A Funny Story

We are in the middle of renovating a house.  It was my father in laws and months after he has passed it has landed on us to update and upgrade.  We have been in the process of removing what is not needed and my job was to remove ten walls of very old wallpaper.  This landed on me for a couple of reasons.  One that I have previous experience with this and two is due to no one on the crew has any desire or patience to do it.

I agreed that this was a contribution I could donate toward the overall project.

It took days and days removing decades old wallpaper, stripping off the outer layer and then spraying and using a putty knife to coax it off.  I sampled a few areas first to gauge which one to start with.  I decided to conquer the one I felt was the most difficult, first.  I was right, it was painstaking to chip away small bits of glue and paper in tiny fragments.

But conquer it I did, and one by one each wall fell victim to being stripped back to the painted drywall underneath.  Except one.  One small area up above the stairs that calmly stared at me with each pass underneath, sensing my fear of heights, and my willingness to allow it to become an obstacle to progress.

How could I get to it without falling and without risking cutting my hand with the knife I needed to use to cut through to the glue layer underneath?  I consulted with everyone there, people with more expertise in all things related to construction, and was told that our contractor had a special ladder for stairs.  To wait, focus on the many other tasks that needed to get done.  Forget it, Dave would deal with it.  There were attempts at rigging up all sorts of concoctions to balance on with work benches, buckets, and boards, to no avail.  It was simply not high enough to reach and not sturdy enough to calm my fears.  This went on for a week.  Every time I was in the house working away, cleaning up, I had to face this obstacle that had no solution.

But I accepted that there was no solution.  I had been told by four others, that I can’t get to it, without the magic ladder.  The one designed especially for steps.  This was the only solution.  As I finished all that I had to do, and our contractor was able to return to the site, we reviewed what the next steps were going to be when he looked up and said, “What’s this?”  nudging an eye towards the unsolved wallpaper dilemma.  Of course, I filled him in about the attempt to gain access and my fear of heights and falling with a knife and all the rigs that had been devised to get to that top bit of wallpaper.  A week of it or more and yet it was the last thing that had to go.  He smiled and said he would  get the magic ladder.  Which he did, and I felt so much better that finally this could get done.  He promptly propped up a tall ladder, with the feet planted on the step and the top firmly planted against the wall.  Then he looked at me and demonstrated that this ladder is not going anywhere.  It can’t.  And there was no magic going on here.

It was the best gut laugh I had since starting this project.  Like just seriously so funny, I was relieved, and felt a little duh! and the more obvious the solution was, the funnier it became.  So, I had to write about it.  Because this is exactly what being human is all about.

In the face of an “Impossible Situation” – we find possibility.

When we all see a problem with the same thinking, it can seem like there is not a solution.  Yet, there most always is.

When we allow ourselves to accept the opinions and beliefs of influencers around us, we stop relying on our own creativity.  When we are told that there is a magic solution, it is easier to accept that than try something out just to see if it will work.  The most obvious thing can be right in front of us, but when our mind is closed to looking at it and seeing it, it’s as if it isn’t even there.

Having the ability of shared laughter, allows us to accept ourselves.  It was funny that we all fell into the same mindset trap. It is simply evidence that we are all human.  Oh Well!

Here are a few tips to take away.

Resilience:   When faced with a task that I do not want to do, that I absolutely dread, I make a point of doing it first whenever I can.  When I decide to push to climb the biggest hill first, the other ones will seem easier by comparison.

Patience:  When faced with a long job that may push me to throw in the towel and walk away, I practice patience.  I turned the first wall into a practice of patience.  A working meditation.  I got satisfaction from the pile of paper that was on the floor.

Trust Myself:  I chose to just believe what others told me and stopped listening to my own creative potential to find a solution.  When I decided to wait for the magic ladder, my mind simply agreed with me. Their beliefs became mine. None of us saw the solution right in front of us.

Laughter:  The benefits of laughter in so many situations indicates that it’s ok with everyone involved and builds confidence that we can overcome problems going forward.  I still catch myself having a laugh about this funny story, because sometimes being a human is just funny!

Suggestion:  Look for the funny side wherever you can. Your mind will agree with you and help you do more of that.


Perspectives for Living Better

A focus on helping people improve their relationship with themselves and navigate through the everyday challenges.  Change your thoughts, change perspective, change your life.

Author Bio:  Margo Staniforth is a Hypnotherapist, Dip CBTH, Meditation and Mindfulness teacher and holds membership with IACT and ICBCH.   Other qualification include Fit Success, weight management and lifestyle choices/ Quit Success Tobacco Cessation certifications.  Positive Psychology is part of her integrated approach to help people with their challenges.

Find out more and contact Margo at HypnosisRedDeer.com