Friday, March 2, 2012

Are you in...or out?

Well, which is it? Are you in or out?

And don’t go there, I’m not talking about the closet.

I’m talking about the box. Do you reside inside or outside the box? Do you follow the flow? Or do you walk against the tide?

My husband and I have always lived somewhat outside the box. Just on the edge so to speak. Not enough outside the box to be considered freakish…but definitely enough outside the box to be questioned on a regular basis. I have seen the looks when people don’t think I am paying attention and I have heard the tone of voice when asked “So…what are you trying this time?”

I admit our life outside the box has at times been somewhat reluctant, especially on the part of myself. I am a woman. I like security. I like having money in the bank and a regular source from which the money flows. I like knowing I have bread in the pantry and milk in the fridge. I prefer my children to have shoes that fit and yes, I admit, I thoroughly enjoy a venti white chocolate mocha from Starbucks once or twice a week.

Society tells me that in order to have everything above, I must go to work and work 8 hours a day to enjoy the simple creature comforts of this life.

Someone I know recently told me it is very important that I maintain a regular schedule with my son’s homeschooling. Most people who give advice mean well, they really do. But, not everyone wants to live in that box. I admit the public school system is the perfect place to train your children to work an 8-hour day. And for some people, that is great. However, it is not what we have in mind for our son.

Believe it or not, some people actually thrive outside the box. Some people I know (like me) do their best work in the middle of the night. I tend to do my best writing at 3am. At times this makes me a social piranha. People don’t know what to make of it. Because I sleep until 10 or 11 am, I am lazy. My question is, why do I have to be like everyone else? Why do I have to live in the proverbial bird cage?

Living outside the box is usually reserved for those people who are pursuing their dreams. Unfortunately, most people have been trained to put their dreams on the back burner. Even worse, some people no longer remember what their dreams are. So, when confronted with us living our dreams, it can be an affront.

Recently we committed the mother load “sin” of living outside the box.

After much prayer and years of learning to let go of stuff and trust God, I looked at my husband and said, “let’s do it. Let’s go live with my aunt for a while and write. You can write your server training book and we can publish it. Let’s go for it. You can always get another job.”

You should have seen the grin on my husband’s face. He has been waiting ten years to hear those words come out of my mouth. He actually asked me where his wife was. Today as I was watching him write for 6-8 hours, I smiled inward, thankful that we didn’t listen to those people who tried to discourage us and squash our dream.

For the next few months we are in the south drinking sweet tea, eating our big meal at 2pm and writing until our hearts’ content. Why? Because God’s call on our lives was too loud to ignore, because we love and support one another and because we never want to be “normal.” Oh…and because we can. True story!


  1. Welcome to the land of dreams, Ya'll. Go for it! The box will still be there long after you have lived your dream!

  2. It's too bad that society has trained us to think in such limiting ways. Your comment about people thinking you're lazy because you sleep later is a great case in point. They obviously aren't thinking about the fact that you were up until the wee hours... I am a definite night owl myself and revert to this every weekend and holiday. It's just the way I am and I've stopped trying to be an early bird. (I'm just no good in the mornings ...!)
    I also relate to your homeschooling reference. I homeschooled my own four children for nine years and we used my own "Krauss' curriculum - lots of hands on and reading good books and having fun. guess what? All three of my girls went on to be valedictorians, governor general award winning honor students when they chose to go into the 'system' for high school.
    Money isn't everything. I wish you and your hubby all the success in the world with this writing adventure. Way to go!

  3. I am so glad I am not the only one who does her best writing at 3am. Such an inspirational post!

  4. I don't have children of my own, but I do teach in the public school system. Let me just say, IF I did have my own children, they would NOT be going there. That could be a whole post by itself, so I'll move on.

    Congrats Darlene on your decision. I wish you and your husband the best in writing your books! And just think all of the new things your son gets to learn living is a different part of the country. Here's a question...what to they call carbonated beverages where you are at? Pop, Soda, Coke? Just wondering... :)

    Congrats again and praying all your dreams come true!

  5. are so right, the box will always be here! Tracy...congratulations to you! It sounds like you did a fabulous job and have some awesome kids!
    Doreen...thanks for the encouragement!
    Lisa...I know you and I know you are a fantastic teacher! And apparently it's called...wait for it...wait for it...soda pop! hehe

    Thanks to all of you! I am so thankful that we have people encouraging us who also believe in us! Eternally grateful!

  6. I applaud you for following your dreams. Our world doesn't often allow for dreams, because the world is really too practical. We will be living our dream soon by moving back to the family homestead, so I guess we are pretty out! Most people think we are nuts. They thought we were nuts when we decided to homeschool, also. I also work into the wee hours of the morning, and sleep a little later. As long as I share the load, what difference does it make when I do it? Writing at 3am is really fun! You can't live your life for others, only for yourself, and your immediate family. Congrats!!
    Currently homeschooling middle school, planning for homeschooling high school, and beyond!

    1. Linda,

      Congrats on actually knowing your dream let alone going for it! Glad we are not alone on this quest. Blessings!

  7. Darlene, I'm so happy that God provided a way for you and your hubby to write. Such a blessing!

    I live outside the box. I've been doing it since I married my husband three years ago. Before then, I did what society told my to do, that whole work all day and do it all over again the next. Originally, I wanted to be an English major and become a professor (so I could teach and write :-)). Instead, I went to law school and worked for the attorney general in Washington, D.C. In the world's eyes, this was the road to success, but I was miserable. All I did was get up, go to work, and come home. I had no life whatsoever.

    Now, I spend my days writing, learning how to improve my craft, and networking with other writers on a regular basis. I feel like I've come into my own for the first time in my life. Sure, I could do with more money/security (Who doesn't want that?), but at least I'm working toward my dream. I have a supportive husband who's proud of me. God will provide, no matter what the doom-and-gloom naysayers want to tell me.

    Kudos to you for living your life on your terms!