"One slice at a Time" Painting reminder

I’m doing a free peer-to-peer, 12-week health coaching program for chronically ill people/people dealing with chronic pain.

One of the weeks, my coach talked about breaking things down into smaller bits, as I tend to want to “do it all right now,” and then I pay with flare-ups later. She used the saying “anyone can eat an elephant… you just have to do it one slice at a time.” She suggested that perhaps printing a photo of an elephant with this saying and putting it on my wall where I have other things that are important to me might offer a good reminder.

While I understand it’s a metaphor, I’m a bit of a literal thinker a lot of the time, and the thought of eating an elephant horrifies me. So I switched the saying to “anyone can eat a whole cake. You just have to do it one slice at a time.” Because cake.

Another thing we talked about is that I really enjoy making art and I don’t make enough time for this. And that making time for things that make me happy/recharge me will help me be a better caregiver.

So I added the two things together and made a painting to place on my wall as a reminder. It’s mixed media using gouache (cake, platter, and plate), acrylic (table, cake icing and details on platter and plate), and alcohol markers (lettering).

And here it is on my wall. I have a very small office, so it’s very dificult to get a “straight on” photo of the wall, but you get the idea. These are some of the drawings my kids have made for me over the years, my “I support the sunflower” posters, and now… my reminder to slow down and that it’s OK to just do a little bit at a time… now if I can only get my ADHD to not let me forget the rest of the bits I still have to do forever… that’d be great lol

P.S. I love sunflowers. The fact this program uses it as its symbol is perfect :heart: :sunflower: :heart:


Good reminder!

There’s a new Craftalong for February that might help with small steps.


I love that! What a wonderful reminder!

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Really beautiful! Both the painting and the whole idea behind it. I think I have the same issues you mentioned: wanting to do it all at once as well as chronic health condition (same one as you.) This is so inspiring.


I love switching out the elephant for cake! Great reminder!

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Thank you for the kind words, everyone!

@endymion Are you a fellow zebra?

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Yes, I am! (hEDS with genetic variants in several connective tissue genes)


Awesome cake! Now I need chocolate….:woman_shrugging:

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I’ll admit, when I was mixing the gouache for painting the cake, I had to remind myself we don’t eat paint.

It really did look good enough to eat, lol


Eating an entire cake makes a lot more sense than eating an elephant. And this is a good reminder to do stuff one step at a time.
Also, your cake looks yummy and now I want cake :smile:

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I love that you reinterpreted the imagery for something that’s a better fit for you and that you took the time to participate in a little self care while creating this reminder. I recently read a comment by someone who basically said that crafting was her #1 method of self care. I think that’s so true for a lot of us on this site and I hope that you continue to make time to create as a way to refuel your tanks, so to speak.