Your best is your best for you.
If you are a parent of a young child, you are either singing along or cringing and trying not to get that little jingle from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood stuck in your head.
For those not familiar, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a cartoon that young kids become sort of obsessed over. It is a spin-off of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. And each episode has an extremely age appropriate lesson that is repeated by jingle over and over again, along with situations that the toddler and preschool set often encounter: going to school, potty training, getting a new little sister or brother.
I believed in this statement before I became a parent. I was fortunate to have grown ups in my life that lived this, do your best. I also remember encountering this belief in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements . And as a middle school teacher, this was my mantra. Always do your best.
This is now what we say to each other in the morning at our house too. Not “have a great day”, but “do your best”.
Let’s face it, having a great day is beyond our control sometimes. But doing our best, totally in our control. Doing your best means that, no matter what gets thrown at you, no matter how you are feeling on any particular day, you can still do your best with what you’ve got.
And our best actually looks different on different days, or even during different parts of the same day. And that’s okay, as long as it’s our best.
As I think back on the past year, and as I attempt to survive my “first year” after the death of my daughter, I’m learning a lot about what my best looks like. And I have to keep reminding myself that even though this might not feel or look like my best right now, it is.
And I know that my best won’t always feel this messy. So right now, part of doing my best, is giving myself a break and being okay with what my best is.
My name is Lou and I am a mom of two girls living outside of Chicago. I never would have imagined this, but our oldest daughter is at home and our youngest is not. She will be in our hearts forever. Lucy was an amazing soul and we continue to learn lessons from her today.