Something is Better than Nothing
Updated: Dec 24, 2018
I had a profound insight several weeks ago.
I was rushing to get to a program at the Early Years Centre for a much needed outing and socialization (for both me and the baby) after illnesses kept us cooped up in the house for days. By the time he woke up from his nap, I got us both ready and into the car, we were already late. And still a 10 minute drive away. I turned off the car with a sigh of defeat and proceeded to abort our outing. Then, like a light-bulb went off in my head or a burst of energy that came out of nowhere, I put the car in reverse and drove. We might be 25 minutes late by the time we get there, but I needed this. He needed this. And off we went. As it happens, Ari had so much fun in the 5 minutes of singing (and 15 minutes of social time) that we made it there for that he clapped and sang the whole time. I’m sure he would have been happier to be there longer, but that wasn’t in the cards. And I was so glad I went and got a chance to leave the house and talk to other grown-ups and feel like I accomplished something. Because something is better than nothing.
The next week we had a program at the library and the same thing happened. Just 5 minutes before the program ended, in we walked. But even if we might have gotten some judgmental looks, Ari didn’t know the difference and I considered it a success (generously) that we made it there at all. Because something was better than nothing.
My once terrible sleeper is now a good napper, but he’s still completely random with his schedule so I find myself in this situation a lot. Between his unpredictable naps and the time it takes to feed him, and change him, and get out the door, and with the days getting shorter and darker, and my energy level as low as it is, I find it challenging to make plans or even stick to the plans I’ve make.
Even in my very limited non-baby-related parts of life, I’m not able to perform to the levels I would have previously expected of myself. And because of these expectations, I pretty much stopped making mosaics. I stopped teaching and practicing tricks with our dog, Mitzi. I avoided making commitments or signing up for work with volunteer organizations that I’m a part of. I have procrastinated taking the next steps in figuring out what the next stage of my career might look like. All because I feel that if I can’t do something 100%, it’s not worth doing at all. But that’s completely wrong. Five minutes of clapping and singing is better than sitting at home, ruminating about what we missed out on. I need to keep reminding myself: something is always better than nothing.
Anything that leads to this infectious 9-month old’s smile is worth it! He doesn’t expect perfection out of me, and neither should I.