i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

The woman and the large rock: a fable

First things first

Once upon a time, there was a woman who wanted to write a book.

Every day she woke up at five in the morning so she could work on her book  before her children woke up. After she fed her four cats and cleaned the seven litter boxes, she sat down to type. She carried a large black and white rock with her.  She meant to put the large rock in her vase first.

But, alas, her e-mail and facebook messages tempted her before she even began to write her book. She knew better. She knew that she should close the tabs to her e-mail account and to facebook. But, she was foolish. She thought she could control the temptation. But the silent whispers were too distracting.

“Hey, someone sent you an e-mail while you were sleeping, and you have 18 new status updates on facebook, and there is a turtle that is biting people in a lake in Germany! Opeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen the tabs. Opeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen the tabs.”

“No, thank you , maybe later. I am writing first, then I will check you. Not right now. Really, not now. I can’t. No, probably later.”

“But. There might be a good email. Today might be the day you get a prize in your e-mail. You never know when there might be something exciting.”

“Well, okay. Just for a few minutes.”

And she filled her small vase with black rocks.

The woman checked her e-mail, read the recent status updates of her 473 friends, and she read the story on the news web-site about the town that is building a giant rake to catch a bite-happy snapping turtle.

Several hours later, after she read her email,  facebook and the news, she had no time left to work on her book. Her children were awake and she had to cook and do the dishes and do laundry and fold and iron and help her children with their schoolwork. Life was busy.

She tried to put the large rock in the vase. But it didn’t fit.

The moral of the story

Put the big rock in first.

Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.

Stephen Covey


Put the big rock in first.Add the small rocks.First things first

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • LOVED It. I love your writing.

    • Thank you Anne. Really.
      Now back to the big rock.

  • This is so good, Pamela! And speaking to me right now. I got on here early this morning to work on my book and started off just like you mentioned. And now 2 hours later, I’m reading your post and realizing the folly of my ways. 🙂 I’m going to go try to get my big rock to squeeze into the small rocks I’ve already put there.

    • Thank you Anastacia,
      Tomorrow you can put the big rock in first.

  • margaret simon

    Your fable is speaking to me as I “waste” time looking at Facebook. But then I wouldn’t have found this little gem, but now back to my writing… uh oh, no time left. I get it. I get it!

  • La McCoy

    Very good.