One day at a time; one step at a time; one task at a time; one line at a time.
I saw this quote a few days ago and it reminded me of when I used to do the Manitou Springs Incline every other weekend. In Manitou Springs, Colorado, there is this crazy fun climb and run. It’s a very rough “staircase” going up the side of a mountain for about a mile. There is a false summit that tricks me every time. Once at the top, the view of Colorado Springs is absolutely stunning. So, you take pics then run downhill from the top on a zig zag trail that takes you back to the parking lot. It’s a great run and by the time you find yourself at the bottom there’s this incredible feeling of badassery.
So imagine climbing step by step up this REALLY tall “hill”. If I would only look at the step just in front of me, I could climb and keep going steadily. But when I would look up ahead at the false summit or the actual top of the incline, it was always WAY overwhelming. Life is just like that. As long as I attack my task list one line at a time, I am steadily working on my goals without becoming overwhelmed.
I was struggling one year trying to complete my taxes. I use Turbotax but for some reason in this particular year, I had a LOT of employment expenses and write offs. It was daunting. I would do ANYTHING to avoid it. I was really stressed about this looming deadline and telling a friend one day. She said "How about I come over and help you sort the receipts." What a great friend! She helped me sort my "shoe box" of receipts and paperwork so that by the time she left, everything was in order of category and chronological. Of course, I finished it then wondered why I had the block and took such great pains to avoid it.
When my kids were young, they would get very overwhelmed when I asked them to clean their rooms. And because their mama is very ADHD, I could understand their frustration. So, I started piece meal-ing their chores. "Stephen, JUST go pick up all your dirty clothes and put them in the hamper." "Sarah, JUST pick up Lego's and put them all in the Lego bucket." And so on. I enjoyed seeing them celebrate their little victories and attitudes stayed positive because they were constantly celebrating another line crossed off the list. Well, I may not be doing the Incline or picking up dirty clothes and Legos but I'm dividing my dreaded chores and task list into small, bite sized pieces. And although it is rare that it actually happens, I do try to stick with the three big things per day rule.
So today I am thankful for all the procrastination and false starts over the years that helped me develop the tools to live productively in this blighted brain. One day at a time; one step at a time; one task at a time; one line at a time.