Saturday, October 22, 2011

One (Baby) Step at a Time

Wednesday morning, I found I just couldn't do it.

I got up a little later than usual, as I didn't have to go get Robin from his dad's or feed him breakfast, and I wasn't feeling great to begin with. I faced the bed and told myself, "Rise and shine, Ruth! Get dressed right down to lace-up shoes."

No. I couldn't do it.

"Make the bed?"

Nope. No go.

"Eat breakfast?"


"Okay. Baby steps here. How about a sip of water and your meds?" (I take two pills, both in the morning.

Yes. I can do that.

A little while later, I was sitting at my computer wasting time with CivIV or some such game, and I felt strong enough to get dressed.

Once dressed, of course, I had to make the bed.

Then I realized I was hungry, and headed downstairs to have my breakfast. And my morning routine was completed only about a half hour later than usual, because I was willing to take baby steps.

All too often in the past, I've looked at a task taht seemed overwhelming, felt I couldn't complete it to standard, and so didn't even start. I've got lots of novel ideas, and more than a few first (and even some second) chapters hanging around, but only one novel to which I've typed, "The End."

It seems that in order to be able to type those magical words more often, or to live in a clean house, or to balance my budget, I'm going to have to go back to taking baby steps.

Can't write a whole novel in one sitting? How about a chapter, or a paragraph, or even a single sentence?

Can't clean a whole room in one go? How about a 1 foot by 1 foot area of counter?

Can't pay a whole bill when it's due? How about paying what I can, and planning to pay the rest ASAP. (And explaining to the creditor what I'm doing...)

Very few people have huge chunks of time or energy or money to do large tasks. All we're given as mere mortals are little bits and pieces, never enough individually to do the job at hand, but if we use them instead of wasting them, the job will eventually get done.

I think there's a quote about that from a book I read somewhere:

Oh, yeah.

"The master was full of praise. 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!'" and "To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away." (Mt 25: 21 & 29, New Living Translation)

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