one step at a time

i went to the gym on saturday.  it was a great time of just taking 50 minutes to invest in my health and clear my mental space.  right now, i’m taking care of kids 24/7 (since i’m still nursing through the night) and i’m also taking care of a parent a couple of times a week for a 10 hr chunk of each day…

i was feeling the need to just step away for an hour.

(more than an hour would have been good, too… but hey, you get what you can. 😉 )

as the room-full of us women were sweating and pushing through the different exercises, our instructor talked us through.  even though i know she was speaking about the moment– about the challenge of those inner thigh exercises (oy!)– there were several take-aways that i needed not just then, but for the other stuff that i’m processing through right now.

one of those things is not feeling good enough.  not feeling that my efforts even mean anything.  there have been multiple times this week where i want to get x, y, & z done, and something–anything– prevented me.  thwarted and tired, i felt like the week pushed me to the ground and kicked me while i was down.

that’s why i needed to just get away for a bit.  re-group, you know?

we transitioned into another exercise and as the instructor walked us through how to do it, she said something that struck me.

“do what challenges you today.”


and it was like a lightbulb went on in my head.

because there are days that your kids behave and take naps and you can tackle that project…

and then there are days that a teething baby just wants to be held all morning, and the dishes sit untouched in the sink.

you see, i struggle with believing that i’m only as good as what i get done.  my success as a mother is measured by how many things off of my list i can scratch off.

maybe i’m not the only one that struggles with that?

so this past week, my laundry pile, sitting room clutter, and unchecked list sat as evidence that i was a failure.

a big, fat, frustrated failure.

and that’s when the phrase, “do what challenges you TODAY,” is so, so good.

some days, you can take on the challenge of a project.

some days, the challenge is just getting out of bed.

but each day you face the challenge that’s presented to you, you win.

i think about when i have had to have surgery.  the day after the surgery, they want you up and moving.  the bathroom feet away from you seems like a mile away, and the pain of just getting up can suck the breath right out of you.

getting out of bed that day after surgery?  yeah, that’s a challenge.

it doesn’t matter that the day before, you might have walked a couple of miles, or taught 3 classes, or cooked dinner and wrote a book, or saved the world.

that was yesterday.

today’s not yesterday.

today, the challenge is getting out of bed, and it does no good to compare yourself to your past person, whether that was the day before or the decade before.

do what challenges you today.

no matter what that is.

because no matter what the challenge is, if you rise to meet it, you can’t help but be a success.

and success, i’m learning, is no grand thing.

success, often comes slowly, one step at a time.

1 thought on “one step at a time”

  • 1
    Chrisi on August 15, 2016

    Thank you for sharing, this is just what I needed.

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