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Posts Tagged ‘problem solving’

“Amy,” he said, “right now you need to be like a willow tree.”

Does this tree bear a resemblance to me? Photo Credit: zachstern via Compfight cc

I hate that he’s right, but he is. I need to move (I feel like I just finished moving) and since I got the news, I’ve come up with a huge number of potential solutions to this problem. I still don’t know which one is going to be the winner.

I am an ace at coming up with many possibilities. I didn’t realize until quite recently that this is a skill, and that it isn’t easy for everyone to do this. I can’t really help doing it, that’s how naturally it comes to me. When faced with a problem, my brain churns away and spits out option after option. And then as I gather more data, the options are honed and polished until eventually I pick one and execute it.

It is also a way to live many different lives. I just shared this quotation from Sylvia Plath on Facebook:

“Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?”

One way to do this, to try on different lives, is to come up with various solutions and then play them out in the mind to see what happens. Another way to do this, of course, is through writing (and reading, for that matter). Perhaps that is why I keep seeing articles saying that reading fiction is good for developing empathy. It gives us the practice of trying on a different life, so when we’re called to try on the life of someone we know, we have more of an idea of how to go about doing such a thing.

It turns out the solution production that my brain loves so much is a highly useful life skill, but like many such skills, it has its downsides. In this case, it makes it hard for me to shut my brain off or be mellow and go with the flow. I am flexible in that I can come up with so many different solutions, but I am not flexible in that the process tends to be quite stressful and on the all-consuming side of things.

So it is useful to be told to be like a willow tree, and it is useful to remind myself that one way or another, my living situation will work itself out. I certainly will be living somewhere come springtime. And while I can’t control the expense or the immense expenditure of time that is moving, I can choose where to spend whatever time and energy I have left over. So that’s something, isn’t it? In any case, it’s what I’ve got.

I may miss a few of my regular posts due to moving shenanigans. I’m going to try as much as possible to keep up my fiction writing schedule, and that might preclude a few blog posts. In addition, my brain is filled up with mundane details about real estate and square footage and the problem that occurs when one combines stairs with pianos, none of which are particularly conducive to interesting blogging unless one has a real estate blog, which I most certainly have no plans to start.

So instead, I will continue thinking about willow trees.

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