Eating An Elephant

You eat the elephant one bite at a time.

After months of being unhappy with various events in my life, I decided it was time to do a complete self-analysis.  And over the last five weeks, I’ve looked at everything — family and career, finances and friends, health and home and wardrobe and tech and fun and just everything.  There are parts I absolutely love and cannot live without, and others I truly hate and never want to see/hear/experience again. Places I’ve been and things I’ve done and still more I haven’t had a chance to even begin to experience.

I listed and analyzed and calculated and finally compiled a true, unblinkered 360-degree snapshot of where my life is right now, versus where I would like it to be in this semi-perfect world.  I measured the gap between the two, banged my head on the table and went looking for a bottle of aspirin; preferably one that was industrial-sized and big enough to handle the Mount Everest of Migraines.

Because I am nowhere near what I want my life to be.  Not even on the same continent.  While there are good parts — a lot of good parts — the bad parts are not outweighing the good on the scale, they’re tipping the scale over and knocking it right off the table and onto the floor in a heap of tangled metal.

The sheer scope of the changes I want to make is — beyond daunting.  Career and family and network and finances and getting in shape and redecorating and travel and just all of it; it would be like disassembling a hatchback into its thousand components and reassembling them into a Porshe.  Seriously.  As good as I am at planning and running projects, the thought of this one gave me a headache.

In the midst of thinking about this, and trying to figure out whether I even wanted to try doing it, a friend sent me an email about something else, and at the end, she wrote this:

You eat the elephant one bite at a time.

Yes.  Yes, you do.  As many and varied and gigantic the number of changes I want to make in my life, I don’t have to do it all at once. I can pick one thing, and start there, one step at a time, buildng and expanding as I go.  She reminded me that I have done things like this before, just not for me and not quite on this scale.  But if I can get my company ISO-qualified on the first review, direct a corporate integration that doubled our size, run three simultaneous litigation cases involving all of the company’s records, then I can manage a complete overhaul of my life so that I end up where I want to be.

I just have to take the first bite.


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A new ending

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” — Maria Robinson

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