Progress. All too often the goal is the goal and getting there has to be done quickly and without error. But having children has reminded me that making progress is just as if not more important that reaching the goal. Because life is a long journey, hitting milestones and making progress make it a more enjoyable process than rushing to the finish line. Once again, my children have reminded me that it is progress not perfection that makes life manageable.
Riding the Bike. My oldest has been trying to learn to ride his two-wheeled bicycle all summer. He’s had a series of mishaps, nervousness, and guffaws that tear at my heart and test his father and my patience. We all agreed, however, that this was the summer he was to learn to ride sans training wheels. Little by little my son made progress. Sometimes it seemed he went backwards, but usually we could see his development. Finally, after a few days of peddling with his father’s protective hand behind his seat but not touching, our son got the nerve up to try the act completely solo. And he did it! He was such a “natural”! Seeing his confidence, exuberation, and pride was so gratifying. The progress he made kept encouraging him to try more. Finally it paid off and I can happily say he rides his bike quite well.
Diving. My middle child is a very tall four-year-old. I mention this because he looks far older than his chronological age. Swimming since he was one, he is now working on diving in addition to the strokes he’s being taught. To encourage his progress I offered him a bribe of a “special toy” he’d been wanting. It was a Cars Movie 2 car that he would have gotten for his September birthday, but I was prepared to give him early if he conquered his fears. That boy tried and tried. It was all-consuming for him, but try as he might, the fear would win over time after time and he would wind up jumping feet first into the water instead of employing the dive. I explained time and again that I did not expect him to dive if he wasn’t comfortable, but he knew he could do it and he desperately wanted the car. Finally, after weeks, when in swim class, his coach uttered one thing, and the child dove elegantly into the water! It was effortless and without thought or fear. I was so overjoyed I broke into a single standing ovation! Upon returning home the child got his prized car and has been proudly telling anyone who will listen how he can dive now and then shows off his nifty new car.
Talking. My youngest is not yet two. She is a headstrong, stubborn, and intelligent young girl who lets her thoughts be known. Talking far earlier than her brothers, she has yet to expand her vocabulary to meet her every need. She is persistent, however, and picks up new words daily. Recently she’s been able to communicate what she wants to wear. If I pick out a pair of shorts and a t-shirt she adamantly and vehemently shakes her had and cries “PRITTY” until I show her a skirt or a dress of her liking. This precocious little girl knows what she likes and will not be placated until she gets it. I’m all for parts of that personality, but reason and manners will have to be added. As she learns to speak more, I will continue to enhance her vocabulary while trying to guide her emotional outbursts. Parenting, it appears, is about progress, too!
Weight. One of the many reasons I started this site was to introduce a consistent healthy lifestyle for myself. I figured answering to an audience was going to induce success far more than answering to myself. I have been pretty darn good with exercising. I used to be better; five days a week has dropped down to three to meet the demands of my career. But my weight hasn’t gone down like I wanted it to and that is a health issue that must be met. So, I am reissuing an edict to myself to safely, healthfully, and slowly lose weight through lifestyle changes in hopes that when I am at this point next year, staring down a milestone birthday next August, I will have wonderful news to report of a svelter me. Progress.
Career. I am impatient. I suppose my daughter is more like me than I care to admit. I started this career also as a way to make money. I “monetized” my blog with an Amazon link thinking that may pay a bill or two each month; it doesn’t. It does bring a small bit of supplement to the family, but nothing like I had originally hoped. Still, I didn’t know then that this one site would lead to four other writing gigs, bringing my total up to six sites that I write. I had no idea I’d be asked to do Internet radio and then be chosen for a total of three shows on two stations. And I didn’t realize how all of this work actually energizes and excites me as opposed to overwhelms and scares. I am in flux between happy where I am and anxious for more. I am still on a quest for wanting to get paid for my talents and knowing that having a readership that responds so positively to my work is the highest form of payment. And, on the verge of bigger and better in my ever-expanding career, if I’m willing to give up anonymity for celebrity. Well, that last one is me dreaming, but you never know!
My good friend and mentor tells me not to “prematurely ejaculate”; a vivid and lewd term that definitely drives home the point. I need to enjoy each step, each process, as I continue to grow in my career and try to reach the ideal health. I, like my children, am certainly progressing. What will be will be and I am simply along for the ride, steering when necessary. I hope you continue on this journey with me, as that is certainly the most rewarding for me!