Dec 10

Just take the first bite!

how-to-eat-an-elephantYears ago, when my big kids were little, I remember going to a women’s retreat where one of the speakers talked about tackling the big projects that we encounter throughout life. Whether it would be a housecleaning task (like painting a room, cleaning the garage, or occasionally trying to maneuver from the bedroom door to the teenager’s bed), or a personal goal such as exercise, health and nutrition, or going back to school, she gave us one simple word picture: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

Since that time, I’ve heard many motivational speakers use that concept to teach time management (or self-management as Coach Christie would say!), goal setting, and any other project that we might attempt on a daily basis. Of course, when we look at a HUGE task, it is easy to become overwhelmed and decide to go take a nap. At least, that’s what happens to me. Frequently. Especially since moving into our new house, some days I just look at all that needs to be accomplished in a day, and feel like giving up before I even get started.

We’ve made great progress, and we are down to one corner in the garage that still has the totes for Christmas decorations (that makes sense!) but then there are a few with all those things that just defy categorization. Should they go in the kitchen, or the laundry room, or the bathroom? Or should they just be put back into a tote and put up in the storage area above the garage? Then why are we keeping them??? If we don’t need things, shouldn’t we just get rid of them?

Of course, as soon as you get rid of something, within 48 hours someone will ask where that “something” is because it is needed, right now, for a school project or some other unexpected event. That’s what makes this task so exasperating – when you get to the place where there are some things that you just don’t know where they belong, it is easier just to put them back into one of those handy-dandy totes and mark it “MISCELLANEOUS.”

Dirty Dishes 1But then . . . . now that most of that stuff is contained (I used that word on purpose!), there is still the daily inundation of more mess and clutter. So, if I spend my morning on my computer work, then work in the studio in the afternoon, fix supper in the evening . . . now we have a messy kitchen. Just don’t feed anyone, I guess, is the only final solution to THAT problem. But “final solution” sounds so . . . . FINAL. So I guess that’s not the answer.

I feel very virtuous when the dishwasher is running, the washing machine is spinning, the sewing machine is whirring, and I’m balancing a pile of spinning plates with one hand (not really, but that’s how it feels most days). But fiddle-sticks! The laundry is washed and dried, and then! Someone has to fold all those clean clothes.

laundry basket

So while I’m folding clean laundry, someone sneaks into the kitchen and makes a grilled cheese sandwich, or a bowl of cereal, or decides to try making scrambled eggs, and now the kitchen is a mess again. That’s life. Messes never end. So in my attempts at self-defense against the Messy Monster, I frequently feel like . . . . taking a nap. And sometimes I do. But the best way to handle those huge messes that seemingly pop up spontaneously when I’m not looking, is to follow the advice of that lady who told us long ago that the best way to eat and elephant is one bite at a time.

I guess I better go and take the first bite!

But first, I want to invite you to participate in this week’s Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine’s Corner.



Welcome to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. We invite you to link up and share your favorite post or a post about your favorite things.

We can’t wait to see what you share!

KatherineKatherine’s Corner || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
NinaVintage Mama’s Cottage || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
DebiSurroundings by Debi || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
JasAll That’s Jas || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
ErikaWhat Erika Wears || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
BettyMy Cozy Corner || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
RinaI Thee Cook || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||
RosemaryAn Italian in My Kitchen || Twitter || Pinterest || Facebook || Google + || Instagram || Bloglovin’||

thursday Favorite Things blog hop rules

Adding your link to this blog hop gives Katherine and her hostesses’ permission to share your posts and pictures via social media, on Pinterest and as features on their blogs

Thursday Blog Hop Image DECEMBER 2015



2 pings

  1. Kathryn Ross

    Blessings, Nina! One day at a time . . . one bit of “stuff” at a time. You’ll have a place for everything and everything in its place by this time next year, I’m sure! Gah–and I’m sure you’d like to have it so last month. Thanks for hosting!!

  2. Sally Ann

    Nice article Nina, I see myself in most of what you described. Just folded that load of laundry I did 3 days ago. ugh!
    Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

    Sally Ann

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