One small but symbolic thing

Some days, being ambitious means taking on a big project and moving a mountain. Those are the days you run a half marathon. Launch a new product. Give that big speech. Write three chapters in one day.

Other days, being ambitious means doing little things that keep the momentum going so that there is something to work with when you have those moving-a-mountain kind of opportunities. 

This summer, I'm living in that second camp. No mountains are being moved here. It's all I can do some days to keep up with the dishes, walk the dog, and keep the kids from killing each other. 

But every so often, a tiny window of opportunity opens, and I take a baby step toward a goal I set last year, or a goal I'm anticipating for the fall. I go for a (super short) run. I create a page in my art journal. I write a paragraph of my novel. I stretch in a down dog. I write a blog post. :) I think of these small actions as a sprinkling of water on the seeds I planted during the school year. Just enough to keep those little plants alive so that they can grow bigger come the fall when the kids go back to school. 

I have loved spending extra time with the kids this summer. They're each at a precious and precarious time in their development, and I think the extra time I've had to pay attention to them is paying off. (And maybe that's the mountain I've moved.)

So while I'm sad to see summer's lazy days wind down, I'm also looking forward to the school year and the opportunity to take on the bigger projects that more time will allow.

I was inspired by this post from Simple Mom this morning, which reminds us that doing something big often starts with doing something small. She challenged us to do one small but symbolic thing, right now, that moves us toward that something bigger. After reading that, I decided to commit to the full version of some writing software I've been using on a trial basis. As I paid for the full version, I felt a surge of renewed commitment to my writing project. It felt good.

What small but symbolic thing can you do today?


  1. And I followed you over from Simple Mom. Love that you write MG. Me, too!

  2. What a wonderful post. I think it's way too easy to become discouraged with ourselves when we don't feel like we are moving mountains every day. But, you're right, sometimes those small things we do are the most important.

  3. It was here that we "met" before! Glad to make it official, Laurel.

  4. You never fail to amaze me with your goals. I like that some days can be small days. We all need days like that. We don't have to measure our worth by how much we accomplish each day. Sometimes it's OK to just "be".