THE FROGS THEY ARE A LEAPING
There is a quote, attributed (as is often the case these days) to many people. The meta message is, at the start of each day swallow your big frogs first and then the rest of the day will hopefully be easy.
Frogs in this case being your big issues, large tasks, most likely the things we would rather put off.
Some days the tasks are small and manageable. They are normal for our world, our jobs, and our families. We have them fitted into routines, agendas and do to lists. More often than not, hopefully, they get done.
But what happens when the frogs they start a leaping? Have you ever noticed that crisis and big frogs come charging into your life all at once and in multiples? What is a person to do then? How does one swallow many frogs at once without choking or getting sick?
The last five weeks have been a period like that for me. It has been one series of events after another that required attention, mourning, action, and vigilance. They were thrust on top of my daily tasks, of wife, mom, daughter, writer on deadline, exercise enthusiast, and social media whore.
One involved a friend’s death. That was followed by the death of a good friend’s husband. Then my beloved dog was thought to have cancer. My father in-law had a stroke, and it has gone kind of like that. And a few other manageable crisis thrown incase the universe wanted to see how much I could get done under pressure.
There is a theory that we can handle what we are dished out. I have not always found this to be true. I know people who buckle and fall. Some resort to drugs and alcohol or other forms of numbing.
Some work over time and drive themselves to distraction that way. They get it done but they ruin their own health and sanity in the process.
What time and the trials of life have taught me is this -the story about dealing with the biggest frog first does work. Whatever the most pressing task to deal with is the one you must attend to first. Don’t put it off. It will only grow and be harder to cope with later. Big deals tend not to disappear without being handled.
Things that require immediate attention tend to make themselves known. When my friend’s husband was in the hospital week before last and it didn’t look like he would make it, she was my top priority. I dropped everything one day so I could to help her. Once she was through the crisis, I could move on. Still checking in, still doing what I could but from my phone and not in person.
The dog became my next frog. Dealing with problems also requires doing the best you can and then sitting back. I’m not so good at the siting back part. With Ramu, I got him the best medical help we could, I waited for the reports to come back, I braced myself for the worst, and was surprised and delighted when it turned out he did not have cancer.
That allowed me to move on to another crisis that presented itself on the same day and needed a good twelve hours to sort out, get the plan of action in place and move on.
I write this from a plane headed to Florida to see my father -in—law.
So – when the frogs start leaping.
1) Take care of the biggest one first. Do as much as you can and move on.
2) Allow a little time for you. You are no good to yourself or others if you get sick, worn down and crankier than need be. I still find time to exercise, read a little, break for a few minutes if only for a walk around the block.
3) If you can delegate – Do. Let someone cover for you while you deal with the biggest frog on your plate and take on the next task when you have that one behind you.
4) Be prepared that when the frogs start leaping you will be dealing with multiple frogs throughout the days. You will have your biggest frog, but there will be phone calls, tasks, doctors visits, all sorts of things that require your time and attention so no frog gets ignored.
5) Know that this too shall pass. But be prepared for another onslaught at some point. That’s just the way life rolls.
Be trusting that things will work out, even if sometimes not in the way we would hope. Be grateful you have the strength and stamina to cope, and know it is in the trying times we learn the greatest lessons about ourselves and others.
Take some time for gratitude, you can find it in the damndest places.