This weekend my husband and I helped move our daughter into her first apartment in Austin. Since we had some of her furniture at our house, we rented a Penske truck which he drove down while I drove in my car behind him. As we drove away from Dallas that day I remember thinking, “that is a big yellow truck”. That quickly morphed into the realization “that is a big yellow truck, which will be my only company for the next four hours”. And for the next four hours, it was.
So what do you do when you’re driving behind a big bright yellow truck for four hours with no one to talk to? You think.
You think about all the things you have to do that day. You think about all the things you should have done yesterday. Then you think about all the nonrelevant things that don’t matter at the moment because you’re stuck in a car for the next few hours. But you never stop thinking.
I’ve mentioned before one of my biggest setbacks is that I tend to get caught up in my head and overwhelm myself. I make unrealistic deadlines. I set unreachable goals. Then I blend it all up and stress myself out. Which is why this Penske drive helped me. It made me think about something that happened in my manager’s office a couple of days prior and I hope the magic of that meeting helps you a little too.
You see, my manager and I have bi-weekly meetings set up to touch base on where we are with our workload. This is perfect for me because I’m very much a “check the temp” kind of girl. I want to know that I’m on the right track and I appreciate that she sets time aside for me.
During our meeting last week, she was in the middle of an online training session and while the class had a break, she squeezed me in. We got a chance to go over work, future projects, and even got a little “life” talk in there as well. As we talked about our pending big projects, our ongoing to-do lists, and let’s not forget about school, I could start to see that metaphorical tray in my head slowly starting to tip. I mean, how in the world do I balance it all?
THEN LIKE A VOICE from the heavens, her computer roared to life and a voice came on that said “STEP ONE”. It turned out this angelic voice was the online instructor giving a reminder that they were nearing the end of step one in their project. I can’t be too sure as I was awe-struck with this message from above giving me the answer I so desperately needed. As simple as this message was, it’s what stuck out in my mind most as I drove behind the big Penske truck that day.
I think the thing I tend to overlook is the small steps to every big-picture task I add to my plate. I can see the forest for the trees, it’s taking a step into that forest that scares me. Just like when we walked up those stairs to Ashley’s apartment on the third floor. It seemed impossible but all we had to do was take those first few steps. Eventually, we emptied that good ol’ Penske and all it took was a first step.
Here are some of my first steps:
start that essay
pick up the phone and call my mom (hi mom)
make that doctor appointment
clean that closet
Maybe yours look like this:
sign up for that class
start the first chapter
get that gym membership
forgive that friend because she probably needs you
send that letter or email
make the call
Whatever your first step is, I hope it leads to more steps in the right direction! Good luck! The Penske and I are rooting for you!