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May 31, 2013

bird by bird.

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird."
-Anne Lamott

This book changed my life. 

This has been a hard week. I've been crabby and restless since it began. I've cried and prayed in equal measure, which is to say a lot. And the biggest part, aside from two huge interviews, was a deadline for a story I'm pitching to a big fish magazine.
I'm just so tired and I'm tired of being so tired.

But in a moment of self-pity two days ago I emailed a good friend with this and several more equally exhausting paragraphs. 

I know exactly why I'm tired. I've been so busy trying to change so many parts of my life that I didn't realize just how much monumental change I was in the middle of. I am someone who craves structure and finds comfort in that. But I'm also someone who wants, a lot. And there's just no comfort in staying stagnant and not becoming. 

I feel like I've been becoming for a while now. Thank God for that.

I'm tired because I don't know how to slow down and I'm tired because sometimes I'm really bad at taking care of myself and being kind to myself.

We know why we're tired when we feel so physically drained we want to crawl onto the nearest hopefully soft surface and take a nap. We know. Even when we say we don't or we pretend to be confused.

I know what I can do to change this. I can make better choices for myself: going out of way to walk longer, choosing to take a different path so I don't go past the pizza place I love. I can hit the pause button at any time and say, "What do you want to do?" Be it to myself or others. There's been a lot of Anne Lamott this week too, which is always a good thing.

I wrote all of this before I got a really great email yesterday with a really great job offer. I start on Monday. It hasn't fully hit me yet, partly because I start on Monday. But I'm going to show myself kindness by reminding myself that I deserve this. I deserve the good. This is what I've waited and worked hard for.

Bird by bird. I'm going to take things bird by bird.


  1. Congratulations! That was one of my faves from Anne, too. I am in a similar place right now. It's a good reminder.

  2. Thank you!

    That book, my word, that book. I'm currently reading all of the ones on faith. I highly recommend them. I'm on "Plan B" right now. So good.