my poppo would likely have agreed with sue aikens. he was a solution-finder. i will, right-here-and-now, brag about his ability to fix absolutely anything; he would find a way, even if he had to make it up. well, mostly because he made it up.
i’m not sure how he learned everything he learned; his knowledge base was incredibly practical. give him any problem and it became a challenge for him – an undertaking he never-ever thought of as insurmountable…it was simply a solution he hadn’t yet found. and so, i hear sue aikens (of national geographic’s life below zero fame – living a solitary life out on the arctic, solving problems i will likely never encounter) and i think of my dad, whose list of favorite places on earth included his workbench out in the garage (or in the basement in earlier years when they lived up north.) he saved every screw and nut and bolt and tool that crossed his path “just in case”. he was a re-purposer before it was vogue. and he was an expert at turning cardboard boxes inside out or fashioning a new box from old in order to ship or store any thing. his rube goldberg fixes were always pretty amusing, but they all worked and i can hear him in my head pondering and strategizing when i look at something-that-needs-fixing. sue aikens would be proud. her glass-half-full attitude is pretty amazing, considering the elements she deals with. she’s pretty black and white about things; a lack of grey is something i can’t really relate to, but maybe that’s why she solves things more easily – she doesn’t get lost in any part of the emotional response to the problem.
i have to say, though, that i wish i could look at problems in the same positive way as sue. yes, yes, yes, i know how much we all grow from problems and solving problems and blahblahblah. it’s the stress of problems i’m talking about…the worry. there was a prayer yesterday in the bulletin that said, “help us resist the reflex to worry constantly about every single detail of our lives…” wow. i double that. mmm. make that triple. it is a reflex. we know that the moments beyond problems will come. more than likely we will be on the other side sometime soon, sitting in the middle of the solution and looking back, shaking our heads at how befuddled and stressed we felt. but in the meantime….
in the meantime, i would like a collection of some straight-up solutions for the problems that lurk…a (metaphoric) closet full of how-to-do-its or at least how-to-make-it-ups. oh, and a better attitude about problems. they are just solutions we haven’t found yet.
uh. yeah. (eye roll)