Wow, I’m feeling especially fearless today because we are in the middle of our Redmond 24-Hour Fast!
I’m a gold star girl! I like setting goals and checking boxes! I can remember being in middle school and writing down homework assignments in my spiral notebook. (Never in one of those composition notebooks, though. Who came up with those things?! They were a nightmare for lefties like me!)
I could be halfway through my two pages of math homework already. But, I still penned in that assignment book, “Two pages of math.” I wanted the full credit for my efforts. I would even write down “P.E.” among my list of classes just so I could check the empty box! That’s how much I love the approval of crossing a finish line.
So, of course, I pat myself on the back good and hard after the first 12 hours of our fast was complete! From 9 pm (our time) to 9 am (our time), I successfully crossed the 12 hour mark. No, I don’t want to talk about how my bed did most of the work any more than I want to talk about how I never had any homework in P.E. class. I just want my check mark.
But, there’s still 12 hours to go.
That was always the downside to my homework list. Yeah, I got a quick check mark for my P.E. class or for the spelling worksheet that only took a couple minutes to complete. But there intermingled with my fluffier homework demands was a much more daunting assignment: “Work on my science project.”
Man, I hated those things. I had the same science teacher for all 3 years of middle school, so there was no way for me to recycle projects. And even though it took up the same width of space as my P.E. class, that particular homework assignment line was going to make me work so much more for a check mark. There was going to be library trips and experiments and rough drafts, (which were aptly named), and works cited pages and re-writes…GOOD LORD, THE REWRITES! My mother was not a deputy in the grammar police, she was their sheriff. And although my daily planner gave the same space to “Work on my science project” as it gave to “Read your Health book for 30 minutes,” she was able to rightly divine which assignment was going to need the bigger kick in the butt of follow-through.
Her approach to a science project was simple: we chipped away at it one day at a time. I would complain about other kids who seemingly saved the bulk of their science project preparation to the last minute. And, she lovingly reminded me that she wasn’t their mother.
One day at a time, I worked on my science project. When there was an aspect of the project I really wasn’t looking forward to, my mother would have me work on it hour to hour. She would say, “You can stop in one hour.” Once I focused on just getting through the hour and not worrying about this thing eating up my whole day, my attitude got so much better. And, that made the burden of the assignment lighter.
As we step into August, some of the health goals you and I have for ourselves will be like the first half of this fast or a homework assignment in P.E.: an easy check mark. But guaranteed, you’ve got a science project-sized challenge, too. (Remember, I know because we’re in the same class!) Don’t be angry, depressed or lose motivation because you can’t check it off quickly. Take that assignment one day at a time, even one hour at a time if you have to this month.
Encourage yourself that you’re gaining ground. And, when you feel alone, just look across the Bunsen burner! You’ve got a lab partner in me!