Why I have recently decided to become an inchworm:
Being a person of lists, I jumped at the chance to create a new one with my buttkicker friends. They are my dear sweet writer companions with whom I have formed an unholy relationship, aspiring to reach the goals of many lifetimes crammed into one. Previously I had attempted to make lists every day to fit everything in. Now it became one list, with only one purpose… we were reaching our personal goals.
We all agreed to a deadline for sharing our lists and the commitment to follow through. I wrote down things like… I will leave the house tidy before bed and write an hour and a half every morning BEFORE work. My list covered 24 hours and ten minutes.
It was at the very least…unrealistic. Not realizing I really needed to sleep as well, I failed the first day. What followed was remorse, guilt, and a feeling of worthlessness. Shame was interwoven through all of it. Ever been there?
I wanted to do all of the things on the list, but life stepped in the way. I tripped over the have-to’s. I failed to realize when you do first things first, you sometimes don’t do the second things at all.
For instance, the plants had to be planted. They were dying. (They never made the list in the first place.) The “exercise daily” sometimes caved in to washing my clothes so I could go to work clean. The dishes and mail piled up while…
I meditated daily.
I wrote and never ate gluten.
I dreamt of a purposeful and meaningful life accomplishing all of my goals, but I woke up to remorse for not accomplishing enough the day before.
I was so tired, and truly missed Gossip Girls.
My buttkicker friend Rosanne said, “Your list is somewhat unrealistic. “
I replied, “This is my last Tango. I have to publish, get thin, and do all the other things I wrote down.”
“Do you?” she said.
My other buttkicker friend Corinna said, “Every day I will take one action in the direction of my goals.”
Strangely enough, that made me think about the inchworm my son recently put in a dish for his 3 year-old to observe as I looked on…
Inchworms aren’t worms at all, but caterpillars that have legs at both ends of their bodies and none in the middle. This makes them look odd when they move, shifting first one end and then the other, which has the effect of making them arch their bodies as they go. Some people think that they look a lot like a measuring tape and that’s how they got the nickname inchworm.
They are very specific about what they feed on, and they help control the population of plants. Various animals feed on inchworms in all of their various stages of life: bats, other insects, birds, etc. In other words, while they do move forward with a degree of clumsiness, they are still purposeful.
I decided to be an inchworm and clumsily move forward in the direction of my dreams, one inch at a time, with purpose, not judgment.
I will not just be in the moment; I intend to become the moment.
That is a good one, don’t you think?