January 25, 2014

The Day The Mountain Moved...


 ...One shovel full at a time.

When I went to bed, we had a  driveway. When I woke up this morning it was gone!

Admittedly, we live in a place where this type of thing happens during the winter months.  This morning however was different.  Rather than just the foot deep blanket of the white stuff, there were drifts in some spots that were 2 1/2 feet high.

We are shoveling people, my husband David and I.  I'd love to spin tales of how much  better for some reason that makes us than those around us with show blowers and plows, but the truth is I just don't want to fight my way around either of those in the garage for the 9 months we're not using them. (cursing myself and my logic today)

David, who takes pride in his man over nature triumphs, went outside first. (Getting up and waking up are two separate events for me that happen about an hour apart.)  By the time I was fully engaged in consciousness, he'd been at it for awhile.  I was surprised by his discouragement when I joined him.  "I think we might have to call the plow guy to get us out this morning." he said.  Those drifts will be impossible."  Having already moved a small mountain of snow, he was beginning to tire and what was still ahead threatened defeat...something I'd never seen in him before.

What I did next, didn't seem like such a big deal.  I went directly to the snow drift and took off a layer of snow.  Then another.  And another.  One shovel full at a time, it gave way.  Soon the drift was smaller than what was left around it.  When David turned and saw the drift gone, he immediately brightened up and took courage.  Is there a lesson here somewhere?  There always is!

Don't we sometimes look at our goals and see them as insurmountable "drifts."  We imagine ourselves with our shovels, trying to lift the whole 2 1/2 feet of it all at once.  That's a rather daunting picture.  Many times, just this image, is enough to stop us from taking the first step that will could eventually change our lives.  Often, just a small shift can make all the difference.

Here's an example:  When David first starts to shovel the drive, the first thing he does is shovel one long path from one end to the other.  Next he comes back to the first quarter of the drive and shovels another path all the way across it.  Whether intentional or not,  he's "chunk-ing" the job.  As he finishes the first area, he goes down to the half way mark and does another path across.  He keeps this up, working  just in each of the small "chunked" out areas, until the drive is finished.  What at firsts seemed too much to handle is successfully completed...and he celebrates and regales me with his conquest. (insert chest thumping here.)

Just practicing seeing huge jobs as "chunks" instead of a massive undertaking, makes the impossible seem possible. 

This is just one of the many lessons that life serves up for us each day in the ordinary goings on.  Who knew that being buried by snow could be so enlightening?

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