her granola bar package the wrong way).

Here I sit, 16 months later and I’m very happy for many reasons. I recently read a post from A Mouse in France called Moonwalking. The last sentence is a quote that has echoed in my ears the last few days:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver

I had an epiphany. I am doing something pretty special with my wild and precious life with my children and through my blogs. I’m thrilled to be reaching out to people online and getting feedback that what we are doing is inspiring others.

I’m participating in an online learning cooperative for young children with my other blog, The Wonder Years. I also participated in a Carnival of Play, and contributed three posts to the carnival and I won a book called Play, by Stuart Brown, MD.

Not too long ago, my Exploration Station blog was featured on Wired: Geekdad’s 6 Great and Geeky Homeschooling Websites.

Just last week, I was contacted by an online reviewer for the opportunity to have that science blog featured in a series of interviews she is going to write for an online publication about interesting children’s activity blogs. My interview is going to be the first in a series. Needless to say, I’m tickled and I can’t wait to post about it.

My oldest daughter (7.5) is the most thrilled with the experiments we do, but all of them enjoy participating. My personal favorites:

Growing crystals – Rock Candy


Forensic Chemistry – identifying the mystery substance


Coffee Filter Chromatography


Jello Fiber Optics


Cabbage chemistry – ph indicator out of red cabbage


I’ve had a blast doing these experiments and I’m really excited about the things we can do with common household items.

I’m reaching out to people with the Raising Smart Girls blog. I’m deeply honored to have made online friends and have given cyber-support to others. I think my most favorite of all is when I hear from people who have felt like they have gotten commiseration or helpful suggestions to cope with their highly sensitive, highly gifted children or their own sensitivities and giftedness. It’s this huge relief to know someone understands what it’s like to live with intensity (either their own or that of their children’s). And it goes both ways – I have felt less alone and more encouraged in my efforts to work with my intense middle child because others face similar struggles and because I get some really good encouragement to keep working at it.

Many others have benefited from the Kids’ Problem Solving Binder for my intense, explosive, highly sensitive, selectively mute daughter I put together to help with emotion coaching. It really has helped spark an number of discussions with my daughter and help her understand her intense emotions and deal with them in more constructive ways. She has come a long way and can articulate her emotions now so much better than she used to.

It wasn’t too long ago, that I was lamenting that staying at home wasn’t really achieving much that was tangible. Or that I’d have to wait many years to see the fruits of my labors. But I see how my two oldest daughters are really doing well in school and their teachers have many good things to say about them.

I realize now that I have achieved a lot in the last 16 months by sharing what we do at home, and what I’ve learned about the intensity and complexity of the gifted individual.

A wise friend told me this a few months ago when I lamented I was doing things as a stay at home mom that I couldn’t quite put on my curriculum vitae.

The phrase (in Latin) means “the course of life.” There is a HUGE difference between a CV that I would prepare and present to a potential employer and my biographical CV. [“Biography” is basically the Greek equivalent of the L. “curriculum vitae.”]

I have to protest your assertion that you are “not achieving a whole lot right now…to add to a pretty extensive CV.”

He’s right, you know (but then again he’s right about most things 🙂 ).

All the above, which might not amount to a hill of beans in the professional sense, means quite a bit in the course of my life. I may not be achieving professional goals, but I certainly am achieving a tremendous amount of personal goals. I’m creating a life I love right now and even though I’m reaching out to others only online, one day I hope to create something where I can bring my expertise to others in real life again.

This entry was posted in career, combining science and motherhood, creating harmony, emotion coaching, explosive child, kids problem solving binder, my mothering goals, my secret dream, overexcitabilities, selective mutism. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Creating a life I love

  1. Mouse says:

    I love your science experiments
    The Ragazzi and I often indulged in this voyage of discovery, in fact, we still do sometimes…
    When I asked them what they wished to do to celebrate their 21st and 18th birhdays this year they both said “A trip to the natural history museum”
    without prompting!

    Now The Ragazza is studying zoology at Nottingham University and planning to work at a whale watching centre during next year’s summer break

    The Ragazzo, being his own man, is into punk rock music

    Tell me, do you have a “nature table” in your home because I still maintain mine

    PS Depression and despair I understand and you have my sympathy and support, anytime

  2. Mouse says:

    PPS If I DO return to France and set up a B&B I hope you’ll bring your girls one day. I can promise you a real French adventure!

  3. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Mouse – that’s wonderful. I love that natural wonder that kids have and can’t wait to see what develops for them. I do agree that children have their own desires and music (even punk rock music) is an expression of the soul.

    I have to update with newer pictures, but we have a cubby shelf devoted to our natural treasures:

    Fossils, small box of minerals, arrowhead and shark’s tooth and small prism and some empty plastic quarter sized coin containers for future treasures.

    baskets of polished minerals, shells and bits of nature.

  4. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Thank you so much for the offer of support. I think your blog does a lot of good for me…to be reminded of what’s really important!

    I love B&Bs (that’s another one of those dreams I felt I wanted to do “someday”) and adventures with the kids! Thanks for the offer!

  5. There are many different ways that people can contribute and be valuable and I think you are doing an exceptional job with your blogs and your girls. Congratulations!

  6. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Thanks PhD in Parenting. I realize that my job of raising the girls has been made so much more rewarding and I do feel more valuable than I ever thought possible when I started blogging!

  7. Papa T says:

    Way to go, Mrs. (and Mr.) RSG. This is quite a touching post.

    One thing strikes me…ANYTHING that you do to enhance your personal life and experience has the potential to enrich the professional. It could be that a professional endeavor that lacked honor for your very real and substantial personal accomplishments would be a waste of your time and energy.

    Know thyself…and be true to her.

    And, Mouse, darn you! I’m having flashbacks. I spent a week one year in a little B&B in St. Tropez. Mon Dieu! Tres bons temps! Bonne chance…(je ne parle francais).

  8. Congratulations! Great things can happen through blogging. I recently wrote about a young man who scored his first job out of college through the expertise he developed with his blog.

  9. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Papa T –

    It is quite possible that I am gaining experience that may be helpful in the future. One never knows what opportunities might arise. I do have a sense that there is something waiting for me when the time is right, just as my previous career opportunities seemed to align themselves just when I needed them.

    What a small world that you’ve actually been to a B&B in France!

  10. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Thanks Switched On Mom.

    I remember reading your blog post on that young man. That was a really neat thing to happen to him. Who knows…if it’s in the cards, maybe something will happen for me too because of the blogging.

  11. Mouse says:

    The one thing that I was left with after The Ex left, aside from a crippling mortgage, was the freedom to have adventures with The Ragazzi…

    There is something very special about the world seen through the eyes of a child and it is very good for me to be reminded of the child within me

    Plus you get to do crazy childish things and no-one thinks you’re nuts

    RSG… everything that happens to us, however small, however insignificant it may seem, changes our direction and doors may open at the most unexpected times!

    It’s just a matter of making sure I’m not too busy looking back at those that have closed to see the possibilities through the newly opened ones

    (Papa T. Good French! Hope the B&B was wonderful. Fancy a return visit to Brittany?)

  12. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Hmmm…the little matchmaker in me would be tickled if Papa T would actually go to Brittany and meet Ms. Mouse. There’s a lot more in common that perhaps you two realize. I’m just sayin’….

    At any rate, Mouse…I do agree with you, doors open at just the most unexpected times.

    Things are brewing behind the scenes here and I might just have a way to get something published…for real!

  13. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Mouse – you said,

    “There is something very special about the world seen through the eyes of a child and it is very good for me to be reminded of the child within me

    Plus you get to do crazy childish things and no-one thinks you’re nuts”

    So what’s wrong with being nuts? I’ve been “nuts” most my life in the eyes of someone (my family predominantly). I consider how I am being AWAKE unlike all those others sleepwalking through life.

    I like collecting friends who are just as crazy as I am. 🙂

  14. Papa T says:

    I’ve not visited Brittany, but it is a very interesting region. The Cote d’Azur is idyllic…at least my experience there was.

    The thing about being “nuts” is that children don’t care whether they are seen as nutty…until they are taught to. It was a hard lesson for me…still hurts.

  15. Mouse says:

    Papa T. I rarely concern myself with thoughts of how others see me, there are so many people with such differing ideas we are never going to look the same to everyone, and anyway, I spent too many years twisting myself out of shape in an attempt to please my partners. Now so long as I don’t embarass the Ragazzi and can look myself in the eye and feel ok, I’m happy.

    Brittany is beautiful, very different to the rest of France
    The Bretons are independent souls, frugal, strong and very willing to accept people for who they really are. Perfect for a misfit like me!

    Sorry RSG, I seem to be having an interesting exchange with Papa T, hope you don’t think me rude?

  16. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Not at all Mouse! I’m actually quite, quite pleased with it.

    And I can vouch for him. He’s a great guy to talk to. I hope you two become pen pals (if of course you two wanted it).

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