Education is a Life

Slow and Steady, by Briana Elizabeth

When I was in my early twenties, I got stuck  in a very dangerous situation far, far from home. I was given a window of opportunity to get out of it in the thick of a Nor’Easter.

Now, some of you may not know what a Nor’Easter is, so let me explain – it was feet of snow coming down so hard and so solid that 18-wheelers had pulled over onto the side of the highway to wait it out. As W.C. Feilds would say, “It ain’t a fit night out for maaaan or beast!”

(Do I have to show that clip? Yes, yes I do. Classics and all that…)

Despite the severity of the weather, I had to get home. My real home. I got in my Bronco with no license plates, a few dollars in my pocket, and everything I owned on the earth in a trash bag on the back seat.

On a fair night with good weather and traffic, the trip should have taken four hours. On this night I passed a few car crashes. I missed a few spin outs. Snow was coming down so hard that I could see only a few feet in front of me.

The fear could have been overwhelming.

I had one sentence running through my head the whole eight-hour trip, “Slow and steady wins the race.” I was in 4-wheel drive the whole way. Foot by foot I made it home.

I made it home.

As you can imagine, I learned a life-long lesson that night.

Slow and steady wins the race.

I still say it to myself all the time.

When I’m out weeding and it seems like a gargantuan task, I tell myself, “Just one more handful.” Before I know it, the garden’s done. Painting a room, a mountain of laundry, canning a bounty, praying for a long-off dream – it all gets done one moment at a time.

I say it to my children when they feel like they have a monumental task, be it educational or physical, “One thing at a time.”

One day at a time.

Slow and steady wins the race.

How do we win the marathon of homeschooling? Slow and steady wins the race.

Harder, faster, louder, shinier doesn’t win it, as the hare taught us. We can work ourselves into frantic spinning circles, but that doesn’t win the race.

The first few weeks of my September are always packed. It’s just the math. Five kids with five different schedules, throw in some medical procedures with physical therapy, a few urgent care visits with follow ups, sports practices, band practices, newborn puppies, a little weekend entertaining, and ZOOM! September’s over.

How do I do it?

Slow and steady wins the race.

I do that which is before me. I work at it until it’s time to stop for the day. My kids work at what they have to do for the day, until the day is done. Sometimes we don’t get everything done. But that’s alright – the end of the day is not the end of the marathon. It’s not the end of the journey. It’s just one more foot gained on the way home.

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It’s the slow and steady continual effort of the everyday that wins the race.

Slow down. Put one foot in front of the other. Give it your all, your best, and do what you have to do to keep that momentum, but know that it doesn’t have to be *frantic* momentum. It doesn’t have to be the high-pitched scream in the back of your brain. It’s simply one foot in front of the other.

Slow and steady wins the race.

That Aesop, he was a smart guy.

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