This has been a tough year for the skunk population in my neck of the woods. It seems that I have seen and smelled more dead skunks on the side of the road than I have in years past. Now in a car, and unfortunately on a bicycle, you smell a dead skunk well before you actually come upon the crime scene. Obviously when you are at the point of Mister skunks demise the smell is the strongest, and can be unbearable. But as you pass by the smell begins to dissipate although it continues to linger for a little while longer. What makes a difference in how strong the smell is? Space.
You may think this is a crazy analogy but smelling a dead skunk and the problems you and I deal with day in and day out are very similar. The problem, and the smell, is strongest and seemingly more daunting when we are standing on top of it, when it is right in front of us. When we put a little space between ourselves and the problem it doesn’t disappear but it also doesn’t incapacitate us like the smell of freshly smashed skunk on the side of the road does.
I offer all this for this reason, ’tis the season for many of us to become overwhelmed. Mother’s across the country want to make Christmas perfect for their families. I am here to tell you that there is no such thing as perfect. I can promise you that a problem will crop up with your perfect somewhere, somehow. A present on backorder, a flight delayed, the store runs out of your favorite ham or maybe the dreaded holiday stomach bug invades your home.
When the walls begin to feel like they are closing in on you. When you sit at the same traffic light for thirty minutes trying to turn left to buy the last gift on little Susie’s list remember that there is plenty of space out there for you, more space than we can see, more space than we can even utilize. The problem is you have to find it, and honestly you have to want to find it. Take a deep breath and put a little space between you and what you perceive to be your problem. It won’t go away but the smell will be easier to tolerate and maybe, just maybe the solution will become more obvious.
No skunks were harmed in the creation of this post, at least not by me.
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” – H.H. the Dalai Lama XIV