Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life Lessons

My adopted dad was not an easy man to live with; these days he would be called bipolar, manic depressive. Back then, he was known to have a quick temper that flared, did considerable verbal damage, and then was gone. But as critical and difficult as he was, I learned some valuable things from him that I still use today. Most of them have to do with hard work and how to make it manageable.

He would tell me, don't look at the whole job, just the bit in front of you. If you spend all your time looking ahead, you'll be so exhausted and discouraged you'll never even begin.

It works. It works whether you're clearing a bit of land, planting/harvesting a garden, painting the fifty-foot fence, or writing a poem or a short story or a three hundred page novel.

This week and last we have been confronted with a huge amount of wood draped all over the lawn, the stone wall, and other trees. It's a slow, seemingly endless job, but taken in manageable chunks, one bit at a time, it gets done.

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