Are You An Eagle — Or A Spider?

Moving from yesterday’s domestic spiel, “To Make or Not to Make…Your Bed” today’s post moves into the wild animal kingdom for some answers on how to live your best chapter. What are you – a spider or an eagle? Here’s the 101 difference (for all you non-ornithologists and non-arachnologists out there).

A spider builds its web carefully, plans and then waits for its prey. An eagle circles and then zooms in for its catch. So what are you? Take this short quiz to find out.

  1. Do you enter a party and stay on the side, waiting for someone to approach? Or do you move immediately toward the first person and start making small talk?
  2. Do you stand at the ocean’s edge to adjust to the water – or do you run right in?
  3. Do you read a recipe a few times to make sure you understand it before beginning? Or do you start cooking and make mistakes as you go?
  4. Do you go to a store and then look for sales? Or do you hear about sales and then go to a store?
  5. Were you one of the first of your friends to get a new _____(fill in the blank) Iphone, Blackberry, Ipod…? Or one of the last?

Which of the following adjectives describe you:

Impulsive, hesitant, conservative, risk-taker, spontaneous, short-term planner, long-term planner, reluctant, routine-oriented, informal, rule-breaker, rule-maker…You get the picture, by now, right?

These questions helped me to see that I’m definitely not a spider – though Charlotte’s Web remains one of my all-time favorite books.

And now that I know what I am, I’m going to take my own suggestion. To be more me, I’m going to be less me. To live my best chapter, I’m discovering new ways of being my best self. Today, I’m planning on making cheesecake for my youngest daughter’s birthday (get out your pompoms!) and this time, instead of acting like an eagle, I’m going to act like a spider. I’ll make sure I have all the ingredients – which means thoroughly checking the refrigerator and cupboard (don’t you love that old-timey word, cupboard?) and not rushing out in the middle when I — oops! — discover that I didn’t have the vanilla when I thought I did. And I’ll read the recipe thoroughly without assuming I know it already.

I’ve written a bit about countering depression, and one thing I’ve learned is that trying new ways to approach our lives can help us get out of ourselves.

I’m an eagle who’s going to act more like a spider today. And if you’re more of a spider, then why not act like an eagle?

Dive into something new instead of waiting for the new to come to you.

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
This entry was posted in Be Less You To Be More You, How to Change Your Life, Your Best Chapter and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Are You An Eagle — Or A Spider?

  1. acappelli says:

    I think I’m a speagle. Sometimes the different attributes which reside in my being compete and then just make me feel stuck- so that in a certain moment or circumstance I can’t fully live one way or the other. But this year I have set goals for myself that require I act more like an eagle. It’s definitely been hard to push my spider self aside.

    • dianabletter says:

      Amy, that is perfect – a speagle! I love it. I wouldn’t have guessed you felt like more of a spider — your art work and writing are daring and risky. Thanks for writing! That was eaglish of you! diana

  2. elyse says:

    But it was the eagle, not the spider, who took off for Alaska. Don’t give up your feathers trying to find more legs!

    • dianabletter says:

      That’s true, elyse, the eagle took off – the spider would have stayed in her web! What are you?

      • elyse says:

        Firmly in my web, but starting that cake e.g., without reading the recipe, let alone checking to see if I have the ingredients, because I made it three times *last year* and therefore *must* have the muscle memory to do it without thinking. I think I’m a spider with ADD!

      • dianabletter says:

        How did your cake come out? I love that you think you’re a spider with ADD! How funny!

      • elyse says:

        It’s nut cake, so even when I mess up I think it’s delicious!

      • dianabletter says:

        Ha! What kind of nuts do you think make the perfect nut cake? (I’m not talking about the bakers but the ingredients!)

      • elyse says:

        Don’t know for sure that I’ve ever made it the same way twice, so it would be hard to say — maybe I’m not so very spider like after all!

      • dianabletter says:

        That’s why I say “be less you to be more you.” I also have my hidden spider tendencies!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m an eagle. Okay…patience is required when your a spider….okay. (Sigh) okay….I’ll try to stop forcing solutions. Catherine

    • dianabletter says:

      You’re right – spiders seem to have more patience but eagles circle and circle before they swoop for their prey!

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