My mind is usually fixed on the big picture. I don't mean the big picture of life but rather the view of ideas and tasks from up above instead of down in the trenches. Basically, I'm an idea person, not a details person.
It's both a good and bad trait, this high-level viewing. At times, it pays off. When my team has an idea for the business, I implement it right away. We try new, big things often. One day we are talking about putting a shop on our website, the next day we are selling wreaths and shirts.
At times, though, this way of thinking get's me into trouble. Not too long ago, I decided to build a ladder for our blankets to hang out. I went straight to Home Depot when I had the idea, guessed on the measurements, came home and got to work. Turns out I didn't have the correct screws and had to make three trips to the store to get the project finished. I dream big and act fast, never really stopping to think through the details.
Last night it happened again, my mind had a great idea and my body sprang into action. In our master bath, there is a curved shower curtain that is bolted to the wall. The room is tiny and this shower curtain takes up the majority of the space. Since we moved in, I have been wanting to take it down and replace it with the one I brought with us. I grabbed a few tools and got to work. The first few screws came out relatively easily. Then I ran into a big problem. The previous owners had stripped the remaining screws where they were now immobile. I tried a few tricks I found on the internet to get them to turn but nothing worked. So, instead of waiting for my husband or calling my dad, I kept moving toward the big picture- getting that shower curtain rod down.
I started pulling. Hard. With my hands gripped around the metal, I wiggled, shook, and tried to rip that shower rod straight off the wall. If I could rip out the screws, I could always go back and repair the wall, right? Due to a major lack of upper body strength, all I succeeded in doing was loosening the rod up a bit and pulling up one of the shower tiles.
What I've been learning lately is that in those moments when I get stuck, when my quick-start mind has gotten me into trouble, I have to stop, look at the details, and ask for help. This doesn't come naturally to me. In fact, due to years of jumping feet first into big dreams and new projects, my body forced me to stop and analyze the small stuff. Because pulling on a metal pole, trying to rip it from the wall with my own strength, was only causing more damage. For a while, I tried to keep pushing, continue moving ahead like I always had. Ultimately, what I ended up with felt a lot like broken dry wall and a few chipped tiles. Maybe, instead of tiring my body and mind trying to make great ideas, or really, our whole life work, I could have asked for help. If I had stopped, truly stopped, for a moment and tried to get down to look at the details, I would have maybe seen the underlying issues. The stripped screws that weren't going to come out without a pair of bolt cutters. The faulty groundwork that had been laid early on. The paint that was actually covering up a problem.
I don't like stopping to consider the details. When I have an idea, I want to try it right then. When I start a project, I want it finished. Sometimes, it is a really good thing. But in my life, in my own rhythms and day to day living, it can easily cause some wreckage. So lately, I'm slowing down. Most days I ask for help from at least one person. My hours are spent looking at smaller details rather than the day as a whole. It feels a lot like learning to ride a bike for the first time- shaky, unnatural, scary, but thrilling at the same time. It's not to say I am giving up being a dreamer. Absolutely not. The other day I had the idea to paint the guest bath and by the time I went to bed it was finished with new hardware and a brand new look. Rather, it's more about intentionally practicing stopping before I get to the point where I'm pulling on a shower rod going about things in the wrong way. It's about pausing before I cause damage, learning that the little steps build a big picture, and that I need people in my life who are detail oriented.
My life has become slower, quieter, and focused more on the small. My eyes are being trained to occasionally see the world from down in the forrest instead of up above. My heart is learning to let go of pride and let others help. It's an unfamiliar but lovely transition.
However, it will probably never apply to home projects.