One of the pieces of dread is the Christmas tree.
For several years we cut our own or purchased a precut one. Every year, Nancy stayed away from the garage while I got the tree into the stand. It was always a challenge. I could never get it straight. I got frustrated with the imperfections of the branches, with the poor balance, with how hard it was to make a straight cut with cold hands and an unpracticed saw.
I dreaded that process, that feeling of powerlessness.
Eventually, we bought a fake tree. It works well. It looks nice. But it didn’t eliminate all of my dread.
We store our tree in the attic. The ladder is steep. The hole is narrow. The tree box is, shall we say, flexible.
Every year I have battled to get the box down and battled to get the box up. There are gouges in the sides of the box. There have been bruised knuckles. There have been expressions of frustration.
Saturday was the day. I needed to get the process of decorating started. I was on the ladder, handing things to Andrew. All the boxes were down. It was time to move the tree. I pulled the big box closer. I prepared to wrestle it down.
And then, I grabbed one of the three sections of the tree and handed it to Andrew. I realized that if I handed the pieces down one at a time, there would be no bruised knuckles, no frustration.
That’s what “out of the box” thinking looks like. Simple practical solutions to feelings of dread.
So what’s your example?