The Follow Through

I am bad at following through. When I ask myself why I am this way, the whole “nature vs nurture” debate plays out. As a kid my parents were great about getting me into activities, for one year. Dance class, piano lessons, plans to change the course of my life all occurred in the span of a year.
These days plans to change my outcome or improve myself take a great deal of determination. I never really learned to follow through. I have learned to feed the leering instant gratification monster. I can handle small life changing decisions like banning fruity pebbles (I clean the bowl but they are never really gone), limiting the verses of SpongeBob sung in the van, or how many times I will ignore the growing noise downstairs. The life altering decisions require effort but are usually worth the work.
This month I have decided to start over and make some small positive changes. Probably for the 142nd time. I have come to embrace my flaw. I make plans and often don’t notice how I have once again failed to integrate the difference until I am deep in my familiar loop. So I allow myself to keep starting over. Most people wait to start fresh until the first of the year. What good is a resolution without a year of failure preceding? Others wait for Monday. A new start may as well wait for a new week, right? I just keep trying. I keep trying to make those small improvements once a month, a week or even several times a day if needed. It doesn’t always work.
Failure is necessary. We must fail for growth. We must fail so we can understand ourselves and embrace our flaws. We must also admit our imperfection. Sometimes failure is a hard thing to recognize. I am a mother of four. There is a large supply of people to point out my mistakes. And that’s okay. Keeping on track takes work and it takes support. In the end, fighting to keep a desire for positive change yields the most results.
I will continue to make the simple  choices my kids can’t seem to live with: limiting screen time, finishing homework, or making sure they try everything once. I know I will fail to teach them something but I don’t want them to fail to try again.
As for me, I try to remind myself that I am worth the effort. The monotony of motherhood sometimes leads to a void of self-worth. Beauty is usually hiding behind a shirt used as a tissue, jeans speckled with cheerios and hair arranged in a fashion slightly resembling a pony tail. And the phrase “take time for yourself” is joke-worthy. I am on an uphill journey well worth the experience. My follow through could happen on a Thursday afternoon and that could change my life.


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