… from the bungalow

12 days that amaze, Day 4: Baby steps


This is the fourth of 12 “amazing” installments of “12 days that amaze.” I am pushing myself to write 12 posts about things that amaze me leading up to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser in Chicago that Karin, Deb and I are participating in. In doing so, I must also be open to the everyday amazing things that happen around me.

What Could Be

I try to keep an eye out for (and my heart open to) the magic in life: happy coincidences, acts of kindness, words of wisdom, etc. This is easier on some days than others. I’m having a less-easy day today.

Today I’m thinking about some of the things that “could be,” particularly as it relates to my family. My step-son could be a lot happier. My middle son could be more self-reliant and accountable. My Little Professor could be learning more. My relationship with Karin could be better. We all could do, have, and be


I… could do, have, and be more–for my family and for myself. More engaged at work, more satisfied with my life, more patient with the kids, more involved in their play… The list goes on and on.

It starts to feel overwhelming. Too many issues, rooted too deeply. It can make a guy want to look for some quick fixes, or worse yet, escape. (Skyrim, anyone?) But there are small steps I can take right now that will make a difference, help me feel less overwhelmed. I can:

  • talk it out with a friend (thank you, Sheryl)
  • express gratitude (see above)
  • congratulate a friend on an accomplishment (congrats, Fran!)
  • make a phone call to my doctor (check)
  • write (in progress)

Et cetera.

Make a Connection

Most of these things involve a connection with someone else, but they all start with me. Interesting, no? Amazingly, with each small step, I feel less overwhelmed. By taking action, I’m slowly regaining control over my thoughts and emotions. I frequently want to make things better or wish that things were easier, but intention is impotent without action.

Action, even–or especially–when taking small steps in the direction of your goals, is amazing. Because who ever accomplished anything without taking that first step?

Baby steps, my friends–they lay the groundwork for change.

What baby step(s) have you taken today?


Author: Chris

Introspection to a fault. College administrator, parent, soapmaker.

12 thoughts on “12 days that amaze, Day 4: Baby steps

  1. Just finished an excellent webinar on Blogging for Writers. Looks like I need to start another blog. But now I have a better basis to begin than i had before. I liked your post, Chris. Yes, taken action really helps overcome challenges!

  2. I frequently want to make things better or wish that things were easier, but intention is impotent without action.
    I saw you quote this line yesterday but didn’t have a chance to read the post then. I love this even more now that I have the post’s whole context.

    This might have to go up on my computer. I hadn’t found the right words yet to start taping to it (the way I did my old one), but these resonate with me.

    So excited.

    • Yay! I’m so honored that something I wrote is going up on your writing computer. I decided to stick it on my monitor, too, since I seem to need this reminder frequently. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. I love you. Great post, baby.

  4. Congrats to you on taking all of those steps in just one day! I definitely suffer from the ‘Be More/Do More’ syndrome. It’s hard not to feel lazy when ya just don’t feel like doing ANYTHING!

  5. Pingback: 12 days that amaze, Day 5: My family ecosystem | … from the bungalow

  6. Thanks, Chris. I am thoroughly enjoying reading these “12 days that amaze”! The more we practice taking measures to get out of our funkiness, the quicker I think we get at it, eh? I was feeling the same way yesterday after getting hit with a $300 car repair-my first “whammy” after getting my hours cut at work. Why couldn’t I make MORE money? I was in “blech” mode…but, instead of isolating (my heart’s desire last night), I went forward with the phone call I’d planned with my bf…hmmmm…guess what? I felt so much better after talking things out with him and getting a different perspective. We do the best we can as we can, and continuing to seek the positives is key. 🙂 Hugs!-SWM XOXOXO

    • Yes, even seemingly simple life skills often require practice. This kind of post is really a reminder to myself. Taking Deb’s lead, I wrote this phrase on a sticky note and stuck it to my computer monitor:

      Intention is impotent without action.

      I need that reminder daily!

  7. Pingback: Getting Vulnerable | ... from the bungalow

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