Back to Basics Day 4 | Brick by Brick

This is my new approach to life. Simple, obvious, pieces together create the whole. | In The Next 30 Days Tell me that you’ve read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Tell me that you remember the story of how the book got it’s name, how Ann’s brother was working on a project about birds. And that he sat at the kitchen table overwhelmed and frustrated. Tell me you remember what Anne’s father said to her brother.

“Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

If you have read it, now would be a good time to read it again. And if you haven’t read it, you need to. I mean you NEED to. Here’s the link again so you can.

This morning, I sat in my car waiting for time to go inside and pick up my son from preschool. I park close to an often unused door in the middle of a brick building. There are tall windows with whitewashed trim. And usually I bring a book or I’m on deadline, and there’s work to do, but today I left it all at home.

Blissfully, I had nothing to do.

I sat, and quite simply stared forward and enjoyed the quiet.

This was my view. This brick pattern–constant, consistent, progressive, and strong. And it made me think of Anne Lamott’s wise words. (She sneaks up on me like that.)

Here’s what I know is true, without any doubt: small things add up to big things. Even the smallest step forward can be counted as progress. That sometimes it’s more important to see the tiny details before you see the big picture. Consistency is key

I love Anne’s bird analogy, but I’m not working on a school project here. I’m focused on building a life, a beautiful, strong, and purposeful life. And bricks feel very firm to me right now. They feel like the stuff to create with, to do big things with, to build entire nations of Anna out of.

But first, I have to start small.

Brick by Brick, Anna. Just take it brick by brick.

That’s how I’m approaching this month. My plan to tear my life down to the individual bricks, the smallest details–holding hands with my children, creating art for the sake of art, clearing away the clutter in just one drawer, writing down the next appointment in ink–and then I’ll take those bricks and build back up.

But I have to find and start at the foundations and start laying brick by brick.