Frustration

Night time visitor.  Found these raccoon tracks around my barn and circling my back door this morning.

Night time visitor. Found these raccoon tracks around my barn and circling my back door this morning.

When I walked into the room, Marty was kneeling on the floor, pushing down on a jar, twisting its cap on.  I reached out to hold the jar while he tightened the cap.  He’d just finished a day of plumbing my new bathroom.  I told him how I’d stripped out three screws that morning trying to hang a silly towel hook in the kitchen.  And how I’d ended in frustration, tossing the screwdriver down the cellar stairs.  “Well, I threw it, actually,” I admitted, ashamed.   “Do you ever get frustrated?” I asked him.  “Of course!” he answered.  “Yea, but you always find a way.  And you always seem to smile!” I countered.  “How do you do it?”  I mean, he’s a seasoned professional builder for 30 years.  A few years ago he re-learned how to do everything with one arm and hand.  He can (and does) do anything.  So here’s what he told me, and I try to remember these things when I encounter something challenging.

1.  Sometimes you just need to walk away for a bit.

2.  Think it through.  If plan A isn’t working, look at it from a different angle.

3.  Be patient with yourself.

But what struck me most was this one:

4.  Don’t ever say that this would be easier with two hands.  It just doesn’t help.

Sometimes when I’m facing a challenge, I look at what I DON’T have and think how if only I had that husband/money/location/whatever that this would be SO much easier.  Poor me.  If only.  Well, Marty reminded me to just look at what I have to work with right now, and find a way through the problem with that stuff in hand.  It’s self-defeating to look at it any other way.  I try to remember this wisdom when I face a task that feels bigger than me.  I haven’t thrown too many screwdrivers down the cellar stairs lately.

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