We live in a two-story brick house in a quiet residential neighbourhood. When you walk in the front door, the foyer opens up directly onto the stairs that lead up to the second floor, where all the bedrooms are.
A few months ago, the girls were playing with Charlotte, our 8.5-pound Morkie (that’s a dog for you non-dog people. Half Maltese, half Yorkie). She has a bunch of toys she loves to thrash around when she’s letting off steam. That day, the girls were throwing her prized squeaky yellow chicken around (which is quite nasty looking at this point), and by mistake, it got launched onto the ledge in the foyer above our front door.
It is impossible to get to it without a ladder…sooo….it sits there…lonely, except for the dead ladybug that keeps her company.
Every time I come downstairs, I see this chicken and think for a split second, I should really get that. My highly developed male judgement kicks in full force, and I think that maybe I could do a tightrope act along the ledge from the top of the stairs all the way around to the front door. Then my rational brain kicks in after carefully estimating my ability to absorb the fall if and when I plunge to a broken leg from not completing the adventure.
Needless to say, I continue down the stairs every time, my monkey brain quickly forgets squeaky chicken, and I proceed with my day.
Day after day…after day, for months, I momentarily repeat this mental gymnastics of retrieving squeaky chicky, with the brilliant aforementioned ledge walk, but I never tend to it.
That is, until today.
Enough is enough. This morning, I decided to rescue squeaky chicky and bring her ladybug friend back to the earth (by means of composting people).
I embarked on the Herculean effort of getting the stepladder from the garage, opening it up, climbing to the top, removing squeaky chicky and ladybug friend, reuniting Charlotte with her long-lost friend, dropping ladybug in the compost and putting the ladder back in the garage.
It was quite the feat. It might have even topped the three-minute mark by the time all was said and done, although no official time was recorded for the expedition.
As do all things, this got me thinking. Most of the time productively, but not always.
How many lonely, stranded, squeaky chickies do I have in my life? Things that could be taken care of in just a few minutes, but that (left on the ledge) contribute to the mental clutter that junks up my consciousness?
Some of them are minor (to me of course, as missing squeaky chicky was quite a big deal to Charlotte). But others are huge. Like picking up the phone to make amends for a wrongdoing, reaching out to a potential partner or client, or following through on a promise to a friend.
What would be the outcome? A clear mind to focus on meaningful work and a sense of confidence that only comes from actually finishing things. A clearing of the micro rocks in my sails.
How about you?
Any pesky squeaky chickens in your life or your organization that, if taken care of, could lead to great things? I bet there are at least a couple.
Today’s the day.
For me. For you. For Charlotte. It’s time to create the mental space for greatness.
Let’s do this.