This morning, I learned that turkeys aren’t very smart. A wild turkey found its way into my garden and stopped at the edge of a fence. He began to pace back and forth, poking his head through the vertical bars, trying to get through. The problem was his body was way too wide to fit. I walked toward him to take this picture, and the turkey became more and more frantic trying to get out.
That turkey just couldn’t figure a way out, bless his heart. (That’s what we say in the south when someone or something isn’t very bright.) It didn’t occur to him to back up and take a look at his surroundings. Somehow, in a matter of minutes, he’d forgotten the way he got there in the first place. He simply could have walked back out of the garden the same way he came in. Instead, anxiety overtook him, and he repeated the same behavior again and again, faster and faster.
Sounds a little like me, actually. I’ve gotten myself in a bit of a pickle with work – overcommitting my time – and now I’ve got to deliver what I promised. So I pace back and forth frantically, working as fast as I can to get everything done, anxiety building minute by minute. Maybe it’s time to stop, back up, and take a look at my surroundings. Perhaps I can realize that the important things will get done if I prioritize and focus on one task at a time. A clear head and directed energy will accomplish much more than a worried, distracted mind ever will.
And that turkey? I got a little too close for comfort, so he flew away. That’s one approach, I guess. Escape the overload, fly away. But for me – well, I’d rather accomplish something. I choose to buckle down and concentrate my energy on meeting my deadlines today. And with any luck, I’ll actually learn from the experience. Learn that I can say “no” or sometimes “not right now”. Realize that people are quite capable on their own, and that rather than doing everything myself, I can provide information to empower them to do some of the work as well. I’ll get out of that garden eventually. Even a turkey can manage that – one way or another.