Monday, December 8, 2008

Bites and Steps

Poor little elephant!
I've heard this obscure saying:
"There's only one way to eat an elephant: One bite at a time."

This saying gets on my nerves, literal-minded as I am, because nobody eats elephants! Well, at least, nobody I know does. But behind the absurdity hides an important truism.

Things can seem overwhelming, impossible and far beyond the scope of little old you. So here's what you do: just begin, do a little at a time, only as much as you can do, and the titanic task will almost miraculously begin to shrink into something manageable.

I finished my website portfolio, my thesis prospectus and my reflective essay. I made it through a 12-hour shift at work yesterday. My house is clean, there's food in the fridge, and my car works. It is possible I may actually survive finals week.

I still have to write the 20-page seminar paper, but now I've done a bibliography, an outline, an argument and an opening paragraph. I'm cookin' with fire now! Eight days until it's due; that's about three pages a day plus a day to polish it. Yup, I might survive.

And boy, am I going to enjoy winter break!

I like this much more dignified version of the saying: "To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping."
Lucy's and my dirty feet after a day at the beach.


Kristen said...

Dear Indie,

I wish that I had a more elegant way of saying: Boy, Oh Boy, is *that* the Truth!!!

I thank you for both the reminder of this and the example in yourself, because as I am getting back into *real* living, it sometimes does seem overwhelming ... but, when I just live through one breath, one step, one action at a time ... magic happens and Life Becomes! So, thank you for sharing this from yourself. . . .

What are you studying in graduate school (I will be utterly embarrassed if the answer to this is in your profile!)?

Steppin' with you, one at a time!
Kristen :)

Indie said...

Hi Kristen, I'm glad something I said was helpful to you.

I'm going for my master's degree in English with an emphasis on Teaching of Writing.

I'm almost done with semester number three, and if all goes as planned, I'll be graduating in May!!!

Lucy said...

Yay, that's my foot! I had never heard the elephant example, but it's a good one. Why do we use elephants for so much? There is the elephant in the room, eating an elephant bite by bite, pink elephants dancing in dumbo...maybe my word verification guru Glyin will illuminate me...