Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Tea - The art of "littling"

A dear friend called this past week, she lives in what she calls "the third world country of the New Mexican desert".  Just hearing her name can bring a smile to our household as she is not only quite funny but quite a... shall we say... character?

The last time I talked to her, she told me about finding a six foot long rattlesnake skin outside her front door.  Now, I have told her in the past you couldn't pay me to live where she does... and now I must say that includes visiting, too.  Sheesh, how creepy.

So where is the snake after it shed its' skin?  She has thought long and hard about that same mystery.

But I digress as usual...  She suffers from a lung disease so we talked about getting work accomplished when one doesn't feel well and doing work a little at a time until finished.

She told me she calls that... littling.  That is pronounced as little-ing. 

The fine art of littling is completing work a little here and a little there while resting in between.

I loved that word for what I do best!  Since chatting with her, I've thought of it often.  Especially Saturday as I planted my garden until I could no longer move.  Which meant the plants went in but the seeds had to wait until Sunday afternoon.  That is fine.  I'm littling.

Somehow having a beautiful word attached makes moving slowly and "a little at a time" quite appropriate.  After all, if there is a definition then that means I am not the only one who must do so.  There is a certain warm and cuddly feeling when one knows they are not alone.

This was one of those tough weeks physically.  Just the addition of a short lived flu bug kinda' threw me over the edge for awhile.  I can assure you that is not far to fall.  It is similar to when my husband tells me something (or someone) is driving him crazy and I remind him that is a very short trip.

But I digress yet again...

I am finding there are choices to be made not only each day... but at times each moment.  I must use wisdom to not overdo but then again one cannot spend their life on the sofa thinking about the good old days (which we often forget had more than their share of challenges, too).

By littling I can accomplish at times even the smallest of dreams.  Like having an organic veggie and herb garden... or enjoying my Study (which took nearly two years to transform and it is still a work in progress)... or taking dominion over the forest which is currently succeeding at replanting on our property.

What seems difficult, if not impossible, can be placed in the realm of possibility when we take the large scheme of things apart and turn them into do-able bite sized projects. 

And if we realize we are practicing the fine art of littling, well then how can we become frustrated when we are not reaching our goal as fast and furious and we would prefer?

Perhaps the real truth lay in the process of littling.  The Truth that life is a road we walk... a journey He has called us to travel... and not a race toward the destination.  It just may be that those things God allows in our life which slow us down are actually blessings and not curses.

Leaves a lot for one to ponder, doesn't it?

As for me... I will be in the garden planting seeds just a little at a time.  Perhaps getting them all planted today... perhaps finishing tomorrow.  But I think I'm going to take the time to enjoy the long awaited sunshine and warmth and truly live in the moment as each seed is sown with the promise of growing tall and strong.

What better way to thank the Giver of the seeds than to enjoy the very process of the gift He has given to plant and water and harvest.  All a little at a time.

Artwork:  Artist Susan Wheeler


Vee said...

Sitting here chuckling at your gentle pokes, short trips, and littling. You and your friend are on to something with that the act a name lends it dignity. I was just reading the blog of a young woman who must practice littling because of a chronic illness so it is not just for the aged. (That's my gentle poke for the day! = D )

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

This is so true, Brenda...I work like this too, and I find if I can get myself started I can often do more than I expected. But even if this is not the case, little by little has a powerful cumulative effect. I am not a hoarder, but having such limited strength to accomplish large goals left me very overwhelmed for a long time. Now I have a small goal of two bags of things for Goodwill into my car every day and slowly things are looking up. Now all the spring work outside needs to be done! Little by little.

Terra said...

This is how I garden, a bit at a time and now I have a great word for it "littling". Thank you.

rebecca said...

OK. I have a post "setting there" from yesterday. I was debating whether to post it or not. I listed some of my own "littlings" -- primarily for my own sanity. "Littling" is how I'm living since breaking my hip six weeks ago!

Bookie said...

What an absolutely wonderful blog page today! I was lead here by Rebecca. Hope you don't mind if I hang around...or that I might quote you!

Jenny said...

I guess I'm pretty good at this! I actually set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes, go out & work in my garden then stop & come in to rest for a little. Between my back & arthritis I don't work more than that a time, I'm able to get a lot done in a day going back & forth that way. It sure FEELS like work to me anyway.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

zThat's a perfect word!

I think in our culture we have an unwritten virtue that to be very busy is superior to a slower paced life. I don't see that as a good thing. I think every life lived for the Glory of God is good, slow or more fast paced.

Every life has value. Littling - I am going to use this word!


Anonymous said...

After the cold winter, enjoying the sunshine and warmth in the garden sounds good.

Jane said...

Great word!Let's see what can be accomplished by doing it a little at a time. Thank you!

The Journey said...

Where is the Like button= Littling- had company so most things are done up. Thought of you guys when I picked some rubbarb today.

My friend in Fla. found a rattlesnake in her closet- I'd want to move right then. Reason I never want to live in the South. Come for tea! If Gary is home- you can bring Peter!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Brenda dear,

I LOVE "littling." It is sort of like my ten minute plan for working outside. Ten minutes adds up, especially when you forget the time and keep going.

I would love it if you'd review my next book, which won't be released until November 2014. Perhaps you would want to review Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars?



Unknown said...

I work the same way. I call it "making a dent." I love the saying "Inch by Inch it's a cinch; Yard by Yard, it's very hard." I garden in the early mornings about 7:00 or 7:30 for about 30 min. It's amazing how much I can accomplish in a few weeks time. I'm not exhausted and I enjoy just being outside. I really enjoy your blog. Bless You.

Karen Andreola said...

What an encouragement your message is for me. The only way for me to stay on top of things with chronic pain is to do them by "littling" although this isn't to say I don't fall behind. I do. But littling has now become my new term. It's cute and cheery. Many thanks.

Deb J. in Utah said...

What a great post. I ma going to practice the fine are of Littling more often! Thanks so much for sharing!