Baby Steps

Just when I’m pretty sure I’m writing into the void. Just when I’m flinching at the echoing silence that greets each new post, I hear from an old friend:

I need to thank you for recommending One Small Step Can Change Your Life.  It’s about small steps, but it’s had a huge impact on me. I’ve given away I can’t tell you how many copies. 

I’ve been reading a lot of books about change this past year. I even took an on-line course all about changing one’s life. Changing-up my blog has been a similar endeavor, this “big” idea I had that was supposedly going to do something big for me.

Nothing ever delivers like small steps.

To get anything done, I have to break it down into little tiny itty-bitty steps. This has been true for everything I’ve ever done, from adopting my daughters to going to Ireland, whether I was landing my tenure-track teaching job, back in the day, or planning my daughters’ graduation party this past summer.

Playing the piano has been a series of micro-steps. Cooking up a new poetry manuscript is a series of micro-steps (which I’m kind of struggling with just now).

Sometimes that first step is the one that you most need to tackle. Brené Brown tells a story about her daughter feeling overwhelmed when her swim coach signed her up for a race that she didn’t feel qualified for. “Your job isn’t to win,” Brené  told her. “Your job is to get wet.”

When I am resisting practicing the piano, I tell myself that all I have to do is sit down on the piano bench.

When I’m really really dragging my feet about going to the gym, I know that putting on my gym clothes is a first step toward ending up there.

When I’m avoiding a writing project (which, really, why would I?), I tell myself that all I have to do is sit down with it for fifteen minutes.

If you still have some last-minute gifts to order, you could do worse that clicking on Robert Maurer’s little book.

It’s a first step.



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