Did you ever wake up one morning and wonder how you were going to get everything you had on your plate done within the eight hours allotted to getting it done? This brings me to an “idiom” that is usually associated with the mood we place ourselves in when facing such a situation. Think about it – we have a ton of things to do and only a few hours (well, eight hours is a bit more than a few but what can I say, I haven’t had my morning coffee yet) to do it in.
If you are like me, the first thing that pops into my head is that if I am going to make any headway in the list of things I want to do I am going to have to move “like a bat out of hell!”
What does that even mean? Well, if you look it up – the expression “like a bat out of hell” is very commonly used in English. Bats have been associated with witches since the Jacobean times (reign of James VI of Scotland). Bats fly very quickly as if they are panicking, so this is how the phrase is associated with its origin. Source: theidioms.com
But instead, I sit down at my desk and prepare a “list of things I want to accomplish” knowing full well that I will probably not get all of them done. But, by having the list in front of me, I can pick and choose those that I feel are most important and attack them first. In that manner, when the end of the day comes and I sit down to review the list once again, hopefully, those that were of most importance will be check-marked ‘done’ and I will feel as though my day was not a total waste of time. Beats moving “like a bat out of hell!”
By taking the approach I mentioned above, one avoids yet another idiom that many people fall victim to in their everyday lives – that of “making a mountain out of a molehill.” Which, by the way, I must admit, I used to do all the time.
Again, referring to the same source, the oldest record of this particular idiom “making a mountain out of a molehill” is to be found in Nicholas Udall’s translation, 1548. It was mentioned as:
“….The Sophists of Greece could through their copiousness make an Elephant of a fly and a mountain of a molehill”
He is comparing a fly with an elephant which is a clear reflection of exaggeration. It is impossible to compare an elephant with a fly because of the difference in their size. Since then, this idiom was used rapidly in order to highlight the dramatization. Source: theidioms.com
My point to this entire post is that if we slow down and think things through and not fly off the handle “like a bat out of hell,” the tasks before us on any given day are not those of the “making a mountain out of a molehill,” but instead are as simple as that!
Until next time!