The Big Picture

37903_340As you may (or may not) know (or care), Betsy is once again striving to set goals and develop habits that will at long last move her life forward.  But in order to do this, she first needs to identify her overall objective.  Her Big Picture, if you will.  The thing towards which the goals and habits will lead.  The horizon towards which she will steer.

Because Betsy is, well, Betsy, this is much easier said than done.

In a last ditch effort to chart a course through the perilous waters of sloth and distraction, Betsy is meeting with Skipper, a chipmunk who is one of the best Habit Implementation Specialists the Muse Council has to offer.  Skipper will be asking the council for a raise after this assignment.

Will Skipper be able to help?  Or will Betsy finally push her over the edge of insanity?

Let’s find out…..


*Betsy knocks on a synapse in her brain*

Come on in.

*Synapse opens* *Betsy enters a small office*  *There’s low, peaceful lighting and some smooth jazz music playing*  *Water bubbles in a fountain*  *Fish swim*

Who knew I had fish in my brain?  That explains a lot.

*Turns and sees two comfortable recliners*  *Skipper is lounging in one of them*

Come on, sit down.  *Skipper waves a paw toward the empty recliner*  Let’s chat.

*Betsy settles into recliner*  Why did you want to see me?

*Skipper curls her back legs underneath her*  We need to get focused here.  You aren’t getting any younger.

*Betsy sticks out her bottom lip*  Everyone keeps saying that.

Think of me as your Goals, Objectives, and Habits Therapist.  You are now officially in consultation.

*Betsy looks worried*  I guess that’s okay.  The doctors want me to go to therapy anyway.

*Skipper settles back*  *Picks up margarita suddenly on the table next to her and sips deeply*  Okay.  Let’s start at the foundation level.  Again.

What does that mean?

It means that before we get to concrete goals, we have to look at the Big Picture.

*Betsy gulps*  That sounds scary.

*Skipper takes another drink*  Look.  The Big Picture is kind of like the overall canvas of the painting of your life, right?  It’s what the map of your life looks like when you’re looking at it from ten feet away  It’s where you’re steering your ship.  Remember?

*Betsy blinks*  Okay.

*Skipper drinks*  When you get closer to the Big Picture, you see details.  Those are the the things that make up the painting.  Goals let you build those things.  Understand?

*Betsy nods uncertainly*  Okay.

When you get even closer, you can see brush strokes.  Those are the individual habits that give you the basis for achieving the goals, building the details, and painting the Big Picture.

*Betsy waves hands*  You make it sound so organized!  But I don’t think I have just ONE Big Picture!  I think I have LOTS of Big Pictures!

Don’t worry.  *Skipper pats her knee*  The real Big Picture is Big enough to include all of the different areas of your life.  It ties them together.  Kind of like a Big Mural, if you will.

*Betsy blinks*  Really?

Yes. *Skipper smiles encouragingly*  So what do you think your Big Picture is?  We don’t need specifics.  Just a sketch.

I don’t know!  *Betsy wails*  *Pulls at her hair*  I just don’t know!  To get the next hit of ice cream? *starts drooling*  Mmmmmm… cream…..Help me, man.  I’m jonesing here.  Give me the cream…

Easy…easy… *Skipper pats her arm*  Relax….Recline….

*Betsy reclines*  *Listens to the fountain*  Sorry….I feel….better.

Good. *Skipper pushes aside empty margarita glass*  *grabs a new, full one*  So, we’re going to brainstorm a little here.

*Betsy blinks*  *Brings recliner back to an upright position*  We are?

Yes.  We are.  *Skipper drinks*  We need to nail down the Big Picture before we can go any further.

*Betsy chews lip* Okay.

*Skipper leans forward*  *Focuses on Betsy with big, dark eyes*  What makes you happy?

Telling stories makes me happy.

Telling stories?

Stories in general.  Reading them.  Writing them.  Telling them.

What else?

Creating things makes me happy.


Creating things lets me express myself.  Creating things lets me be who I really am.

Creating all things?

Well, stories.  Creating stories. That’s my thing.

*Skipper stands on her hind paws*  *Throws arms wide*  Now tell me!  What is your Big Picture?  Let it out! Shout it to the world!

*Betsy jumps to feet*  I want to create!  I want to write stories!  *Raises fists to sky*  And I want to let other people read them!

Whew.  *Skipper sinks back into her recliner*  *Takes a long sip of her margarita*  I cannot believe it took you that long to get to there, but at least we have a starting point now.  Will you kindly write it down this time and paste it on your wall or something?  Don’t forget it again.

Okay.  *Betsy collapses, panting, into her own recliner*  Golly, I feel like I just gave birth.

You did.  *Skipper drinks*  To a Big Picture.

Oh.  No wonder it hurt.


Next on Betsy’s Blog….”Getting Concrete.”






  1. “Give me the cream!!!” it!

    I may need to borrow Skipper to sift through my snowstorm … Hooray for finding the Big Picture!!!

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