The axiom in life is that it’s complicated, and through those complications, we become better in all things small or large.
Take for example, the air conditioner project we’ve been working on.
This last January we created a really fine gym in our one car garage, with elliptical, weight bench and free weights, chin up bar, premium Total Gym and space for a yoga mat. Oh yes, we also have a massage table to work those sore muscles. Everything a home with three mature adults could need to get our bods back in shape. A plan that coincided with the pandemic that has kept us all homebound.
We made a list and began the process of checking items off!
Our five day a week workout routine is built around a 30 to 60 minute session first thing in the morning. In the gym at eight, and at work by nine. Perfecto! Weight drops and muscles tone up. The plan was working!
As winter turned into spring and the heat began rising here in the desert, we turned the fans on. Soon they weren’t cooling us down enough. We needed a better solution.
To the big warehouse store we went, and exited with an in-the-room air conditioner for our gym so that during the brutally hot months in Arizona we could work out in relative comfort. We thought everything was in place. We made a list and began the process of checking items off!
A brand new AC unit in hand: Check.
The previous owner had installed a portable air conditioner: Check.
We purchased a similar unit with a good discount: Check.
There are multiple available power outlets in the room: Check.
…Oh yea, the heat was rising: Check.
What could go wrong?
We soon found out. First off the vent through the wall was of a different diameter than the exhaust hose on the new air conditioner. After researching several couplings, we ordered a heavy duty one that, according to specifications, was the correct measurement, matching both the diameter of the exhaust hose and the wall duct.
Perfect. However we soon found that it didn’t match either diameter. Crikie! Now what?
No problem, we can just put some tape around the too small duct hose and tighten the clamps there and at the wall. We have air-conditioning. Cue the band music and happy dance.
Ah, but wait… we then found out that when we turn on the unit, the room lights dim. Not good! Did I forget to mention that we also have refrigerator and upright freezer in the same space? Well, that’s a problem. A call to an electrician to install a new circuit, an added expense… but the best solution.
This roundabout, workaround saved our workout schedule. Summer heat is now no problem.
As you can see, a simple project of putting in an air conditioner with existing ductwork just didn’t happen.
We are all familiar with such encounters, and how we have worked around them. It is so frustrating to start a project and then find that for every step forward, we stumble two back to accomplish an end.
Define your goal, make a plan of action, check for any irregularities and then begin. Doing this with full knowledge that there will be changes. That’s life, it’s unavoidable
But why is that any different than say, cleaning house or doing the dishes or laundry? The things we do every day all require multiple steps to complete. If we’re doing the dishes, we need to rinse off the debris before putting them in the soapy water. If you have a dishwasher you still need to clean off the plates and pots before you can put them in the machine. House cleaning requires moving furniture in order to sweep beneath. We also clear things off the top of the chest in order to dust.
Everything we do requires some logical preparation. Even writing this blog required our having to open the laptop, login, choose the software and begin writing.
Working on any projects should be approached the same way. It’s a process. Define your goal, make a plan of action, check for any irregularities and then begin. Doing this with full knowledge that there will be changes. That’s life, it’s unavoidable
All this one-step forward and two-steps backward reminds us of the philosophy that if you’re going through troublesome times and doors are closing, a new door will soon open.
When you’re hiking on a trail, often a few steps forward will be countered by stepping around something or stepping up on a ledge. The path is seldom straight or easy.
Growth is supposed to feel good, for success must surely follow. We don’t need to worry that every setback indicates something is wrong. As long as we’re making progress, we can trust we’re doing just fine. Sometimes we need to wander in our self-made darkness to find a better, new light
Often setbacks result in our feeling angry. But why? Why should you be angry because there’s a change in plan? Plans are simply guidelines, like a roadmap on a journey. As the saying goes, it’s not the destination, but the journey that is important. Likewise in these instances, it’s the journey and the discoveries that enrich your path in life. If everything always went well, how would we ever discover new things?
Have you considered that anger may be inhibiting your growth as a complete person?
Mastering the unexpected, the daily struggles, will stretch and allow us to better understand our capabilities. They are part of the whole, a direction that will make us more capable with each challenge, a necessary part of our growth.
We learn best when we depart from the norm and meet challenges head-on, rather than complaining or obsessing.
This may sound simple, and hard to wrap our heads around. Fact is, when we feel like we’re stuck in a rut, it is best to play though the barriers and move on. Like when we’re working out, unless we feel the burn we don’t feel like we are achieving growth.
Growth is supposed to feel good, for success must surely follow. We don’t need to worry that every setback indicates something is wrong. As long as we’re making progress, we can trust we’re doing just fine. Sometimes we need to wander in our self-made darkness to find a better, new light.
For the path to success is never steady, constant nor perfect.
Understanding this rhythm brings us to a place of empowerment. This simple bit of wisdom can bring you a great amount of peace.
When we reflect on our lives, it is easy to see how far we’ve come, no matter the highs and lows on our way. Seize the day, carpe diem!
It is so true…“The crooked path of life is the teacher of all things important.”