Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lesson from a Bumblebee

With my dad’s health situation, my husband Jim and I have been traveling back and forth to be with Dad and to take care of the things he cannot take care of himself. Our own jobs and household affairs still need attention. If I begin to think about all the decisions to be made and all the things that I either want or need to do, I get overwhelmed.

This morning I watched as a bumblebee worked over the morning glory vines in our yard (one of the projects I had hoped to complete was curbing the growth of these vines that have covered our hydrangeas). The bumblebee went from flower to flower, one at a time, very methodically. He didn’t seem to be overwhelmed at the number of flowers, nor did he seem to be in any sort of hurry. He didn’t even try to enter every flower.

As I watched him work, I was reminded that I can only do one thing at a time, that not everything that presents itself to me needs my attention, and that taking my time is necessary to doing things well and also to my own well-being.

A friend at work, who has dealt with her own health issues and those of family members, gave me some good advice yesterday. She said that some things just need to be put on a shelf mentally, to be dealt with at a later time. Just as that bumblebee cannot work on every flower at the same time, neither can I handle all the things that compete for my attention at one time. I have to decide what to address and what needs to go on that mental shelf for later. Some of those items on the shelf will end up being done eventually, and some really don’t need to be done at all. I may not be in a position to make such decisions now, but if I continue to focus on only one thing at a time, I will be in a better mindset to make a good decision when a decision needs to be made.

Taking time to focus on only one thing at a time is how I was even able to notice the bumblebee this morning. Maybe it’s a good thing that eliminating the morning glory vines is a project that has gone on the shelf. Without them, I would have missed the lesson the bumblebee showed me.

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