Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20 - Even less-than-100% can be more-than-before.

(I took Friday night off for date night, and Saturday off because, um, because it was Saturday? Basically family time was priority, and I'm cool with that.)

My poor kid. Friday afternoon he told us he was losing his voice. He sounded fine to me, but sure enough, when we picked him up after Date Night was over, he was, in fact, losing his voice.

The poor kid just seems to get colds way, way too easily, and his colds usually turn into a very bad lingering cough. I've had him at the doctor off and on a thousand times or so in the past two months trying to get everything under control, and it just seems like every time he finally gets well, it's time for the next cold to start again.

This round, however, we're on Day Three, and so far he's only coughed eight or ten times. This is where the husband and I disagree. Since the little guy is sick at all, he says, this means that the doctor is obviously missing something, and when the first two coughs showed up, this meant, to him, that the breathing treatments haven't been doing any good at all.

Me, I'm on the fence. I don't know that we can say yet what good anything has been doing, since we don't know how bad his cold (if it's even a cold -- right now just a raspy voice and extra-runny nose) is going to get, how bad the cough is going to get along with it, how long its going to last... If this is the worst of it, then, to me, the fact that his cough isn't constant nor is it so bad that he's throwing up, means to me that though we obviously aren't at 100% with keeping him healthy, it's also a vast improvement.

I've known lots of folks who see anything less than 100% as a failure. I probably used to be one of them, to be honest -- I'm sure that being able to see any improvement as improvement is a product of years (and years and years) of working with coaches, studying metaphysics, going through life coach training, and practice with coaching in helping others to see (and celebrate) their small improvements while they're on the way to something bigger.

It can be applied to nearly everything. For example, you're on a diet, and you vow not to have ANY potato chips, then at a social gathering, you break down and have three. Is that failure? What if, before you decided to start eating healthier, you normally would've had three handfuls plus four or five of the cookies next to them, instead of three chips? Is that still a failure, or is it a vast improvement?

Or... you take two days off from writing a blog post when you've said you'll write every day for a month. Is that failure? Or if, before, you were barely writing anything once a month, does skipping two days rather than thirty or so still show a dedication to improving? (Ahem. Hypothetical, of course.)

The choice, as always, is in how you choose to view it. Which feels better -- to call yourself a failure for being imperfect, or to see how differently you're doing things now than you were before and to feel good about it?

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