Since I intend on travelling the Americas next year, I have joined a Pan-American forum owned by one of those gargantuan social media companies that probably don’t need any more advertising. This morning one of the first things I read was that a poor lady had overturned their vehicle and, let’s call her Diane to avoid referring to her as ‘she’ for the entire paragraph, was hesitant to drive again. In fact, when Diane did try, she started shaking and after ten frightening minutes simply burst into tears. Sounds like me going to work on a normal day, but I digress. Courageously, Diane was seeking help from the forum on how to progress and what advice anyone could impart. Naturally since we’re ingrained from childhood to ‘get back on the bike/horse’, that is exactly what 90% of the forum suggested.
Comments positively fell over themselves to regale others with their own far worse tale of woe and adversity, which is supposed to provide comfort and yet just makes the recipient feel bad for even asking the question in the first place. The good-intentioned advice range from helpful sorry to hear it’s and hope you get better’s to the more full-on call that a car crash? I once hit a tree so had I made paper!
Ever since I’ve known my girlfriend, her mother has abstained from driving. Since I’ll try to refrain from referring to her as ‘she’ throughout, let’s call her . . . Dragon Lady. Just kidding, I mean Hell Hound. Ok ok, perhaps Mildred will do. So Mildred had an accident at some point and basically refused to drive again, leaving her reliant upon her husband (he can remain he, because he has only got a small part. And I don’t mean penis).
I think the approach for me lies in a different path, and to consider as many options that are feasible whilst maintaining an optimism that eventually a satisfactory outcome is reached. When Diane jumped back into the vehicle for the first time, she expected everything would be fine: she would jump back behind the wheel, as that’s what you’re supposed to do, and she would continue driving as before. Unfortunately, she hadn’t anticipated the shock and how her mind would react to the trauma.
Whilst it would be impossible to perceive every permutation, the problem lies with the expectation. When I approach a new task, I imagine I’m going to cock it up entirely. That says a lot of my state of mind! In as far as DIY is concerned (see previous post) the odds are against me completing the task anywhere near satisfactorily. That clearly comes from my perhaps over-inflated perception of my skillset, the outer voice that exclaims ‘yeah, I can do that!’ versus the far more sensible yet much quieter ‘you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing!’
A Different Approach
I would dearly love to be proven wrong at any juncture, and for said outcome to be absolutely delightful, but alas. A friend commented this makes me a pessimist, of which I’m sure I am not. One of the many scenarios I envisage does include closing my eyes, throwing paint at a wall and it just landing exactly where I want it to. But in actuality, I know that I will make an assessment of the wall colour, get a colour chart, get a sample, take it to the manufacturers, get 500 litres to complete the paintwork on my house, and then realise that the wall I sampled isn’t the same colour as the rest of the house and besides, I need 501 litres. And that 500 litres I brought was just the last batch . . .think I lie? Brace yourself . . .
Two weeks ago I went to a DIY store to get some wood sheets cut. After waiting around for twenty minutes, we finally found a staff member that relayed the unfortunate news that the wood-cutting machine was broken. The machine at another store across town was open but they close at 6. It was 6.15pm. The next day I turned up to complete my task, got everything cut by the professionals and went home satisfied to make my table. 100% into completing said table, I see the table is wrong as they’ve over-cut by 10cm. I go back to the DIY store, relate my story and to my surprise they believe me. They cut me another sheet of wood and I finally receive the length required and put the table back together. Think it ends there? No. They had actually under-cut the wood by 8mm, making the entire thing needing re-cutting again. And do I like the table now it's finished? Not particularly.