Sticking with it

I’d like to be in my bed, turning off the light and tucking in to a restful but shorter-than-desired sleep (hopefully without a 4 am waking to take the toddler to the washroom). Presently, I am sitting at my laptop, eating leftover Halloween candy, trying to come up with a blog post in the next 52 minutes so as to meet this month’s commitment to myself. I’m wondering what possessed me to take on such a challenge, and how, unsurprisingly, the reality of behaviour change is often more complicated and time consuming than I led myself to believe.

The latter half of the day was challenging for all of us. As toddlers do, my daughter became displeased with something around supper time and this set off an escalating tantrum that would last the next 2.5 hours. I’m tired, I’m worn out, my creativity is gone. Each minute ticks away as I search for something witty to say, but I hit backspace more than any other key; my midnight deadline looms ominously. Tonight is a night that I so desperately would like to just skip it, start writing again tomorrow, make the hardship go away. Just like the near constant urge to give in to whatever my daughter wanted tonight, just to make the screaming stop.

But I didn’t acquiesce to her increasingly irrational demands because aside from some brief auditory relief, little good would come from it. As tough as I am as a parent (thank goodness my husband has a kind and soft heart to make up my shortcomings), I hated to have her go through that. But she needed it: she needed to work through emotions, she needed to experience fair treatment that did not provide instant gratification, she needed to know that we would be there with her through it. Our hope is that the benefit will come…likely a long way down the road.

So here I sit, to write. It is important that I work towards this goal, that I work through the discomfort, that I learn to make do with the circumstances at hand and not wait to for the ideal. It is the same with any behaviour change: sometimes, sometimes more often than one would like, one has squeeze past the thoughts of calling it quits to make it to the goal posts. This is not to say we declare failure the first time we are unable to meet our target, far from it. There are many legitimate reasons for not achieving a goal as stated, and given the faults in the universe and of human nature, perfection as a goal comes with a likely chance of impossibility. Tonight, I carefully weighed my options, to post or not to post. I have a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t, but I can also see that tomorrow will be another busy day and evening, with more through the week. Unpleasant as it is, the best option is to write. The benefit will come.

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