Saturday 3 September 2022

Tiny, Tiny Steps

Dormouse - I've given up on jam. Apart from anything else, I'm not safe with boiling sugar. I happen. Grandfather would happily go through a jar or more a week of the stuff so it was worth it back in the 1970s and 1980s, but with energy prices and sugar prices, it's easier to just buy the stuff these days. And jelly is so much more fiddly than jam. 

Cherie - pruning the brambles used to be one of my favourite things. Bear goes back to school next Wednesday. However, given how much time the school run can take and how much I need to do to get things sorted here, I don't think that I'll be bored. 

Bless - thank you. It does feel that I've started on the right foot.

Sharon - the memories make everything better. We had comics as well. Grandfather always insisted that we bought from the shop and never ordered them in the mail. He said it kept the shops open, remembering the 1930s I guess. We would all pounce on the comics as soon as we got there. We all had our own comics and once we had read ours, we all swapped and read the others. Then there was a chocolate biscuit out of Grandfather's tin as a treat and lemonade out of extremely battered and elderly plastic cups. Good memories like that are like a hug when you are reminded. Your Grandad Jack sounds amazing.

I have a lot of bad habits. One of them is thinking about stuff, trying to reinvent the wheel, getting overwhelmed and giving up. In the past, I've had some success writing everything down. So today I decided I would try writing out my thoughts. After covering a lot of paper in bad handwriting, I've made some decisions. 

I picked five apparently small tasks that I'm struggling with. For example, I need to read the meters. It's an easy thing, but there is stuff piled up in front of the meters and it's always a nuisance to do. So I've sat down, had a think and made a list of all the very small steps to make it possible to read the meter on a regular basis. I've made them extremely small, concrete and achievable and I've set them out to cross off as I get there. The goal is that once I've crossed off all of those tasks, it should be fairly easy for me to just read the meters all the time. It's not just 'read the meters' it's 'get rid of the blocks that have been stopping it being an easy job and deal with them'. But in very small chunks.

I'm planning on reducing all the big, overwhelming, scary stuff to do to those type of lists. I'm reluctant to feel too confident, but I feel that there's a chance. I think if I just concentrate on doing a tiny, tiny bit and not trying to achieve everything at once, I have a better shot at it. I've set an end date, which I think is realistic, and I'm hoping that by the time Halloween comes around, I'll be a little more in control and the house will be in a better place. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm also filling up the calendar, to make it work for me. I've got orders from Tesco coming up, and putting them in the calendar (and remembering to check that calendar) takes a lot of the pressure off. It takes it out of my brain and onto paper, and that helps a lot. 

I've also written just under a thousand words today, and I hope to get a few hundred more done by tonight, which I can fit around working towards crossing things off those lists.. So far, so good. 

Hugs and good health to all. 


  1. Baby steps and lists are definitely the way to go. Our meter is a blimmin nuisance to read too as we pile all sorts in front of it. I have to drag half the cupboard out in order to read the flippin thing.

  2. Baby steps are the way to go! Break down those big tasks into the smallest possible steps, check off each step as you accomplish them, set yourself 15 minutes (or smaller) time segments in which to accomplish each baby step, and at the end of 15 mins. reward yourself for what you were able to accomplish!

  3. I think you have just realized a (hopefully) perfect solution to your frustrations. I do exactly that. I liken it to dissecting a sentence, from my days in school. I list my "projects" on the page(s), leaving room for a breakdown of what it's going to take to successfully complete said project. Even the most minute steps are listed separately. It works very well for me as I too, did not do well with generic listings like, "clean the living room". There can be a lot to cleaning the living room and when looked at as a whole, can be very overwhelming. In the meantime, having a breakdown of everything needed to accomplish cleaning the living room carefully listed makes me feel accomplished, every time I cross off a line from my list. It's empowering and I think you will find it to be the same. The key is to not allow all of the pages of "projects", even in their dissected state, to secretly shred your confidence. Only look at a page, or a project, one at a time. Don't worry about what lies in wait. It will be there and you will get there because you will feel so empowered that nothing will hold you back. I wish you good luck. I have shared/taught/encouraged many people to look at their tasks or projects, in this manner, with much success. You, too, will succeed. I've been working on my own lists this week, but have had to take a break as we will be taking my 89 year old father down to his all-class reunion and I have to save my strength for a 2 and a half plus drive and several hours of sitting among many strangers, somewhat hopeful that my aunt and uncle from another state, will make the (quite long for (2) 86 year old) drive to the Event Center, so we will have someone else that we know. Then the long trip home. I'm trying to stay positive and remember this is for my dad and it might be the last opportunity he has to attend. Have a great weekend. It is Labor Day here, so a 3 day weekend. No plans but gives my husband a break from work. Ranee (MN) USA

  4. I hope these smaller steps work for you, it's something I do when faced with a challenge I don't want to do, I find its a great help and gives a sense of achievement the whole way along, Helen

  5. We had comics when we were young, swapping them with each other and then with our cousins who lived up the road. I have lovely memories of sitting in front of the fire after getting back from shopping with Mum and reading our comics. I'm a faster reader than my sister so I always had to wait (not so) patiently for her to finish and the swap to take place!

  6. Hazel (witchhazel)4 September 2022 at 15:02

    Re meter reading: When I used to have to provide monthly meter readings, I found it best to snap a photo of each meter. That way there is no pieces of paper to lose, it was easier than trying to read the numbers, and I had a record on my phone.