I am thinking of buying a maritime code flag D for Rebekkah’s buggy.

It was a lovely day today and so we went for a post-Christmas-overindulgence walk along the canal. The path is relatively dry underfoot (apart from the detour over the golf course – well done to Lindsay for wearing wellies) and can be retraced from any point to give infinite options for walk length. We walk here often.

Today was quite busy; kind of expected given that it was a sunny Boxing Day in a popular exercise venue. At one stage I did wonder if many people had been given babies for Christmas, given the preponderance of buggied families, but this traffic soon thinned to be replaced by pramless perambulaters. Many of them annoyed me.

We have bought a really lightweight manoeuverable buggy/pushchair, but even so, it’s fat and turns a bit like a tank. People, I generally think, can move left and right with ease, unconstrained by straight-line wheels. So why don’t they? I frequently felt forced to get out of the way of onrushing walkers.

Now, I know that my feelings are my problem and within my control, whereas the actions of others are not. I can deal with that. But it led me to thinking what is it in Lindsay and I that allows us to just step off the path and into the mud to allow ease of thoroughfare for others. I wondered if it is simply a combination of not wanting to unnecessarily inconvenience others coupled with a can-do attitude.

I am happy to plough my own furrow regardless of how it impacts others if needs must. However, my teaming mentality does seek to find a win-win scenario if it can be easily found. Both parties moving to the side of the path matches this in my view but, since, bleak midwinter or not, I can only do my part, this might not be reciprocated and I simply go a little further, off piste if necessary, to get past folks.

But the second thinking caught my attention for longer today. We take the view that we can do whatever it takes, in many varied situations, if not actually at Scotstoun. Maybe it is a feature of our faith, believing the truth of the bible verse in Philippians 4:13 that says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. Or it could possibly be our growth mindset that suggests that we can try anything and if we’re not immediately successful then we can work at it until we are (read more about Mindset). We had just taken the buggy across some particularly muddy terrain next to the golf course and so, as usual were up for anything.

It’s been a bit like that for the last four months. I’ve not yet passed my parenting exams so I’m still making it up as I go along. Some things I do result in Rebekkah laughing, at other times there is more of a smelly mess everywhere, but I’m learning. Sadly, at the rate she changes, today’s learning will be obsolete next week but I still take the view that I can do it. After all they managed to rear kids in caves so Bishopbriggs shouldn’t prove too difficult, despite the naysayers and handwringers I sometimes encounter.

It seems people can be divided into two camps – the problem-focussed who baulk at the obstacles and struggle to cope sometimes and the solution-minded who see the possibilities and keep flowing onwards. Maybe we can be in different camps depending on today’s mood but I have definitely encountered people in my past who have both feet firmly planted in the fixed mindset camp, suggesting that some things are beyond them. Now before you harangue me unnecessarily for overly fluffy, positive mental attitude, I-can-do-miracles thinking, that’s not what I am suggesting here. I am merely proposing that we can all benefit by looking at challenges with a willingness to tackle them and see what transpires, with a willingness to learn from the results. How hard can it be? For some people, too hard. What about for you?

So yes, I might equip Rebekkah’s pushchair with a flag suggesting “I am manoeuvring with difficulty, keep clear”, but I will continue to do whatever it takes to walk my path in the direction and speed that suits me best, regardless of the actions of other people.