Thursday, April 4, 2013

Every obstacle is a vehicle

Maybe it’s cliché to say
  • We can turn closed doors into windows of opportunity
  • When a door closes, another one opens up.
  • Focus on problems, you get more problems.
  • It’s a process but it doesn’t have to be a problem.

I don't mind clichés.  I love quotes and borrowed words and my own little phrases.  I can hardly think without words and I need words to turn my thoughts.

Today I was excited to have the right amount of me-time between work and dinner out with friends.  The right amount is not enough time to go home but just enough to plant myself somewhere and write a blog post, maybe answer some emails.  This morning my daughter asked me why I was bringing the laptop to work with me.  I gave her a wise mom answer, “Because I am.”

Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota (high of 51-- it's all relative) and I am thirsty for it.  My face drinks in sunshine.  I thought I could plant myself on a bench in front of the library, get my fresh air, connect to the library’s wi-fi, and tippy-type away, briefly getting the best of both worlds—natural and technological.  Feeling connected and connected.

Nope.  My computer cannot seem to find the wi-fi today.  I took the laptop inside, but still no luck.  I have had a tendency to get myself worked up over things not matching my plans or expectations, even though I consider myself a problem-solver.  I am a concrete random, according to the Gregorc mindstyles, so I tend to create problems if none present themselves.  Part of dealing with depression is difficulty making decisions, so I often get tangled up in that.

However, I have been practicing radical acceptance and non-judgment and all kinds of skills and self-care, and had a few successes under my belt already today, so I was able to make a quick decision.  The library would close in 20 minutes.  I could drive to some other wi-fi, closer to my dinner destination, or I could grow where I was planted.  I chose to sit right down and type in a word-processing document (not straight into Blogger?! Gasp!) and just get started.  The technological connection will come later.

And, when the library closes (in two minutes now), I will not go chasing after another wi-fi connection.  I will take a walk and get my outside time, then go to dinner.  Still getting the best of both worlds.  I made a decision and went with it.  After years of second- and third-guessing myself, I am pausing to appreciate the beauty of this.

You made it to the bottom of this blog post.  Do you think this was a simple, elegant and effective solution?  Do you wonder what the big deal is?  Is it obvious to you that the snag was never really an obstacle?  Do you question the value of writing about something I should have been able to shrug it off in the first place?  I’m curious, and proud to say that I don’t need judgment or advice.  I need my own approach.  I need to be willing to name obstacles “obstacles” so I can do the next thing.  Knowing what an obstacle is, I can go over it, under it, around it, through it, or put wheels on it and make it a "vehicle." 


  1. I really love your outlook. It seems like you and I are on similar journeys. I've been working lately to stop catastrophizing every setback. It's not easy to change thinking patterns, but it is so awesome when you can overcome them - seeing obstacles as vehicles. :)

  2. I don't wonder what the big deal is! I think you set a goal for yourself, and when you couldn't accomplish it, you readjusted and moved forward. In the end you accomplished your goal! I think that's excellent.

  3. I also love cliches. I think they are very fun. Awesome outlike.


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