Someday I hope to; rock a guitar like Lindsey Buckingham, speak at least 3 languages fluently, hand quilt a entire blanket, build new and reupholster old furniture, run a marathon, become a master gardener, design my own knitting patterns, obtain certification as an intensive care nurse, and celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary having raised three happy, healthy children. These are so many big goals for one little life.
There was a time when a large aspiration for me, was simply a big picture painted with grand strokes. Goals appeared to me to require as herculean an effort as jumping across the Grand Canyon in one leap. Today, I find myself in a new place, one where everything at first appearing very large is quickly broken down into easy manageable steps. Small steps, consistently made that reach great heights. I do not know if my awakening is a gift of age, or of doing the things and being with the people that I love. A sweater is made one tiny stitch at a time, a 13 mile run is one foot picked up and set in front of the other. A baby has moved from crawling to walking. Each of these things in the end may appear to be large but looking closer at their small parts; I can see that they are not.
I will not discount the large leaps that I have made in this life. The decision to marry, to have children, to move to a new place, change jobs, all have value and required courage, faith in myself (and others). What I am impressed most by right now however, is the quiet determination of the actions and thoughts that come after, for me that is the place where the true work exists.
The exquisite thing about very small steps is the momentum gained. Repeatedly made, over and over, these tiny movements have taken me very far places. They have entirely shaped or reshaped my life. It is easy on a long path to take a misstep or two but if I keep my eyes, my intentions, focused on the big picture without allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the pixels, I find that I enjoy the journey as much as the end result.