One Bird at a Time

I have this phrase that lives in my head; “One bird at a time, One bird at a time, One bird at a time.” It comes in 3’s, and if I am really lucky it resurfaces when I need it. It’s for those days when I am catapulted into foggy confusion by the sheer volume of information. It’s for those moments when I feel like I am under water and everyone around me is up there on the pool’s edge moving along. I can’t quite understand them, and I certainly can’t join the conversation because if I open my mouth I’ll drown. All that water pouring in.

So, “one bird at a time” helps me take the first step, get into the flow, and naturally, I move forward. Perhaps this story will help you. 🙂

There was a young boy sitting at his kitchen table with an open tablet of Manila paper, colored pencils out of the box, and his text book lying open. He was frozen; staring at the text. His dad came into the room and asked him if he could help and the little guy burst into tears. His assignment was due tomorrow; 12 state birds drawn and labeled. It was impossible! He hadn’t even started. His dad gently smiled and simply said, “One bird at a time, son. One bird at a time. Just take one piece of paper, draw the bird, and label it. When you finish with that one, go to the next, and then the next. Before you know it the project will be complete.

It’s September and my list of to-dos seems to grow exponentially. Before I can check anything off, the list has doubled or tripled in length. So today, right now, I say to myself, “One bird at a time, one bird at a time, one bird at a time.” It’s working! Join me. 🙂


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