Someone asked me that question several years ago(by several, I mean about ten). I was going through a lot. I had just left home and things were going horribly for me and they were only made worse by the fact that I had pretty much zero life skills at the time.
I knew what needed to be done but I didn’t know what the steps were and, I kid you not, I was so overwhelmed, I wanted to die. Literally.
So, someone asked me one day, during a crying fit, what was the matter. Between sobs, I told them about how freaked out I was about trying to get myself a job and a place of my own and how I thought I had that stuff lined up before I even moved and everything fell through because people suck so bad and can’t be trusted to tell the truth or keep their word.
They simply nodded and didn’t say anything while I blubbered on about how unfair life was. When I had finished, they still didn’t say anything. Growing impatient, I asked “Well, what should I do?”
“How do you eat an elephant?” they asked.
You can imagine the puzzled and frustrated look I gave them. Are they soft in the head? Did they not just hear me? Did I just waste my time pouring my heart out to this person just for them to ignore me? Needless to say I was instantly pissed.
“What?” I snapped.
“How do you eat an elephant?” they repeated.
“One bite at a time. But what does that have anything to do with anything?”
“That’s what you do. You can’t eat an elephant in one bite and you can’t expect to put your whole life together in one easy step either.”
With the mad organization skills I possess, I felt so foolish that I had figured it out before. I had to break it all down into smaller, more manageable pieces. And that’s what I’ve been doing here at home. I know I have been bitching like crazy about getting the place ready for baby Jem to arrive and how unhelpful, Jacques has been but my problem was that I wasn’t breaking it down into manageable pieces. I had it broken down before but they weren’t manageable. So, now I’ve got it down into tiny little chunks that I do every single day. My home is starting to look like a home one bite at a time.
Sure it’s not actually a home. But this building used to be jut a regular apartment building until they repurposed it to be a family shelter. And for that matter, I’m tired of living like a damn squatter. I haven’t made any place I’ve lived my own since the apartment I shared with my now ex-husband. And that was a good five years ago.
Besides, I’ve noticed the more homey I make this place, the more Jacques treats it like he does more than crashes here at night. Like how he cleaned the bathroom and has been taking turns with me to keep it clean. Okay, well more like, he makes a mess every other time he goes in there and actually cleans up after himself, whereas before, he would’ve just left it.
I feel a lot better putting my personal touch on my dwelling. Sure, so far all I’ve done is clean but taking care of my personal living space makes me feel like I’m making it mine. It’s that sort of thing that makes it different to me than being homeless in the woods. In the woods, you can’t rearrange the trees. You really can’t put up decorations unless you own the land you’re camping on and if you own the land, then you’re really not homeless, so that doesn’t count.
But just getting up everyday and sweeping the floors and mopping makes me feel a sense of pride and ownership.
That feeling really goes a long way.
There are other factors adding to my happiness that I’ll get into in another post.
I’ve still got more than half my elephant to eat. This will keep me busy until my little the little mama arrives.
Due date is closing in fast (only 4 more days, can you believe it?) And the time just seems to be going sooooo slow and yet sooooo fast at the same time.
I’ll post some pics when the little Bear’s room is finished.
Until then, Wonderlings! ♡