“Just do something!” I said.
“I am doing something!” she said.
We’re knelt in the car, parked in a side street near Crystal Palace park. We’d gotten the timing a bit wrong and Lisa was having to feed my son in the tiny Zipcar we’d hired. This had proven difficult, but then the shit, almost literally, hit the fan. He’d done a massive poo and it had leaked down his legs and up his back. Lovely.
A state of emergency was called. I tried to pull myself together as I hastily rolled out the changing mat on the drivers seat and began hunting for the baby wipes.
Ten minutes later we’d managed the near-heroic and got him out of his dirty clothes without spreading poo over the hire car, cleaned him up a bit and got him in clean clothes. We then hot-footed it home where I immediately dunked him in the bath to clean off the rest.
A nice Sunday stroll in the park.
To be fair, it had been very nice up to that point, almost idyllic. And the more I think about it, the more I realise that this incident is extremely good life training.
If I’m feeling indecisive, just do something and adjust along the way
Staring at my crying child, not knowing where to begin, I realised I had to get on with it and simply do something. Start anywhere and see if it’s right just by doing it, then adjust along the way. If it’s wrong I’ll soon find out.
Sometimes, “do now and think later” is best
Now, I love thinking. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll say: “he loves a good think he does.” If I have a decision to make I like to stare wistfully at the trees and philosophise for an hour. Seriously, I actually do that. But the Crystal Palace incident reminds me that this may not be essential to survival. Best to just trust yourself, get on with it and save the philosophising till all is done.
Don’t use a schedule to put things off
I often say to myself “tonight, I’ll do that project” and this would be an excuse for not working on it even though I would have time before “tonight”. My schedule had become my excuse. No longer, why wait? I try to man up and, if I have the time, work on the project now.
There have been many more incidents like this. For a new dad, this is on-the-job training that gives mega transferable skills – be flexible, take action immediately and avoid putting important things off.
This is real life training. Gotta man up.