A certain fixation seems one of the inescapable collateral effects of a problem orientation. I’m easily seduced into trying to fix if I see every complaint as a problem. This preference easily degrades into a form of addiction, where I seek out problem situations so I can show off by big, shiny wrench.

I am rather proud of my wrench. And I’m encouraged by my many successes employing it. If I am not always the master of every difficulty, I am always the master of my toolbox.

I suppose enlightenment begins sometime after I realize that no wrench in my expansive toolbox fits the nut I’m convinced needs tightening, or when I begrudgingly accept that no nut exists for my wrenching to secure. Sure, I’ll try the vice grips and even that antique Model T spanner I found at a barn sale, but they won’t work, either. In frustration, then, wisdom might prevail.

I’m challenged by my fix-ations, especially the ones I’ve nurtured from seed and even harvested ripe fruit from. I will think I’m thinking outside my toolbox only to find some drop-forged steel ready to hand. Maybe my hand’s to blame, working from muscle memory, having long-ago left any mindfulness behind. Ignorance seems a small adversary compared to all I know so well I don’t ever need to think before acting with it.

Thinking might be no less a barrier, especially if my thinking’s fix-ated on solutioning, and especially especially when I’m trying to find The Best solution when solution itself might later seem simply beside any point. That fix-ation qualifies as a trance. So what’s the solution to the fix-ation problem?

See how it goes? I might well find some form of fix-ation all the way down.

I’m learning that difficulties seem to elicit the fix-ations in me. I know of no reliable way to sidestep any of them, since I seem to invoke them before any of my on-board sensors notice their presence. I might catch myself just after I throw a wildly misguided pitch, but almost never before.

One key might be to observe the play. Watch for the wild pitch. Notice when it happens. Then, call a little conference on the mound to question where that came from. It probably emerged from somewhere before or beyond intention. It clearly didn’t fit the here-and-now present. Choose again. Maybe even choose differently then.

These fix-ations can be tricky companions. They embody past mastery and seem as though they really should serve as decent currency today. Mastery might emerge from discovery rather than from repeated use.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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