This post is two-fold. One – to proclaim some of my successes. Two – to talk about the concept of success in general.
Last night we put Joshua down in his own cot is his own room where he stayed all night. Hooray. Now, that’s not to say he slept through (far from it – he woke at 11, 1, 2, 3, 3.30, and 5) and neither is it to say I didn’t have to feed him (11 and 5) but it’s a huge step for us as parents. He fell asleep feeding at 7 and transferred like a dream. He was still in his crib at 7 this morning. Hip-hip-thank-you-God-hooray. Context: Since Joshua was born he’s been in our room. He was pretty much in with us for the first three months and then gradually spent more and more time in the crib next to me. He would invariably end up in our bed at 4ish, feeding on and off, and stay there until I made Steve get up with him at 6.30ish. He fed every two hours, and pretty much has done since birth. That meant I haven’t had more than an hour and half sleep in a row since March 27th. So last night was a dream – Steve got up to settle him each time, sometimes with water, usually without, and I fell straight back to sleep after hearing him stir. I fed him at 5 and went back to bed and then got up with him at 7 and we have had a lovely morning together. I feel like a whole different person. And I know every parent says that when their child sleeps through or changes room, or something, but it’s so true! I have had proper sleep, I haven’t felt like a feeding machine, and I’ve had a lovely time with my son. What’s more, he has gone down for his nap in the big cot with the same struggle/ease as he ever went down in the little crib. So we are counting our blessings here this morning.
So what about success? Have we achieved the aim? No, far from it. The aim is to get him to fall asleep by himself, sleep through and wake up happily. We have achieved one of those, but we are from ‘a success’. Yet we are elated – we are one step closer to where we hope to be, everyone is happy(ish – Steve could have done with a few more hours in bed this morning!) and we know we are getting there. So that got me thinking. In life I tend to see things as a failure if I haven’t reached the end goal, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Take ivylou.com as an example. I have posted on here previously that I failed. I didn’t do what I set out to do. That is true, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have some success. I made hundred of cards – I was creative. I built a website – I was creative. I made piles of jewellery – I was creative. My aim was to make money by being creative and although I didn’t make money, I certainly was creative. Did I enjoy it all? No. Building websites is hard and boring. But I learnt lots of things along the way, and I have a better idea of what I want to do next time around.
When I have time I want to invest some of that spare time in learning a new skill – I want to delve into the world of hand-lettering. I want to be able to create my own designs and patterns. And then maybe something will come of it. I have ideas, but I’m not going to get despondent if they don’t work out, because my success will be that I tried, and that I gained an extra skill. Throughout my life I have picked up skills and talents, and it is only now that I look back at them that I see the process of learning those things as a success. Did I think, as I threw yet another batch of cupcakes in the bin, that I was succeeding? Probably not. Did I think, as I counted my financial losses at the craft fairs that my craft business was succeeding? Definitely not. Did I think, as I realised how much of the Bible I have no clue about, that my biblical knowledge was sufficient? No. But throughout all of these experiences I have had thousands of tiny successes. The next batch needs more flavour. I now know what not to spend money on. I know Romans really well, and that will do for now.
So for now I will revel in my tiny success of last night, and I shall look forward to seeing what tiny successes today brings.