A Tale of Two Ditches

Mr. Potato Head and I believe in breakfast.

Mr. Potato Head

Eating a good breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism, gives you energy to get through the morning, and assures you of eating at least one solid meal today, in case the Zombie Apocalypse strikes later on and you’re too busy running for your life to stop and eat.

My belief in breakfast means that I have bacon, eggs, and potatoes in the morning. Pretty much every day. A recent schedule shift in our house has meant that this week Sherman and I have started chopping our potatoes the night before, in order to have time to cook them in the morning and still get to work on time.

The problem with chopping potatoes ahead of time is that they turn brown and dry out.

In order to deal with that problem, we covered them in water in a container overnight.

But soaking potatoes in water makes them stick to the pan when you fry them, and turns the remaining, non-stuck potato chunks to mush.

Basically, what I’m saying is that we solved one problem by causing another. Awesome.

It’s similar to what many people describe as the ditch issue, where you see yourself heading for a ditch on the right, so you swerve and find yourself up to your hubcaps in mud in the ditch on the left.

But when it comes to emotional problems, it sometimes feels like I actually get out and dig the other ditch first. I create a new problem to solve the first one. I don’t do this on purpose, of course! I’d like to think that all my solutions (spend more time alone, draw stricter boundaries, focus on the goal) are healthy and move me forward in good ways, only causing positive outcomes.

But it’s just not true. Every situation is nuanced, complicated, and at least a little bit broken. Very few good and healthy decisions will be met with entirely positive outcomes, every time.

Swerving hard makes every situation worse. I’m trying to learn to correct gently, and adjust course ahead of time, before I hit the ditch. Even if that means that I have to adjust course multiple times. In the long run, I believe it will be easier on everyone. Especially my hubcaps.

 

Have you ever swerved from one ditch into another? How did you find your way back to the middle of the road?

 

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One thought on “A Tale of Two Ditches

  1. schedule shifter February 17, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    no, turtles don’t swerve. 😉

    but also yes. and i go from way too much to total shutdown. so my practice to correct that is to let myself have the bad day, breathe deeply, cry if i need to, go to sleep, and try again tomorrow.

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