Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Churn Some Butter!

Photo by insane photoholic.

I recently signed up for a free, online community called It’s chock-full of neat tools and gizmos, message boards and online support to help you meet your fitness goals. Problem is, I’m in no mood these days to be setting goals, fitness or otherwise. But it was free, so…

This morning I logged in and saw that I could earn three points just for reading this tiny article. (I might not be up for setting goals, but I’m always up for earning points.) The title, “Going Through the Emotions,” grabbed me because, although I am running low in the goal-setting department, I am spurting like a geyser in the emotions department these days.

Frog in a Bucket

The author, Mike Kramer, tells the story of the frog who falls into a pail of cream and can’t jump out. In his panic he kicks and squirms and kicks and squirms. Soon, his kicks and squirms turn that cream into a block of churned butter and he can hop right out of the pail. At the end of the story, Mike says, “Here’s how your story and his intersect. If he only saw the hopelessness of his situation and started feeling sorry for himself, he would have sunk to the bottom. But instead he kept kicking. He kicked not because he knew it would help him escape, but because he was compelled to, he had no choice. He kicked because the alternative was no alternative at all.”

I’ve been thinking about that; sinking to the bottom is not the fate I wish for me. So it looks like I’ve got to churn some butter. But how do I go about churning butter with all the required kicking and squirming if I don’t have the energy? Baby steps. And baby steps will work, too, because baby steps are the same as churning when you compare them to doing nothing.

My Baby Steps

Baby Step 1: I’m keeping a gratitude journal. Focusing on the good instead of the bad encourages me and reminds me that there is good in each day. I just have to look harder some days than others, but a little hard work might do me some good.

Baby Step 2: Reaching out to others. The quickest way for me to sink is to let go of the hands around me. So what if they’re not reaching out to me when I think they should? I bet if I reach out to them they will gladly clasp my hand and save me from another day at the bottom of the cream bucket. It’s worth a try.

Baby Step 3: Making time to laugh. I visit any time I want a good giggle.

Do you need to churn some butter in your life? Take a minute to list your own baby steps, then write me and tell me what you’re doing. That can count as your “Reaching Out to Others” baby step.


Laura said...

I really like this, Heather. I found Sparkpeople, too!!!

Cheryl Ann Wills said...

i love baby steps in any goal setting. it almost doesn't work w/out.
BTW this is my 5th or 6th yr to keep a gratitude journal. every single night. This is the 2nd yr Ed has joined me in doing that. We share them just before we turn off the light at night. It's an amazing tool. Have fun!
and good luck w/ your goals

Heather Trent Beers said...

Laura, thanks for stopping by. Maybe I'll see you around on SparkPeople! :)

Cheryl, baby stepping sometimes the only way I can keep my sanity. Sometimes the picture is way to big for my little brain. But I can put one foot in front of the other....

Melanie said...

Going to go look for my gratitude journal. I have one of those buried on my bookshelf somewhere. I really like the idea of writing in it at night. That way you can end every day by counting your blessings!

Heather Trent Beers said...

Mel, I didn't even think about starting a separate journal. I just keep my list in my regular journal. But now, before I write a word about anything, I start out with, "I'm grateful for..." and I try to list at least five things. Today I am grateful for my online AND flesh-and-blood buddies. :)

Sally Jadlow said...

Heather, I think one advantage of growing into senior adulthood is the advantage of being able to look back over a long life and see the times that looked dark and bleak, and then remember how I "paddled in prayer"; God heard and answered in unexpected and amazing ways.
Keep paddling, my friend; He'll make a way where there seems to be no way. Praying for you!

Heather Trent Beers said...

Thank you, Sally. I appreciate your wisdom, and I treasure your prayers on my behalf!