Making the most of the moment

| planning

This post isn't super-special, but I wanted to experiment with a workflow for making videos based on my sketches and dictation, so I made this.

2021-12-20a Making the most of the moment #planning #kaizen

Building on yesterday's reflection on waste, I thought I'd think about how to make the most of the moment. There are some things that are easier now and harder later, so I should take advantage of the situation to prepare for what's next. There are some things that are harder now and easier later, so that's a good opportunity to stress-test systems and improve things when things are a little bit easier. There are things that are about the same. They've got to be done anyway, so I might as well figure out how to keep learning and growing through them.

What sorts of things are easier now and harder later? Well, the big one is spending time with the kiddo. Right now, she's really interested in spending time with us. We have lots of time together, and she actually wants to be with me. I know that this is not always going to be the case. So as a result, I should take advantage of this opportunity to be present and make memories and all those other good things, but also to personally enjoy it, to store up all those things that I'm going to fondly remember when she's having a teenage angsty meltdown. One of the ways that I can help myself remember these things is by keeping a journal, maybe taking pictures and videos if it doesn't get in the way of enjoying the time with her, and also investing the time to build the skills and patterns that will help us later on in life.

Something that's easier now and harder later: schooling. Right now, she's in senior kindergarten. That's the second year of kindergarten. Next year, she's going to be in grade one. That means that we've been able to get away with a very relaxed, play-based sort of learning. It's just essentially her learning whatever she wants to do and me writing it up nicely in an observation spreadsheet. I've been slowly learning how to guide her interests by leaving interesting things lying around and supporting her interests wherever they take us. Right now, it's puzzles, for example. Eventually, I'll probably need to learn how to give her a little bit more structure so that she practises things like writing, drawing, spelling, and so on. That's someday.

Another thing that's easy now is that partly because of where she is developmentally and partly because of COVID, we're focused on our own little world. She's quite happy playing with us. She's not that interested in online classes or hanging out with other people yet. So she's focused on us at the moment, and again, that's an opportunity to be present and make memories, and to build those patterns.

Definitely easier now, harder later: time with my husband. Parenting is a lot easier when you can take a break and know that someone else is going to be there, especially when the kiddo has decided that only Daddy will do or that Mama's the meanest person in the world. He's also really great at helping me keep perspective. For example, when the kiddo hands me something that I'm not entirely sure I should take at the moment because my hands are full or she wants to give me something random, he always reminds me that their world is so small and they want to give us whatever they can. So keeping those things in mind is helpful. Of course, the relationship is great, and I'm not going to have that forever. I want to make the most of it while it's there. Also, he has a lot of skills that I want to learn. So I can take advantage of this time to learn those skills, bring those perspectives into my head, and get through the harder parts of raising a kid. It's not always going to be like this, so it's great that he's around to help, and then eventually (probably) it'll get easier. It'll get harder first, probably, and then easier.

My mom is another example of something that's easier now, but I've got to start preparing for when it's going to be hard. She's the only one in the Philippines. None of my sisters are there either, so estate tax paperwork is going to be a big headache. If we can get some of the preparation sorted out, then that makes later much easier. There's also enjoying the time with her while we have her. So, maybe that involves recording some calls or finding other ways to talk about stories or remember things or make that connection.

And lastly, there's this big question mark around climate change and society. I think things are not super easy now, but they will probably get a lot harder later on, so if I can build skills, help us develop more resilience, and build resources, that might put us in a better position for when things get crazier.

On the flip side, there are some things that are harder now and easier later. As I mentioned, it's a good opportunity to stress-test the systems and processes. So for example, the kiddo really loves getting our attention. She wants to spend time with us, which is a little hard when it comes to focusing on my own things. But eventually she'll move towards independence. At the moment, I can just relish the time I have with her and put off whatever I can so that I can just not worry, not feel like I'm being pulled into different directions. Then I can try to just use those little moments.

That's a second challenge: fragmented time. Eventually I'll be able to sit down and focus on things. Right now, it's a little hard. But fortunately, that's kind of like a preview of later, much much later, when it will be hard to focus on things, so any note-taking habits and processes that I build now might be helpful later. So, build systems and tools.

My tech setup is not quite as awesome as it could be. Sometimes it takes too much setup time to go downstairs and plug into the external monitor, set up all the things that I want. Context-switching is friction. So I can use what I have and gradually build on that toolkit, learning different ways of using the things that I've got and then add more as I can.

COVID-19 pandemic: hard now, someday easier, maybe? It mostly means that we aren't relying on external resources. I can't take her to library story time or other things like that. There also supply chain issues to watch out for. Less socialization, can't really take her out to see friends. We could do some outer playdates, but even then, it's harder to arrange. And then, of course, there's a lot of risk and uncertainty. Again: put off what I can and look for opportunities to make the most of things. For example, virtual kindergarten has been working out really well for us.

Of course, screen time is an issue, especially with young kids. I just have to find other things to do, like draw these reflections and solve Rubik's cubes and things like that.

There are some things that are about the same now as well as later. Cooking, for example. It's always got to be done, but I can keep growing by trying new recipes and techniques.

Tidying. I've got to keep working on ways to see clutter and get rid of it, maybe figure out where things are supposed to go. I lose a lot of time like trying to find things if I have put them down in a moment of inattention, so I have to figure out how to smoothen that.

Gardening stuff happens every year. It's always a new opportunity to try different plants or learn more skills. This year, we learned how to transplant periwinkle and start them from cuttings.

Health, got to keep working on that. Finding things that I enjoy doing as a form of movement will make it easier later on, too.

There are lots of different things that I can do now to prepare for harder things later, and lots of different ways I can take advantage of what's tough now so that can have ideas for things to improve later on, when things get better. There are things that are about the same. It's all about making the most of the moment.

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