We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Mar 7, 2007

Just a Note on This Day

I haven' written much about our business here or the process we are going through to start it. That's mainly because so much of it is in a theoretical stage right now. Kevin is studying for his NCCAOM exams (Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine boards) as well as continuing with his classes and working in the student clinic three days a week. Since he is still in school most of the planning is left to me which is fine except that we still don't know what state we are moving to or what town. We have narrowed it to Southern Vermont, Albany New York, Saratoga Springs New York, and Pittsfield Massachusetts but the diversity of the regions makes it difficult for many specifics.

Currently I am writing our first business plan. I made an appointment next week with a SCORE volunteer to discuss particulars about small practices and moving to new communities. My experience with CITY (Creative Independent Teaching for Youth) is useful but not all of it translates into the world of privately owned health care businesses. This is why we're trying to find advisers to talk with.

The difficult thing lately has been for us to separate ourselves from our parents. Because of many of the choices we've made in the last years they have occasionally helped us out here and there. Now that we are about to try to start our own business and move some place new they all are having some difficulty with understanding this. Kevin's parents still aren't sure what to make of acupuncture as a whole and really are disappointed that we are moving so far away. My parents have no faith that we will be able to do any of this, including figuring out how to rent a house. My father, especially, has taken to trying to instruct my in some archaic basics that are no longer reality because of the Internet.

Part of me thinks that their problems with what we are doing have two pieces. First they have little confidence in our abilities in running a business. Second in both families we are still seen as young and needing guidance, although we are in our thirties. It seems lately that anytime we are talking with them about things (like Alder or life or business) they feel that we should instructed in how things are really done. Since they all have had children (except Pat) and all have started their own businesses (except Mary) they feel that know more than us. I know that they do have more experience, I only wish that they would not spend so much time telling us how we have to do things and wait until we ask for their advice.

We aspire towards simple living not one that is caught up in the material trappings that most families have. We want to be successful at our business not to have a second car or a maid but so that we can feel comfortable having savings and occasionally have a nice dinner or travel somewhere. In their minds we should be aspiring to make lots of money and have lots of things. Somewhere in there there is the correlation that simple living is either lazy or an excuse not to work hard. That working hard is the hallmark of a good life.

When I have mentioned to my father that our happiness is one of our main goals in life. He looked at me confused, then said "I've never really considered my own happiness as important as others is it the same?" What a sad thought. Of course helping others is a big part of creating a full life but personal happiness is deeper (read not external). Along these same lines when we have mentioned that we are 'thinking' of homeschooling (we haven't said are or unschooling yet) his wondered why we would want to waist our time. Adding that if we wanted to do a little teaching we could always teach Alder on the weekends. Again we are coming up against philosophical differences.

All of this makes me sad and frustrated because I want to share my happiness and excitement with our families but they are not interested in hearing it because they have too much of their own agenda in their heads about our lives.


The Grocer said...

I read this entry and recognised much of my own parents in what you have written, despite the cultural differences the attitude similarities are there. I think that it is also an age related issue as many people fear change as they get older. Good luck with your business

Tiffani said...

I linked through the unschooling blog, happy to see someone in my neck of the woods! It's hard when others don't understand unschooling--it's a way of life, not just a way to 'school'. I've gently worked up to telling my family...just live your life and they'll all come around. :) Seeing your son happy and vibrant will make any grandparent understand (I hope!). You can find me here and know you're not alone! http://bearupschool.spaces.live.com/