Last week, I shared about our change of pace on vacation thanks to my son’s surgery and need to use crutches. Well, he’s now been given permission to start putting weight on his leg and have officially entered a new phase in his recovery and injury rehabilitation where baby steps are the only steps.

First, weight-bearing with crutch- or cane-assisted walking. Until he can ditch the help and walk pain free. Then we work on his range of motion with stretching and other exercises. Next comes strengthening the atrophied muscles (after four weeks on crutches, the leg is weak!) A stationary bike and swimming are just part of the “you can’t do that until you can do this” progression of baby steps.

Of course, our latest post-surgery appointment was filled with detailed questions about exactly when he could start to do what. (Mostly so that we communicate that information to the college athletic training staff since they’ll be taking over his care and recovery in less than a month.) What types of basketball shooting can he do? When will it be okay to start running and jumping again? And his biggest question, how much of the upcoming season will he miss in that delicate balance between full recovery and not trying to do too much too soon and therefore set himself back.

My author to-do list feels equally daunting at times. There are days that I am facing a mountain comprised of a cluttered, debris-filled, slow-crawling pile of little rocks and nagging tasks. Marketing posts. Website tweaks. Graphics to create before I can schedule the next post. Scenes and chapters to revise, send to my critique partner, and then fix again. Posts to promote and email lists to grow. Not to mention the future characters starting to clamor for attention in my brain and a future book launch to start thinking about.

It’s all combined into a giant question of “how on earth will I get all of this done?” That long list of tasks can easily get overwhelming, just like my son’s long path back from crutches through cartilage repair back to collegiate level basketball.

We can only focus on today and those next few steps.

Because while baby steps might be the only steps, even that baby-step shuffle adds up over time. (A fact I should certainly remember thanks to my early morning Turtle Power Hour writing sessions.)

What about you? What mountain are you facing. Can you break it down into a series of baby steps? What’s the next right thing you can do in order to take one baby step toward your goal?

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