Monday, January 10, 2011

Baby Steps

 It takes time to teach a baby to walk. You don't just stand them up and let go, expecting them to walk a mile. Rarely will you get one step like that. You hold their hand, build their courage and confidence. Teach them that they can succeed by trying and not giving up.

The learning process begins long before they are ready to walk. When they discover that they can grab hold of the top of their playpen or crib, and pull themselves to a standing position. Then movement.  They may start by side stepping along the side of the couch. Soon they're brave enough to let go, if only for a second, to test out these new things called feet. It doesn't take long for them to grab a hold of that stable life line, the couch. But it also doesn't take long for them to realize that they want the toy that mom just moved from the couch to the chair. The chair is right there beside the couch, so they can just move one shaky hand to the chair to take that leap of faith, that step. Not long after, their courage is beginning to build. They don't realize that mom moved that chair over a couple of inches. They don't realize that it is no longer arm-span distance between the couch and chair. They just turn from the couch, let go and take that first step. Soon, mom has moved the chair 2 or 3 steps away from the couch. That's when baby starts to realize that they are mobile. They can go anywhere they want to, and these really cool legs and feet will take them there.

This is how my oldest started walking. We didn't have to "teach" him. He taught himself. He has always been resistant to anyone teaching him anything. Even now at almost 16, he wants to learn on his own. He wants to experiment and learn via trial and error. This is both a blessing and a curse, but it is who he is, and I love him for it.  I guess he kind of comes by it honestly. I'm not one who really likes to be taught. I too like to find my own way of doing things.

So, where am I on the journey? Why did I tell you all of this before I got to the main topic of discussion? Well, I'm still setting on my butt in the playpen. I'm looking at the top bar. I've reached for it a time or two. I have even pulled myself to a standing position. But I let go too soon. I can stand while I'm holding on, but I fall to my hiney as soon as I let go.

I guess that's not true for the whole journey. I've cut my smoking by about a quarter. In fact, yesterday I was less than that. While I have been smoking a full pack (20 cigarettes) a day for about 17 years, I smoked about 1/2 a pack yesterday. I moved the chair over a couple of inches. Maybe after a week or so I can move the chair a bit more.

Eating has been a bit of a different story. I have been eating like a pig since I decided to move to a more healthy way of eating. Not really junk food. Sure I've had some, but I'm afraid to completely cut myself off. I'll fail miserably if I do. I've just been eating more (in quantity) of the healthy stuff and less of the junk. Not really what I had in mind when I planned this. That being said, it's a start. So that's where I'm still reaching for the side of the playpen.

I'm finding my own way to retrain myself. I'm finding my own way to reduce the number of cigarettes I smoke. I'm finding my own way to change the kinds of food I eat. I guess I need to remember the first part of this posting. I need to start this journey with baby steps.

No comments:

Post a Comment