Monday, September 28, 2015

Quick Fix

Human instinct dictates that we find solutions to the problems and challenges that cross our path.  As we get busy in life, whether it be with work, pleasure, family, or otherwise, we tend to add speed to that problem-solving skillset, so that we can move on to the next issue. When the situations start to pile up, though, the quick fix, although convenient, is not always the right answer.  More often than not, the accumulation of snags is simply an indication to slow the hell down in order to identify the real issue at hand, instead of quick fixing the ancillary hurdles that arise because of it.

Most folks have a lifelong record of quick fixing their way out of boredom, unhappiness or unfulfillment by simply changing the scenery.  A trip to the mall for clothes or makeup “fixes” the dissatisfaction of body image.  A night out drinking alleviates the intensity of a broken heart.  A one-night-stand pumps up the fragile ego after losing a job.  Each knee-jerk reaction temporarily fills an empty space, but doesn’t really address the actual problem. 

Just this week I found myself considering buying a new car, adding a puppy or rescue dog to our brood, and planning a family vacation over Christmas.  Whoa, trying to cover up much?  I was quickly trying to address the feeling of discontent I had been feeling for the last few months, and most recently after having a knee surgery that didn’t yield the results I had hoped for, leaving me still somewhat maimed and in need of some self-care. Stuff the negative feelings down by adding more shit on top so there’s no room for it to breath.

That’s what we do.  New job, new relationship, new house, new cause, new kid, new friend, new hobby, new church, new life. None of it takes away what’s really eating away at the core, as the second that newness if over, the same old worry rears its ugly head, still alive and kickin.’

What happens if we take the time to really address the reality of the situation and own it, feel it, try it on for size, before trying to cover it up or stifle it?  It’s not very pretty.  In fact, allowing oneself to be vulnerable and acknowledging imperfection is a pretty freakin’ unnatural state of being, if you ask me.  It’s uncomfortable just being and not doing, not having the fixes lined up in your court.

But feeling powerless has its advantages too.  It opens you up to creativity, change, and sometimes just acceptance, as every problem doesn’t have an automatic solution.  It also helps fosters real human interaction, as typically when we’re in a state of true susceptibility, we don’t have the capacity to participate in mindless chatter or repeat the same bullshit stories we tell people about ourselves and vice versa.  It’s actually a pretty empowering place to exist if we can just let ourselves.

I have absolutely no idea what, if anything, is the anctedote to my current discontent.  Maybe it is actually a new job or a new way of living.  Or maybe I’m right where I need to be and that’s just got to be enough for right now.  But what I do know is that history has repeated itself enough in my lifetime to show me that the quick fix is not usually the most efficient route.