One of the mantras that I use a lot on myself lately is “small steps.” (Another is “desire is the root of all suffering,” but that one is usually for moments of particular frustration.) Despite having made this a foundational principle of my service project, it’s an idea that I’m still working on integrating into my life in general.
On the surface it seems so easy and obvious: little bits of work, spread out over time, add up to lots of progress. I’ve seen this in action. I know it to be true. And yet I don’t know how many times I put off working on something because I don’t have time to really get into it. What I really need, I think to myself, is just a good, uninterrupted hour to make progress.
Wake up, girl! There are no uninterrupted hours anymore! (Not without losing sleep, which is not a good long-term strategy.)
This morning I was reminded how well the “small steps” strategy works when I looked down at the scarf I was knitting for the Red Scarf Project and realized that it was nearly two feet long. (It was this long once before, but I decided I didn’t like the stitch I’d chosen and pulled it out. Mom would have understood. Dad is probably rolling his eyes.) I rarely manage more than a few rows each day, and some days don’t even touch the project, but it keeps growing.