Remains of the Day

By Marck Ronald Rimorin. “Remains of the Day” is published by The Kill List Chronicles.


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24 things I learned from taking my kids out of school for a year to accompany me on my book tour

Last year we took 9 months to travel around the country as a family while I was on book tour. We lived out of a minivan, tents and spare rooms of friends. I home schooled my kids. And I learned a lot!

Now home, I realize that less stuff and simpler schedules just helped me learn lessons quicker, but everything I learned is even more important as we re-enter the busyness of a “regular” school year back home.

Here are some things that struck me…

1. Healthy food is really important to me, so I make it happen no matter where I am. My favorite dinner moment was tacu tacu (a Peruvian beans and rice dish) made from scratch using a camping stove and a big salad, at a rest stop. At 10pm.

2. Too much “restaurant” throws me off my game — even when I make healthy choices. Travel — even road travel — is hard on the body. Restaurants make it even harder on our digestion.

3. Being present takes practice. It is hard to find a new way of being. I was determined that presence was an outcome of this journey. I thought the constant diversion of bright shiny objects was due to our too busy life. But presence did not happen by default. It took intention each and every day.

4. We are so wound up we have to give ourselves the time to unwind, or we unravel. I had to honor this in myself and in each one of my kids.

5. Clear communication changes every experience.

6. Planning makes life more relaxing. When I plan and then let go, that is.

7. My kids are each wonderful and unique. I, of course, always knew this, but somehow so much time in a minivan reminded me.

8. Kids can help. Out of the house, they wanted to help cook, figure out the laundromat, and pack. I realized how little I empower them at home, and how often I step in to make things smoother, faster, and more to my liking.

9. When I get too busy, I am full of excuses, and often make the easiest of tasks feel hard. When days feel too “easy” we create amazing things. My favorite home school days were days my kids would say I was being too lax, but they created the most amazing things on those days from songs to whole books.

10. People deal with different obstacles in different parts of the country. Sounds obvious, but it was really poignant in person.

11. Starting the day with a walk can change everything.

12. Self care can be simple. Self care is really important as a mom, especially on those days I was alone with three kids.

13. Receiving is harder than giving. So many generous people offered us places to stay, audiences to speak to, and experiences to enjoy. I always had to pause, and think, “We deserve this.” Taking it does not mean that we are greedy or that the next person does not deserve it.

14. I can do anything I set my heart and mind to, but I cannot do everything at once — driving across the country with 3 kids in tow really impressed this on me.

15. There is so much to learn outside of a school curriculum.

16. It is OK to change my mind.

17. My heart tells me very different things than my logical mind. Finding quiet to hear my heart is key.

18. Smoothies make a big difference. Fruits and veggies can be a challenge on the go. Smoothies were a pretty important tool.

19. Water makes you pee — in a good way! Water kept us all healthy. Not only did it keep us hydrated, it made us remember to stop, stretch, move and appreciate.

20. Your body gives you a lot of clues. I was not seeing them one day in Oregon and fainted.

21. Women sitting in the round talking about taking control of their family’s health is amazing. It will change the way we think about health care. Moms just know.

22. Rhythm is portable. Our days were simple, and a few key components always happened — a walk, meal prep, reading, writing, recap, gratitude. Our rhythm became our home. It was the constant in many changing situations.

23. Sometimes it is nice when other people are in charge.

24. Not sure there is balance, but there can be flow. Life feels good when it flows. For me flow is a mix of time spent on food, life, work, and the extras. Sometimes days are all work, or all family life, but the week can still feel balanced.

Some of my lessons on the road were about learning to be in new situations or learning to adapt key parts of our life to the road. Now that I’m back I’m learning to bring lessons from the road back to life at home.

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