In college, I remember the first week of every term. A handful of syllabi for five or six classes clutched in my hand leafing through each to see when the final was scheduled, how much it was worth, and when I should start stressing about it. Tapping into some crafty self-talk, I told myself, “I can do anything for a semester”.
Somehow, back then, I knew I could get through the readings, homework, papers, and tests semester by semester. Anne Lamott tells a story of her brother tackling a last-minute report on birds when their father stepped in and told him to simply pick one bird and write about it, then move on to the next. Just go “Bird by Bird,” he said. So I also went bird by bird. Small steps eventually led to my Bachelor’s, a ton of real work experience, and later a Master’s Degree.
In our longer-than-most Christmas card, I wrote: “This year I feel our lives have been hitched to a race car skidding from school to work to practice and maybe home for dinner. The busy is as exhilarating as it is exhausting. In all the frenzy, even our traditions have been flipped on their backsides and altered to squeeze into schedules. But the moment we allow ourselves to log off digitally and mentally is when personal connections have a chance to resurface. So, in my attempt to keep the good stuff from rolling away with the tide, I bottled up some moments and stories to share.”
So friends, in this new decade and new year, let’s gather our moments, parse them out and share them. I’ll do my best to amass the virtuous with the vicious moments and share them here, bird by bird, moment by moment.