Inch by Inch

Galit Breen essays

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Brody came into my bed last night.

It was right when my mind went quiet and my eyes went closed and I had finally fallen asleep, that he appeared.

His pajamas were off kilter, his hair was tousled in a sleepy way, and his eyes mirrored the feeling. Sleepy children are gems. Sleepy mamas, however, are not.

But his small, warm fingertips touched my cheeks and I know that he is small and that I am lucky, so I let him into the covers.

He curved his body into mine and after just one teeny tiny minute, his sleep sighs enveloped me, as did Louie’s and as did Jason’s.

And then it was just me, laying still, wide awake in the big bed, encircled by these sleeping boys that I love so very much.

My Mind Quiet disappeared and all of my Noise and my Mess and my INeedToGetMyActTogetherNOWs appeared in its place.

Schedules and Homework and Health and Exercise and Marriage and Money and Writing and Projects and Friendships and Laughter and so many more Heart Wants puzzle pieced on top of me until I couldn’t breathe, much less sleep, or find my Quiet again.

Somehow, I landed on Anne Lamott’s words in Bird by Bird. “You don’t have to write an entire novel in one sitting. Sit down and write one scene, and one inch by inch frame at a time you’ll get there.”

Oh yes, this.

Inch by inch.

And placing my pointer fingers and my thumbs into that inch-by-inch frame and focusing small on what I need to do BIG gave me the exact breaths that I needed.

Not more-weight-to-lose-than-I’d-like-to-admit, just no chocolate before breakfast.

Not three college funds in the palm of my hand, just sticking to the grocery list this morning.

Not a marathon, just the elliptical.

Inch by inch.

Start Now.

(That I can do, right?)

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Galit Breen

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