I have several authors I quote very readily, their words have stuck with me and hold something of importance to me personally. One quote I actually built a blog around. It was called Bird by Bird, its name was stolen from Anne Lamott’s book of the same name and inspired by the quote below.
“Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
In the book Anne was speaking about how her brother was desperately trying to work on this project on lions. Ha! Just seeing if you were awake, no, he was working on birds. He was becoming confused and lost and his father walks up to him and says, “Bird by Bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
Great advice for life.
We can only deal with things one at a time, no matter how much we try to shove and stuff them into one big project, in the end we will only succeed a smidgen of what we could have if we had but stood back and tackled it in a more orderly fashion. It’s like phone service, sometimes the bundle isn’t as good of a deal as you thought and you would have received better service by just going with one (Ahem ATT). Saying this, at times it is necessary to go the bundle route but for the most part approaching things “Bird by bird” can be a great gift to our mental state and also our physical.
I am not great at this advice I am giving to all my fellow friends and bloggers, in fact quite the opposite is true of me. Often times I try to do too much at once and once in a million times, it actually works. But the rest of the time I am juggling, which is a part of being a person, you have to try to balance all the different ‘yous’ there are, for me this is mother, teacher, wife, artist, writer and friend. But in those parts of you is daily routine and if it gets muddled, you can find yourself like me from time to time, sitting with a coffee cup in hand staring at a tv that’s not even on, hair going this way and that way, just starring. DON”T DO THIS! Ok, I may have painted a more dramatic picture than is true but you get the idea.
As I have aged and have observed life around me and people as well, I am realizing how important Anne Lamott’s Father was correct and I try to live it out and that means that sometimes I can’t do everything and I may have to hurt some feelings by leaving early from a party so that my kids have a bit of consistency, or that I have to tell my darling children to take an hour of quiet time so I can better organize the priorities or alternately, take a nap.
Taking things ‘Bird by bird’, is about balance and working with things in a logical order. Something I try to do everyday, though I think, I could try a bit harder many days, that’s the laize fair hippy attitude that I have to squelch sometimes, otherwise you would catch me in a field of flowers contemplating Plato or some other great philosopher. Ok, maybe not, again drama for the sake of points, but honestly, it’s not that far from the truth. I am naturally a drifter, but one who recognizes the good aspects of it and sees the harm as well, so I try to bring things to focus.
Anyways, that was something I was contemplating and now I think I will go back and re-read ‘Bird by Bird’, I always glean great things from it. But first, the grocery list.
Wouldn’t it be great if they invented a refrigerator that automatically re-stocked the items you want? Like the Jetsons. Yes, I would buy one.