I am currently packing, for a move to our new house. It is super exciting!
I am not a Last Minute Person so I have been packing for [what seems like] ages. I’ve been filling boxes and they’ve been building up around our house. Pretty ugly and sort of annoying. But also super motivating. The more I’ve done the more I have been keen to do more.
When you’re working towards a goal, it is essential to receive feedback. Not necessarily from another person, just some sort of information that tells you how you’re progressing [like increasing piles of boxes]. It boosts motivation and enhances goal attainment.
So if you’re thinking about working towards a new goal, of any sort, have a think about how you can build in a feedback mechanism.
I had to go to a shopping centre last week. Blegh. With two kids. BLEGH!
But I’m good, my friends: I moved fast! In and out with the stuff I needed, managing to leave just as My Little Ones were beginning to crack it. Winner!
Except then our pusher developed a mysterious flat tyre, it started to pour with rain [we were parked outside] and the lift that was closest to where we parked [read: the only one I knew how to find my way to – I get crazy lost in scary shopping centres] was broken.
So there I was: two crying kids, a recalcitrant pusher, an armful of stuff balanced on a wonky hip, dripping wet, circling round trying to find a lift that worked. YUK.
Finally, we found the lift and squeezed in: people kindly averting their eyes from The Crazy Lady With Hysterical Offspring. And as I hobbled out, an older lady asked me if she could help: let me carry your shopping [she said].
Now this lady was little and looked frail and my shopping wasn’t heavy but it was lumpy and big and cumbersome.
Oh thank you! [I replied] but I’m fine, really. [Totally unconvincing].
She reached for my stuff and asked which way to my car. Now remember, the lift near my car was broken so we were actually A Hundred Miles away from where I’d parked. I told her that and she just said: the walk will do me good.
And so we walked, the Little Ones miraculously stopped crying and The Lady and I started talking.
She’d had three children herself and was always so grateful when others offered help that she tried whenever she could, to repay the kindness. She told me that her oldest two were twins but one of them had died, only a couple of years before. I didn’t know what to say, hating that our language [or maybe it’s our culture? or maybe just me?] is so lacking and unhelpful when it comes to death.
I’m so sorry to hear that [ I said]. And even as it came out of my mouth, I could hear it sounding trite and lame. Of course then, to emphasise that I really did feel sad, I repeated the same empty words. And then for good measure, made the conversation about me, adding that I couldn’t even imagine losing one of my own Littlies.
By that stage we had reached my car and she seemed incredibly sad. I wanted to hug her and say that she was beautiful and lovely and kind and that she didn’t deserve [no-one does but she really didn’t] to lose her darling child. But I just said an awkward thank you and she walked away.
I have been thinking about her ever since.
So, it turns out I have a two year old. Um. Sorry. What? A TWO YEAR OLD. Me!
It’s her birthday today and I was thinking this morning about how much I’ve learnt since she arrived, about all the practical stuff involved in being a mama. I was one of those people who had never even held a newborn, let alone changed a nappy. To be honest, other people’s babies were never really that interesting to me [they sort of still aren’t, even though I’m always super happy they’re here and everything, you know].
But once she was here, I just started to learn. By asking, by doing.
One of the things that really worried me before she was born was what I would do if she woke up in the night vomiting. [I know, weird, but this was what was at the front of my brain]. Then one night it happened, I dealt with it and now I know what I would [and wouldn’t…] do next time.
As a coach, lots of folk come to see me, desperate for positive change but terrified of taking a next step. They have often over-thought the situation to the point where they’re completely stuck, worried that they don’t know enough or don’t have enough skill or just aren’t good enough.
When you’re in that situation, sometimes the best thing to do is to just do something. Anything. Gather up just enough courage to take that first step and to trust that whatever flows from it, you will be OK.
That first step encourages a tiny bit more confidence, which then allows you to take the next one. You keep going. And then one day strangely, you find you’re on your way. [Dr Seuss style].