I actually started this blog 3 days ago and didn’t publish it as I didn’t think it was much of a blog, and maybe it isn’t, but after a really good set of conversations today I decided to ‘tweak’ it and give it a new title…… (back to the original blog)
So this week I have received 2 very different, but equally effective ‘slaps to the face’ which make me realise that however much I try to convince myself otherwise I do not have this ‘adulting’ or parenting lark anywhere near sorted.
Let’s take each ‘slap’ in turn, going with the order in which they were served.
Who are you trying to kid?
I had a bit of a reunion with friends this week (one of my resolutions; make more time for the people that matter, tick, well done me. I will take this pat on the back as it will be short lived!). As you do when you have not seen people for months you go over what’s new (annoyingly very little) and what progress you have made sorting all the stuff you whinged about last time you got together.
Well smug me thought I’ve got this one, I’ve made good progress in the thinking (if not doing) department, I had a plan, I’d written stuff down, I’d even ticked some of it off – get me I’m in control of my life. Well it would seem when tested with people who know me well (better than I think I know myself sometimes) certain elements of my plan have some flaws or to quote my very straight talking and sensible friend ‘what the f*** are you thinking?!’ Apparently I am ’doing things that distract from the real ‘issues’ and will just prolong those ‘issues’ and make me resent those ‘issues’ even more’. SLAP! Big fat slap to the right cheek, in fact they were so right I felt like I needed to invite them to slap the left one for good measure.
So, needless to say, back to the drawing board (a bit) and to be fair I must have known deep down my initial plan wasn’t right, why? Because it was still on a piece of paper, I hadn’t yet committed my penciled words to my Passion Planner, or even to the permanency of ink.
Sweat the big stuff
Slap 2 though was even harder because this was a parent/child related reality check. School report time and the very real realisation that I have taken my eye off the most important ball I have and that I am failing to focus enough on my real job. Now this is not a mummy blog and this isn’t a tactic to get all my mummy friends to come out in my defence (honest), this is about something all parents face A LOT. New s***; new issues, new challenges, new stuff, that no book, coaching from friends or Google search prepares you for. And not knowing the answers or even where to look for the answers (Google you failed me) is the most frustrating part of it all.
Parenting is bloody hard for so many reasons but, for me, the biggest thing is you are making a person, you are preparing small people for the big world and there are so many ways and times you could get this wrong. The way I see it, I have the right to mess up my own life up but I don’t have the right to mess up someone else’s, especially not when I made that person, I bought them here, they didn’t ask to come, I invited them and didn’t even wait for their RSVP!
Anyway, as a result this weekend has been full of, even more, personal reflections and confused thinking than even my muddled mind is used to. But two words have been spoken a lot when trying to dissect this current situation – consistency and consequence (I am also a big believer in cause and effect and learned behaviour but that’s probably for another time).
And then it hit me, (slap 3 maybe?) I realised I am not consistent, in so many things, I flit, I change my mind, I don’t commit (and back to blog 1; I have never had a plan). I can try to dress it up as being creative, an idea’s person, free spirited even but I’m an adult now, a mother, a grownup – I need to commit to stuff, see the difficult stuff through, ‘woman up’.
A big part of that is being brave but also being willing to fail, but then to learn and try again. I don’t do failure, I try not to do difficult, and instead I do avoidance or a lot of blagging. And that got me thinking about a blog I read this week ‘things you should do more of to be successful’, it was a long list but one sticks out – ask more questions. In their list is was because that means you are learning new things and challenging yourself. In mine because I need to ask the right questions of myself (so I can answer them honestly and make the right plan) and of others who can help me (so I can do my real job better).
And then back to today and the realisation that it really is about asking questions. I haven’t got all the answers yet but I have asked all the right questions (someone even told me so) and they asked even better ones back. The result? A plan, not a 5 year one, not even 5 months, but a plan to how I get to the answers I need. A plan doesn’t need to be long, ambitious or complex it can just be step 1, what you need right now and right now I need progress, action and, if not the answers, lets eliminate some of the options.
Ask questions people, it’s the only way you progress, the only way you grow – that one’s mine