Life is Like Removing a Clothesline Pole

You Never Know How Big the Hole Will be Until You Start Digging

Have you ever had a vision for something that you weren’t sure what needed to be done or how to do it? If you’re not careful planning and analyzing can lead to overthinking and overthinking is just another word for procrastination.

Overthinking has kept me from accomplishing things too many times.

My assistant Cathleen had a vision for creating a safe place in the small back yard for her young daughter to play. This vision included a trampoline and swing set. The problem was two clothesline poles in the way. Compounding the problem…they were set in concrete.

She started digging around the first one. She had no way of knowing how much concrete was around the pipe or how deep in the ground it went. After a few days of digging and more concrete than expected, the hole was getting pretty big.

She did not let overthinking stop her from moving forward with her vision. 

Some people would say that in her youth and lack of experience she bit off more than she could chew. She could have done more research and procrastinated over this for a while. She could have saved up some money and hired a professional. She did neither…she started digging.

The importance of getting this play area ready for Luna was the determination she needed to push toward the vision. After digging for a while, she could have quit, but she didn’t. She had an objective, she knew what it was, and nothing was going to stop her.

Determination and action kept her moving forward.

There was a point in the process where it was evident that she wasn’t physically going to get the pipe and concrete out of the hole. After some re-evaluation and research, it was decided to cut the pipes off. She needed some help with this, and I happened to have a cutting torch. After this was done the dirt was put back in the hole burying the concrete and a trampoline was set up.

Cathleen’s project is no different than any other endeavor we face. It may turn out to be bigger and more time consuming than expected. There may be unanticipated circumstances that raise questions and create doubt. We may need to incorporate some help to achieve our goal.

Moving forward and not overthinking is critical to getting things done.

By nature, I’m a thinker and planner. Too often I procrastinate by overthinking everything. This is compounded by a long list of things to think about and plan for. There are so many people to help and things that need done. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when standing in the shadow of a huge mountain that needs moved.

What makes the mountain ominous is trying to figure out every detail that we’re going to encounter before we start. Are we going to run into rock, how much, what will we do with it when we do…and on and on? Thinking keeps us from moving anything and the mountain just stands there.

When Cathleen saw her vision of Luna’s place to play, she started digging. She didn’t let the size of the mountain stop her. We need to take a lesson from Cathleen.

This isn’t to say that planning isn’t important, because it is. If we don’t have a plan the vision gets stuck as a dream. Like building any construction project, you need to have a plan, but nothing gets built until we move some dirt.

If you’re going to achieve your goals and accomplish your vision, you need to do some shoveling today.

8 thoughts on “Life is Like Removing a Clothesline Pole”

  1. Have to say this is one of my favorites. Love Cathleen’s determination. That is a good mama with a plan and a dream. A lesson for all of us. Thanks for sharing. Glad you had a cutting torch to help accomplish the goal.

    Reply
  2. This blog brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful description of Cathleen’s drive and commitment. She is amazing, isn’t she! Thank you for showing me this project from your perspective. And the tag line “…nothing gets built until we move some dirt” — that will preach, brother!

    Reply
    • She is amazing, isn’t she. Thank you for introducing her to me and thank you for your feedback. Now I must go move some dirt. 🙂

      Reply

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