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When I was in college I would get horrible bouts of anxiousness before tests, or when I had to turn in a paper. Like many college kids, I would put off studying, or I would put off writing a paper, and before I knew it, it would seem too late. I’d freak out – and inevitably, I’d call home. I couldn’t talk to my mom because I’d just end up in tears. So oftentimes I’d call my dad.
I remember the first time he gave me this particular piece of advice. It was in the middle of my Sophomore year, and I was coming down to the deadline for declaring my major. I was trying to decide between marketing and finance – and to top it all off – midterms were upon me. So as per usual, I called my dad.
About halfway through our conversation, he said,
“Emily… stop. Just stop. Honey… how do you eat an elephant?”
I couldn’t believe my ears…. “WHAT???…dad WHAT are you talking about??”
He said again, “Emily, how do you eat an elephant?”
To which I replied in pure annoyance, “I don’t know dad… How?”
“Well honey… you eat an elephant… one bite at a time.”
How right he was.
So what does this story have to do with anything? Well.. I’ll tell you. Since I went back to work I’ve been getting asked a lot, “How do you do it all?” Lots of women have reached out to me via the blog, instagram, snapchat, etc and commented on how insane my life looks and how they have no idea how I do it. <<< I’ll save this for a later post (spoiler alert — I don’t do it all — not even close) but what I will say is that this pearl of wisdom from my dad has been serving me well lately.
When the house feels like a disaster, and the kids need to be fed, and a blog post has to be written, and quality time has to be spent with my husband, and a strategy for work needs to be figured out, and a shower needs to be taken… at times, it can feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. It can seem like there are not enough hours in the day. I think this is something we all feel once in a while. The stressors may be different, but the feeling of being overwhelmed is the same.
But if I remember my dad’s advice, it helps make everything better. When I remember his advice, it helps me break down all the things that are weighing on me, and when I separate everything out, piece by piece, the tasks seem smaller, the responsibilities seem more manageable, and the weight of my world seems lighter.
As you all know I just went back to work, and lately, I’ve been repeating this saying to myself — a lot. I figure if it’s helping me, hopefully it can help you too.
So the next time you feel like you need to be superwoman, but you don’t quite know how to don the cape, just ask yourself: “How do you eat an elephant?”
*** FYI – this is just a saying – and we don’t condone eating elephants. <<< I wish I didn’t have to say this… but I do.
***FYI: my exact cardigan is LulaRoe and if you’d like to order one, you can contact my friend, Brooklyn, >>> HERE.
When I was in 8th grade my algebra teacher started off a class by asking, “how many numbers can you add at one time?” After a lot of guessing, I figured out that the answer was 2. You can only add 2 numbers at a time no matter how many you have to go. Very similar. And totally true. Thanks so much for sharing!