What to do: Take small steps

Mal | Art Process and Creativity,Current Events,Here and Now | Tuesday, May 26th, 2009


This week, my city hosted a marathon.

Since I moved here, I have wanted to go downtown and be a spectator of the marathon — to vicariously experience the emotions and triumphs of the thousands of people who undertake this superhuman feat.

So, I woke early and watched the television coverage while I dressed — the starting line of the wheelchair race, the “elite” men and women duking it out to the finish line, the weather reports and sports commentary. But, this is not an essay about the starting line or the finish line. It’s about everything that comes in between.

Once I had my fill of enthusiastic starts and dramatic televised finishes, I grabbed my camera and bound for the train. I had chosen a viewing point for transportational convenience (closest to the metro that I am familiar with) so although I wasn’t sure exactly where I was along the route, I knew I could get some pictures and enjoy the feel of the event.

Mile 24

When I realized that I was standing at Mile 24, just 2 miles from the finish line, I was flooded with emotion.I stood and cheered and clapped. I yelled, “You’re almost there! You’ve done it!” for an hour or so. I comisserated with my fellow on-lookers and enjoyed the live band and generally marveled at the people in front of me who were still running — still plodding one foot in front of the other — in spite of the pain they must have been feeling.

But, I’m not really writing about the pain, either. What most impressed me was that 24 miles ago, the marathoners had started taking steps. That’s all. They just took one step, then another. Most of them in this non-elite group were alternating between running and walking, even sometimes stopping to stand still at the water stations. They ran over to the sidewalks to hug their families and friends. But, in general, they made a gradual eastward progress. They were still at this business of taking steps, long after the excitement and energy of the starting line had past.

And that’s what distinguished them from the spectators, besides their numbered bibs. They were actively moving toward their goal. They took one small step, then another step, until they were done.

Sure, there were a handful of “winners” yesterday who took home special medals and money awards. But, for the most part, thousands of runners were just trying to finish. They were fighting only against themselves and their environment. They weren’t looking to the right or to the left to see how anyone else was doing. They just kept taking one step, and then taking another step, in a solitary journey.

Marathon mosaic

They did this in spite of being older than those around them. They did it with a cause, from a wheelchair, and in spite of all distractions. They slowed down and looked back to see how far they had come, but they didn’t stop taking steps.

Marathon gadgetry

I love this lady. She has all of the fancy gadgets — a virtual Bat-belt of snacks, water, and stride measurers.  But guess what? Even she wouldn’t make it to the finish line without taking one small step at a time.

Last week, I was bemoaning the fact that in my current life circumstances, I can only squeeze in my moments of creativity between meetings, telephone calls, and other obligations. I wrote:

…let’s face it — some days it’s all I can do to make something other than a bowl of chocolate ice cream for dinner. Some days I am happy if I make my bed, wash my hair, tie my shoes. Some days, I feel extremely lucky to have sewn one bead, one green loop, one hexagon seam.

I’m not alone in this. Many of you out there are mothers of young children, caretakers of ailing parents, and working two (or three!) jobs to make ends meet. You have difficult marriage relationships, personal crises and illnesses of your own. With the exception of people like Arlee, who will be creating for 3 months at a summer residency with limited distractions, we don’t, for the most part, work under ideal circumstances. The message of hope that I took away from my experience at the marathon was this:

All you have to do is take one step, then another step.

Someday I will finish my hexagon project. Do you know why? Because I am dedicated to pulling it out for 10 minute spurts on the subway. Because I sew a seam here and there, whenever I get a chance. Because I work on it a little, then I work on it again. I enjoy the process, not just the completion.

This is how most of us fit creativity into our modern lives. For my part, I’m going to stop wishing for a miracle — for a millionaire to marry me and magically remove those limitations of time and space and money. I’m also going to stop looking around me to see just how fast everyone else is moving. Instead, I’m going to focus on what I can do today. And, if it’s just one small step, well shoot. Mile 24 awaits.

What small thing will you do today?


  1. If some one desires expert view on the topic of blogging and site-building after that i propose him/her to go to see this website,
    Keep up the fastidious job.

    Comment by tinyurl.com — 17 March 2019 @ 4:17 am

  2. you’re in reality a excellent webmaster. The site loading pace is amazing. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a great activity on this matter!

    Comment by film streaming — 17 March 2019 @ 4:31 am

  3. Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated data, nevertheless definitely worth taking a look, whoa did one particular learn about Mid East has got a lot more problerms too

    Comment by Vouchers for shopping — 17 March 2019 @ 7:12 am

  4. whoah this weblog is excellent i really like reading your posts. Stay up the good paintings! You already know, a lot of individuals are searching round for this information, you could help them greatly.

    Comment by film streaming — 17 March 2019 @ 9:26 am

  5. that would be the end of this write-up. Here youll obtain some sites that we believe you will appreciate, just click the hyperlinks over

    Comment by Jkssb Requirement — 17 March 2019 @ 10:55 am

  6. we came across a cool web site that you just could appreciate. Take a search for those who want

    Comment by kegel massager — 17 March 2019 @ 11:19 am

  7. [url=http://cialsonlinebei.com]cheap cialis online[/url]
    http://cialsonlinebei.com generic cialis

    Comment by generic cialis — 17 March 2019 @ 12:11 pm

  8. although internet websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they’re truly really worth a go as a result of, so have a look

    Comment by silicone rabbit vibrator — 17 March 2019 @ 2:14 pm

  9. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar
    one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments?

    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

    Comment by Simon — 17 March 2019 @ 3:55 pm

  10. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

    Comment by baseball — 17 March 2019 @ 11:59 pm

  11. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.

    Comment by flight — 18 March 2019 @ 1:13 am

  12. hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this site, as I experienced to reload the website lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again soon..

    Comment by health department — 18 March 2019 @ 1:14 am

  13. Good ¡V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

    Comment by yoga — 18 March 2019 @ 3:02 am

  14. check beneath, are some completely unrelated internet websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use

    Comment by top rated vibrators — 18 March 2019 @ 5:45 am

  15. tltjtkkr diferencias entre tadalafil 10 y 20 http://cialissom.com/ cheap cialis usa [url=http://www.cialissom.com/]cheap cialis 10mg[/url] tadalafil levitra preço

    Comment by cialissom.com — 18 March 2019 @ 9:00 am

  16. I precisely wished to say thanks all over again. I do not know the things that I might have created without the entire tactics shown by you regarding that field. Completely was a real fearsome circumstance in my circumstances, nevertheless observing the specialized form you dealt with that took me to weep with fulfillment. I am grateful for the guidance and even wish you know what a great job you have been putting in instructing people by way of a web site. Probably you haven’t got to know all of us.

    Comment by nike hyperdunk — 18 March 2019 @ 11:20 am

  17. Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, thanks . “A man may learn wisdom even from a foe.” by Aristophanes.

    Comment by voirfilm — 18 March 2019 @ 1:04 pm

  18. I’ve recently started a web site, the info you offer on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

    Comment by voirfilm — 18 March 2019 @ 2:30 pm

  19. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on ig. Regards

    Comment by Klefer — 18 March 2019 @ 3:42 pm

  20. tadalafil tablets generic [url=http://calisgenhea.org]calisgenhea.org[/url] tadalafil siparis net

    Comment by calisgenhea.org — 18 March 2019 @ 5:44 pm

  21. Here is a good Weblog You might Discover Exciting that we Encourage You

    Comment by Detroit SEO — 18 March 2019 @ 7:28 pm

  22. below youll obtain the link to some web-sites that we believe it is best to visit

    Comment by Detroit SEO — 18 March 2019 @ 8:56 pm

  23. check beneath, are some entirely unrelated web sites to ours, nevertheless, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use

    Comment by How to make money online — 19 March 2019 @ 4:57 am

  24. Well I definitely enjoyed reading it. This subject offered by you is very constructive for proper planning.

    Comment by How to Apply for Nigerian Recruitment — 19 March 2019 @ 7:15 am

  25. As soon as I observed this web site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

    Comment by مكملات غذائية كمال اجسام — 19 March 2019 @ 11:27 am

  26. walgreens tadalafil http://cialisle.com/ buy cialis

    Comment by generic cialis online — 19 March 2019 @ 12:15 pm

  27. I not to mention my pals were actually looking at the excellent ideas from your website and all of the sudden I had an awful feeling I never expressed respect to the site owner for them. All the men appeared to be as a result warmed to read them and now have very much been using those things. I appreciate you for turning out to be really accommodating and then for considering such impressive ideas millions of individuals are really wanting to be informed on. My personal sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

    Comment by book flight and hotel in asia — 19 March 2019 @ 1:03 pm

  28. I keep listening to the news update lecture about receiving free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i get some?

    Comment by business plan — 19 March 2019 @ 1:08 pm

  29. Hello.This post was really interesting, especially because I was looking for thoughts on this subject last Saturday.

    Comment by flight asia — 19 March 2019 @ 1:11 pm

  30. Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

    Comment by sports and arts — 19 March 2019 @ 1:32 pm

  31. I simply wanted to post a simple comment to thank you for some of the splendid guidelines you are giving at this site. My prolonged internet investigation has finally been rewarded with professional information to write about with my visitors. I ‘d assert that we visitors are unquestionably fortunate to exist in a superb community with many lovely people with interesting suggestions. I feel very happy to have seen your entire web page and look forward to plenty of more fun minutes reading here. Thank you once again for a lot of things.

    Comment by yeezy shoes — 19 March 2019 @ 4:22 pm

  32. One other important area is that if you are a senior citizen, travel insurance intended for pensioners is something you should really take into account. The mature you are, the harder at risk you happen to be for getting something bad happen to you while overseas. If you are not covered by a number of comprehensive insurance policy, you could have many serious difficulties. Thanks for giving your good tips on this weblog.

    Comment by bondage lisboa — 19 March 2019 @ 4:49 pm

  33. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    Comment by http://tinyurl.com/yxt3uq7z — 19 March 2019 @ 5:08 pm

  34. is sildenafil covered under health care http://viagrauga.com/ can you take sildenafil at 19

    Comment by viagra prices — 19 March 2019 @ 5:20 pm

  35. payday loans raleigh nc
    [url=http://x1cashadvanceonlines.com/#]first cash advance[/url]
    free money loan
    cash advance loans online

    Comment by velebunc — 19 March 2019 @ 6:46 pm

  36. Pickup 101 Surefire Attraction Secrets Review

    What to do: Take small steps | turning*turning

    Trackback by relationship issues — 19 March 2019 @ 8:04 pm

  37. I think this is among the most significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The website style is ideal, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

    Comment by film streaming — 19 March 2019 @ 8:11 pm

  38. [url=http://viagrabs.com]buy viagra[/url]

    Comment by viagra online — 19 March 2019 @ 11:35 pm

  39. Hi, all the time i used to check website posts here
    in the early hours in the daylight, because i like to gain knowledge of more and more.

    Comment by tinyurl.com — 19 March 2019 @ 11:38 pm

  40. very few web sites that occur to become comprehensive below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out

    Comment by detox tea — 20 March 2019 @ 2:06 am

  41. Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

    Comment by Rebekah — 20 March 2019 @ 2:16 am

  42. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

    Comment by adult education — 20 March 2019 @ 3:13 am

  43. Hello.This post was really fascinating, particularly because I was investigating for thoughts on this matter last Friday.

    Comment by small business loans — 20 March 2019 @ 3:41 am

  44. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

    Comment by flight discount — 20 March 2019 @ 6:27 am

  45. Good article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thx 🙂

    Comment by health clinic — 20 March 2019 @ 6:51 am

  46. A person essentially assist to make significantly articles I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I surprised with the research you made to create this actual put up amazing. Excellent task!

    Comment by book flight and hotel — 20 March 2019 @ 7:03 am

  47. I was just looking for this info for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this type of informative websites in top of the list. Normally the top sites are full of garbage.

    Comment by encontrar uma amante pela internet (SP) — 20 March 2019 @ 7:30 am

  48. And that is an investment threat worth taking.

    Comment by Ashton — 20 March 2019 @ 11:27 am

  49. Generally I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to
    try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me.
    Thanks, quite nice article.

    Comment by tinyurl.com — 20 March 2019 @ 12:10 pm

  50. [url=http://www.cialisnorxs.com/#]cialis[/url]
    uk prescription cialis generic
    [url=http://cialisnorxs.com/#]http://www.cialisnorxs.com/[/url] – canada cialis generic sudden hearing loss cialis

    Comment by attaize — 20 March 2019 @ 3:00 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress | Theme by Roy Tanck | Free SEO by Court's Internet Marketing School | Get Tranquility White WP Theme

Technorati Profile SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline