I’m going to do all the things I said I would do.
On Friday, I attended sports day at my children’s school and I was struck by the number of fathers who were in attendance. Some had clearly taken time off work and others took a half day rushing in half way thorugh.
I observed as one dad walked in slightly late and made the effort to make eye contact with his children and wave so they knew he was there. I watched as alpha males around the field were screaming their child’s name with the gusto of olympic porportions. I think those dads were visualising themselves there actually. 😀😀😀😀 And then there were those whose children weren’t as athletic yet screaming their names like the champions they were and cheering them on to finish the race. And the father who was busy taking prized pictures, capturing every moment. And the ones who kissed their sons or daughters at the end with proud beaming smiles.
We often hear about the fathers who don’t do their share. And the ones who abandon their children. The ones who treat parenting as the responsibility of women and grace their families with their occasional presence. The media is ever ready to share countless stories about these men and the inequality amongst men and women in the home.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of inequality but there are more dads who are sharing in parenting than ever. They are the ones you see at the school run. Taking time off for school trips. Taking charge of dinner, even if it’s bought. Taking their kids to the park on their own. Or in the supermarket doing the shopping. Or at the doctor’s when a child is sick. They do not think that parenting is the preserve of their wives or partners. They contribute. Dads who are fully engaged in the lives of their children; who want to be there and not coerced. Who do not measure themselves by the ability to provide but being a positive role model for their children. Who enjoy the company of their children. Thank God for those dads.
Today I celebrate those dads. The world needs more of you.
Still on the subject of procrastination which I blogged about here. As I’ve had a some success (I pray it lasts a lifetime), I’m unpicking what worked.
I’ll take the simple task of defrosting my fridge which I would ordinarily do at the weekend simply because of time. To accomplish this, I needed to get it cleaned by Thursday as I was away at the weekend.
I must point out that I had been putting it off for months because I just got it into my head that it would take at least half a day. Mind you, we are only talking about a little fridge. Hmmmm do you think procrastination is another word for laziness?
Here’s how it worked out:
- I decided when I would start: It was not going to work if I didn’t commit to day to commence the task. That would have just been the same old spiral I’d been going though.
- I wrote it down: It made it on to the to-do-list.
- It aided a larger goal of decluttering: So it felt purposeful. Only I could make defrosting a fridge have purpose. 😂😂😂
- I broke it down into smaller chunks: 1- Switch off the fridge 2: Clean fridge compartments 3: When fully defrosted clean freezer out. 4: One quick wipe over.
- I overcame the obstacles: If you thought my task list above was a bit odd, here’s why. After I switched of the fridge, two days later the freezer had not defrosted. I was puzzled and then discovered that I had inadvertently turned off the dishwasher plug not the fridge. Doh! I contemplated giving up and doing it another time (the definition of procrastination) but then I thought I could just clean the fridge out first and wash all the trays. And then when the freezer defrosted I would wash that out. Unconventional but it worked.
- I kept it simple: Sometimes, when you get a burst of energy you are tempted to do too much at once and then you get leftover tasks to put off to another day. I avoided overcrowding my to do list with tasks for each day. This way, I was rewarded with the satisfaction of crossing off the completed task at the end of the day.
When I looked back at how long it took me to get my fridge defrosted, it took about an hour spread over three days. How many hours did I spend rationalising the number of hours it would take? Needless to say, I learned my lesson.
Procrastination plagues us all. We’d rather not do stuff when we need to do it. The next thing you know, you have twenty other stuff that still need doing. Contrary to what we think, organised people also struggle with procrastination. They have simply learnt how to silence it’s tempting and deceptive lure. For it gives the false impression that you’ll always have time to do a, b or c. Well if you’ve been round this block a few times you’ll know that time lost can never be claimed back.
I’m challenging myself this week to start one particular activity that is going to be time consuming. Ouch! Today I’ll be breaking it down into smaller chunks so there is clarity on what I can tackle this week.
Why don’t you join me and do the same? If only for the moral support.
Not everyone thinks for themselves.
How a child can be born in some obscure part of Africa and become a famous actor in America
How a child can grow up in abject poverty and become a millionaire
How a girl can be repeatedly raped as a child and grow up to be a human trafficking advocate
How an illiterate boy could become a successful business owner
I am perpetually fascinated by the power of the human spirit
This morning I woke up, like most people, to the news of Muhammad Ali’s death. Except in my case, my husband woke me up to break the news to you. The fact that he actually woke me up to share this is something that I’m still trying to understand. However, he’s forgiven because he is the number one fan of the ‘greatest’. I, on the other hand, am not a great fan of boxing so it simply remained sad news for me – a somewhat disconnected acknowledgement that someone special has finished his race.
So I took to social-media, as you do, to read about it. Cue a myriad of inspirational quotes, tributes from friends of ages-past, and footage upon footage of fights, comments and talk-shows and if you didn’t know much about him, you’ll be fully educated about the persona that was Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali said a lot in his lifetime, unlike many he accomplished a lot of what he said. I am fascinated by his life not simply because of what he accomplished but his single-mindedness. He won fifty-six of the sixty-one fights he had. That is something!
I came across one of his quotes that encapsulates this single-mindedness I speak of.
Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. they have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.
Some of us have the skill but no will. And then you have those who have the will but no skill. You simply can’t have one without the other.
If you are one of those who want to shake up your world – whether it’s your family, your work-place, your city or literally the world – hone your craft and keep your will super pumped up.
RIP Muhammad Ali
All you know isn’t all there is to know. Be humble.