…Go Little by Slowly!
This is the favourite saying of my friend Toby’s. She doesn’t say it tongue in cheek or even pause to put it in air quotes. To me, it means life often unfolds in small, slow steps. I will lay out some big problems I am frustrated with, often a problem with moving parts, with other people at the helm, a problem that is going to take time to sort itself out. And I want answers today! Toby listens intently and says that expression, Little by Slowly. Now when people say breathe, I find it so condescending but little by slowly calms me. I am fast. I want to be over there “in” tomorrow. I want to know how everything is going to turn out ahead of time.
Is my pre-COVID life going to return?
Or what does this post-COVID life look like?
Tell me now for I am sick of all this uncertainty.
But life is a book, and each new chapter reveals more of the plot but I want to skip ahead to the end. And then Toby reminds me to let things evolve as they will and all I can do is the next right step.
Some days our issues are simple, and some days they are so complex.
Grief is one of those complex issues- it really has its own tempo and rhythm. I am not in a state of grief now, but I have been. And if you are grieving now, you know the road to hope is not a straight line. You know grief has no respect for your plans for the day. You wake up with a giant to-do list and a song comes on the car radio and in seconds grief descends and you are driven back to bed. This is where the idea of “little by slowly” works.
You don’t just choose to do one small thing. You are only able to do one small thing.
Shower. Make coffee. Walk.
Pick one. For three are too much.
And let’s face it on those hard days, the goals you hit are imperceptible but eventually grief morphs into something else and the thing that once threw you off your game you can do without thinking.
The sentence ‘Little by Slowly’ has never been more apropos than post-COVID.
Things are opening up.
And we are inching back slowly to a life we once knew. And it doesn’t feel real yet. We want to move ahead but we don’t trust ourselves. A small outing exhausts us, and we get impatient. I read an article online recently by an unknown author, that had a great quote.
“I am waiting as fast as I can.” But this is how we move ahead, one small action, one step forward.
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