It's a chipper

Do you know how I wrote about losing my Fall mojo? Part of my reticence to JUMP right into Fall is this certain and unalterable knowledge that the school year is LONG and it's a big commitment. I feel like I've been running a marathon for oh, let's say, fifteen years, and I'm approaching another big hill. Except my previous experience of fifteen years of running is screaming at me, "NO MORE BIG HILLS." And then my previous experience whispers in my ear, "You just can't take the hills honey."

Am I being unclear? It's simple. I'm loathe to wake up every morning at 5 AM, and make the lunches, and monitor the grades, and keep everybody hopping and happy. It's a big job, and right now . . . momma is tired.

Also happening right now? Momma is relearning a handy little mode of operation known as THE CHIPPER.

THE CHIPPER is nothing revolutionary. It's good, plain common sense. Also? It's from Crossfit.


Don't click away. I'll be quick with the Crossfit portion of this public service announcement.

You see, in Crossfit, from time to time, we get a workout known as a 'chipper.' It's usually a long laundry list of exercises -- like 25 pushups, then 25 air squats, then 25 pushups, then 25 sit ups, then 25 push ups, then 25 goblet squats, then 25 pushups, then 25 med ball sit ups. On the surface it seems terrible. (And underneath the surface? It is terrible.) But the reason it's called a chipper is because in order to make it through YOU JUST CHIP AWAY AT IT.

One push up at a time. One movement. Then another. Then another. Every movement takes you one step closer to being DONE. Keep going. JUST CHIP AWAY AT IT.

My Rebecca, a high school junior, is taking a heavy course load this year. She has mountains of homework which, when piled up each evening, are overwhelming. I tell her, "Just chip away at it. One set of notes at a time. One reading assignment at a time. Fifteen minute blocks of studying. Each movement brings you closer to being DONE."

It's not a magic pill, but it's something. And it works.

For me? I'm chipping away at the new school year. One early morning at a time. One track meet. A day of lunches made. A chapter read. Two pages written. Three loads of laundry folded. 

My favorite new saying? When I come across a difficult task (or something I plain don't want to do), I just think to myself, "It's a chipper." And somewhere, back in the foggy recesses of my mind, I remember that I can do hard things if only I'll take a step forward.

The chipper method is akin to Anne Lamott's bird analogy, which I love. Annie wrote about that here.