Fixing The Problem With The Solution

I'm the kind of person who stress eats.  (Nothing mends a broken heart like a bag of potato chips, right?).  I'm also the kind of person that gets bad news and responds by cleaning the house.  (Nothing fixes bad news like a clean toilet, right?).  And I'm definitely the kind of person that--when tragedy strikes--goes to the store to buy my kids a new toy. (Nothing smooths over a tragedy like a giant bouncy ball, right?) 

Right. I am the master of pain avoidance.

Or more accurately, I'm the master of pain displacement.  I feel bad, and I respond to the bad feelings by doing something that distracts from the root cause of the feelings.  I remember that--after my Dad died--I felt a gaping hole in my life.  I filled that hole with everything from wine to banjo lessons.  I remember one day, I felt such a painful void that I dragged the old buffet that I built for my parents out into the forest and burned it to the ground.

Which, unsurprisingly, did little to address my grief.

Nowadays, I have had less of a chance to deflect.  Between kids and the restaurant, there isn't time to dilly dally when problems arise.  When a kid gets a fever, we go to the doctor.  When the pipes burst at the building, I shut down the water and call the plumber.  When the radiators get cold, I bleed them, and when the roof drains aren't draining, I get up on the damn roof and unclog them.

But this week, I almost resorted back to my old ways. Without going into detail, I'll just say: I ended up with a giant hole in the floor of the coffee parlor of my restaurant.  It looked immense. It looked scary.  It looked like it went all the way to China.  So my first response to it?

I should really paint my walls.  Or maybe build another booth.  Or hang a few lights.

Anything but fill the hole.

Because of my crazy track record, I could actually see what was happening.  So rather than run away from the giant hole, I forced myself out to Home Depot and went through the concrete aisle.  I read the back of the 60 lb bag.  The bag said I would need 24 bags, a mixing bucket, and a hoe for the job.  So I bought the stuff, loaded it into the car, got back to the restaurant, and got to work.  I'm not done yet, but I'm on my way.

The moral of my week?  Nothing fixes a problem like the actual solution.  Scary as some things are, there's usually a sensible way to work on them.  Reader, whatever challenges hit you this week, I wish you the strength to meet them head-on.  I'll see you next Sunday. -Em


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