A Spasmodic Hercules

I read a quote this week that was amazing. It taught me a lesson I learned many moons ago with new language. It was affirming and encouraging and provided some much needed perspective.

Are you ready for it?

“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” Anthony Trollope

I love it. I want to read it again. When else in your life have you been able to work in the phrase “spasmodic Hercules” into a conversation. This one I’m sticking in the memory banks.

Mr. Trollope has found a more fanciful way to say, “Slow and steady wins the race.” and “Pace yourself to reach the finish line.” He’s succinctly summarizing the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, and I love it.

Sometimes I get bogged down in the everyday. I think of the repetition of tasks: laundry, cleaning, evaluations, treatments, or explaining what occupational therapy is for the umpteenth time. I sometimes long for something exciting, for a surge of energy or attention. There is a part of my heart that wants to be Hercules — to save the day, to rescue the damsel, to be the hero, to get the applause. But all too often in life, those who patiently and faithfully labor at important tasks aren’t the attention-getters. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t a hero. Heroic efforts can occur every day. Every time you wake up early to make your kid’s lunch, every time I lovingly care for a patient, every day that you go to work to provide for your family, every time you lovingly and patiently repeat what you said to an elderly family member, you are a hero. And daily heroes, though often unsung, are worth much more than a spasmodic Hercules.

Be faithful. Show perseverance. Be Hercules.

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