“When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.” – Creighton Abrams
Years ago, I worked as an assistant to a bookkeeper. She was top notch. Although the top of her desk was covered with endless stacks of tasks to be addressed, she could easily reach in and find whatever was requested. Still, I couldn’t understand why she didn’t put things that weren’t urgent in a drawer. She said, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Keeping it all on her desk, kept her conscious of what was next.
It was mindboggling to me how Mrs. Juanita could work on the task at hand, while so much was staring back at her. Just seeing her desk made me hyperventilate. Yet, each day she approached it all, calmly and systematically. She was always pleasant, and had a great sense of humor. I had to know her secret. When I asked how she did it, she smiled and said “How do you eat an elephant?” She saw my puzzled look, and answered her own question, “One bite at a time.” My youth and impatience just couldn’t swallow it at the time, but today I’m thankful for the living example of peace she offered me.
As the parent of a young adult with disabilities, I’m aware of “The Elephant” of needs, now and in the future, that I cannot possibly address in their entirety today. I can’t act as if they don’t exist. But the reality is, there is a daily limit to my mental digestion. Knowing my appetite is better on some days than others, and Morgan is invariably going to throw in a squirrel or two, I hang on tightly to my sense of humor. I’m learning to address each day with joy and purpose, as it comes. I start with a prayer, a fresh breath, and accomplish what I can, when I can.
With the right perspective, even an elephant can be digested in bite sized pieces.
Until Next Time,
Know The Hope,