Regarding immediate life in the home front and finding a method to the madness, my wife and I are starting to get things figured out. When Jack needs a diaper change, I put in his pacifier, “shush” him, and place my right hand over his chest while my wife handles the dirty business, delicately cleaning around his healing circumcised penis and belly button (similar to playing the Operation board game by Milton Bradley). Regarding sleep schedules, my wife has come up with this gracious plan: On weeknights, I sleep in the guest bedroom on a futon bed from midnight until 6 AM for 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, then I get ready to leave for work. When I arrive home 12 hours later, I do whatever my wife needs me to, including but not limited to rocking him, holding him, and helping with the feedings. But during the weekends, I pretty much just take naps when I can.
Yes, this is my new normal. I look at the situation for my wife and I as “baby boot camp”. We are being broken down to the point now where we see two hour naps as a valuable prize, as sleep becomes the new currency in life. Though so many people have told us the “sleep when the baby sleeps” rule, he inconveniently sleeps between 4:30 and 8:00 PM, a time slot where I am always widest awake and eating dinner. Hopefully keeping him awake during this time will push back his schedule enough to ensure better sleep time for his parents.
I figure if we can make it through the difficulties of breastfeeding and learning to deal with sleep deprivation, we can officially handle all else that will come our way in raising him. So I remind myself that every good and present father has been through this too. I look at parenting as a necessary rite of passage for myself as a human being. It’s something I was meant to do in order to fully serve my purpose here on Earth; never really knowing all the positive chain-reacting side-effects that my influence on him will cause in the world. Deep.
“No more messing around and living underground and New Year’s resolutions… To tell you the truth I’ve said it before; tomorrow I start in a new direction.” –excerpt from the song “Come Downstairs and Say Hello” by Guster
A general rule of life that I have stumbled upon more recently is this: If I really wanted to be doing something, I would already be doing it. And if I don’t yet have the means to do it, I will save the money to afford it or study the material to become qualified or expose myself to the daily discipline and patience it takes to accomplish the goal. So in theory, nothing is holding me back from doing anything I want to do. Not even myself is holding me back.
And really, we ourselves are often the biggest obstacle keeping us from accomplishing our goals. For the most part.
People are consistently late to events because they consistently leave the house 10 minutes late. Not because of an alarm clock or too many red lights.
Some people consistently set themselves up for failure. Not because they themselves are failures or are incapable of change, but because they don’t truly want to accomplish the goal. As the 4th grade cliché goes, they are simply not applying themselves. Subconsciously, they are assuring themselves they won’t have to make an inconvenient change.
The biggest red flag I know of is the sure-to-fail system we call New Year’s Resolutions. Two of America’s most popular resolutions every year are to lose weight and quit smoking. But the holidays are filled with constant stressful situations and plentiful meals of comfort food. So people wait until the testing time is over (January 1st), trying to outsmart the system. It’s easier to “start over” in the New Year. But like uncooked spaghetti thrown at a wall, it doesn’t stick.
The holidays are the necessary boot camp, the true test whether a person is serious about making a lifestyle change. The new year isn’t a magical time that makes things suddenly easier.
The argument is that some people need goals to be motivated. I am one of them. But to set a goal further out into the future for no other reason other than convenient procrastination is self-sabotage.