I grew up in the Canadian Prairies, in the 1970’s, so this might be ‘of an era’ but I distinctly remember a regular event at Beavers, Cub Scouts, Church picnics and School sports days was a race where we had to push peanuts across the gym floor with our nose.
Does anyone else have this memory? Or was this some weird time/space blip that only happened in small town Alberta?!?
Whether you engaged in this bizarre past time or not, I hope the picture conveys to you how exciting, challenging and action-packed this particular race was.
The point is that it took a long time to get a peanut across the floor with your nose. We would try different ‘schemes’ to get it to move further – swinging the head forcefully to try and propel the peanut further – but often this would result in the peanut going so far off the trajectory you were headed to that you would spend more time correcting its course than you had gained through force. The best way was to just keep nudging it gently along with your nose in a straight line towards the finish line. Slow and steady did win the race nine times out of ten in the peanut racing champions.
Was this meant to be a metaphor for life?
Was this some clever Boy Scout leader who thought that some day in middle age we would look back and see that they were teaching us a valuable lesson about life?
Or was it some sicko who liked to see young kids crawling along the floor like animals?
I’m not entirely sure.
I only know that when I am suffering from ‘to do’ list overwhelm I think of those peanuts and nudging them along with my nose. And then I apply the same technique to all the things that need doing. I give this one here a nudge, then I give that one a nudge and then I give a different one a nudge. It may not seem that I’m getting anywhere quickly (I’m not) but I trust that a little bit of forward momentum, consistently applied, will eventually result in getting each of my peanuts across the line.
I’d love to find a way to focus on just one task and see it through all of the steps until I can confidently cross it off my list. However, this seldom seems possible. Multi-tasking seems to be a requirement most days. So I just focus on nudging my peanuts. I suppose I’m racing my various peanuts against each other, though I don’t see them as competitive. I just do a little stroke on each one, inch it a bit forward and know that I will come back to it and inch it forward again.
Let me tell you how thrilling it is to finally get that peanut across the finish line! Triumph! Success! Glory! And then I take that glow and use it to help push more peanuts.
See you on the floor….