Slow Progress is Better than None


Dog mom. Horse woman. Documentary watcher. Whiskey drinker.  Pedicure lover. If someone asked me 4 years ago how I identified myself, I would generally include one of those nicknames. 4 years ago, I was wondering how I was going to manage to finish writing my paper for my masters, work out, AND meal prep in one weekend. Even when I got into a time-crunch, I somehow managed to pull it all together. Couple of late nights here, 30 cups of coffee there, passing up on drinks with the girls and I would manage to get everything scheduled out and completed. Maybe a little hectic, but truly manageable.  I’d break out my day planner and cross things off as I go…nice and orderly.

Fast forward 4 years. My nicknames have changed to: Lovey Finder. Shoe lacer. ‘Jump off the patio furniture’ watcher. And more often than not: Random Tear Wiper. With my new nicknames, I find it difficult to remember sometimes why I’m bothering to finish a Grad School, start a horse business or hit an art exhibit with my girlfriends.  Finding time has become the issue. Even the best time-management skills have much to contend with when it comes to motherhood I have these amazing little people ages 4 and 4 months who do many amazing things, but the most incredible of all is their remarkable ability to know exactly when I’m planning to get something knocked off my list and take that exact moment to blow up a diaper, drop blueberries all over the floor, or have a complete temper tantrum that requires me to stop what I’m doing and fix whatever situation has landed in front of me.

There have been many moments, especially after the 14th interruption to my desperate attempt to order hay and grain for my ranch that I secretly think to myself: “Of all the balls I’m juggling, which ones can I drop in my life so I can actually make some real visible progress”.  Because lets face it, ½ of our to do things that take up a mom’s day aren’t exatly the most noticeable things. And then we get to the end of the day and sit down and think, where did the last 12 hours go? But, at the same end of that day, when the kids are in bed, whether it was an easy night getting them down or the equivalent of herding wild horses, I do sit back and remind myself that tomorrow is another day to keep going but more importantly, slow progress is indeed always better than no progress.  

The irony in this is that its what we tell ourselves when we’re working with horses. There will be days their training takes them leaps and bounds and there are days it seems as though they’ve reverted back to where they were a week prior.  In the round pen, we look for positive trends forward regardless of how the day to day seems to be going. It would be helpful if I applied that to my own life.

So. I’m here to tell the multi-tasking mom with big hopes and big dreams for their life that no matter what you do or do not get done in a given day, even when it seems like you’re treading water and not moving forward, slow progress is better than none. So drop a class that semester, make family dinner cereal, ask for an extension on your work project, or take that really long shower when you need it. It’ll all get done. One way or another, it will all get done. So when you look back over the course of a month, year, or 4 years, you’ll be amazed at the number of names you’ve been able to give yourself and wonder to yourself what new names life has in store for you.