“Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect.” – Zoey Sayward
I’ve never heard of Zoey Sayward, but I sure got smacked in the senses by this quote I stumbled upon in a random Google rabbit hole. I have no idea if she (assuming she?) coined the expression for general lifestyle, parenting, or what but I can see how I can use this quote for a solid week of everything!
One of things we take for granted living in a B.K. (before kids) era is how much precious alone time can be quickly manufactured. If you’re looking for a quiet moment to work on some writing, artwork, or side passion, there’s always schedule gaps that allows for this exploration to approach your craft with undivided intensity. When we look at our professional lives, we also know that the B.K. era is the best time to commit fully to a career, to an education, or to entrepreneurship. The only problem is that most of us (cough cough…me) don’t realize this until the B.K. era is over and time is limited.
That is what makes the quote so applicable to our lives, whether we still think of it in a professional context or something else. The schedule is going to be full today. It’s going to be full this week. If you are waiting for the perfect opportunity to start that fitness routine, make better diet choices, commit to a side hustle, etc., etc., it is NOT coming. Let me repeat, the perfect time is not coming. You will never have enough sleep or enough money or enough time or enough energy or enough support or….on and on it goes. “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” I probably bastardized that quote a bit, but the sentiment is probably the same. Picture your perfect successful moment and adapt it to your time, not the other way around. This is coming from an idiot who waited until his first daughter was born to go back to school…and then decided to launch a blog 5 weeks after the birth of his second daughter. There is no time like the present.
Naturally, the quote most directly seems to relate to parenting. We watch super-parents manage to hit the museums, learning centers, libraries, playgroups, and all that other nonsense on a weekly basis. We flail around trying to support our children while desperately hoping the schedule is going to magically clear and we’ll finally get some alone time or quality time with a munchkin or three. Unfortunately, getting the family out the door in the morning is a nightmare. The drive to the daycare? Stressful. The ride home? Temporary relief. By the time dinner is done, there’s a scant window to shove in some quality time before preparing for bed. Contrast this reality with what we see in magazines, movies, on Instagram, and even with our friends and family. Everything looks perfect, time is free, and matching outfits and accessories for the entire family are a mandated facet of a successful home life. It doesn’t exist though. For anyone.
There isn’t enough time in the day and the issue only compounds when you view parenting through the lens of these well-designed, impactful moments. It won’t happen. So our options are to check out and complain about all the time we don’t have with our kids (I accidentally seem to take this option frequently) or we commit to saying that we’ll take whatever moment we find and create something special. I snag my toddler for a few moments of cuddling and whispering in Daddy’s bed each morning when she first wakes up. We have a song routine for rides home from daycare. It’s not a choreographed life lesson and bonding experience I read about in a parenting magazine, but I’ll do my best to throw in some spare moments of undivided attention whenever I can. I’ll make this imperfect moment perfect for my daughters.
Don’t wait for an opportunity that may not come, select the moment and create something special. Your kids won’t know the difference! And it’s probably cheaper than the freaking zoo anyway.