Have you ever walked across a muddy field, tried to take another step and realised that your welly is completely stuck? As you try to pull up your back foot, the front foot sinks deeper into the mud and there you are, wobbling around in the mire.
I’ve felt a bit like that lately: every time I tried to move on, I felt held back by something, bogged down and unable to make progress. That experience has left me feeling grouchy and a bit out of sorts: not good.
Last week, I had a flash of inspiration and decided that the answer was to do something completely different. I wanted to try something I’d never done before, something which would have a measurable end result, but something which didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Are you wondering what I chose?
Woodwork: never really tried it before so it would definitely tick that box. I’ve assembled flatpack kitchens, famously attaching a door handle to the inside of the cupboard, but that’s about it. It also ticked the box for a measurable end result – even if it all went horribly wrong and that end result was some kindling for the fire!
We have lots of candles in our house so I decided a vaguely Shaker-style box might be a good storage solution. Having first secured the promise of my husband’s assistance, I drew up my plans and got to work. Understanding the wisdom of ‘measure twice, cut once’ came quickly. Whilst I wasn’t great at steady jig-sawing, I took to planing rather well, finding the creation of a smooth, straight edge very therapeutic. Lots of drilling, assembly, sanding, priming and painting later, I am very proud to introduce to you my ever-so-slightly wonky – I prefer the description ‘artisan’! – candle box:
William Morris said that you should have nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. Whilst it’s hardly a household essential, my box is a bit useful and beauty’s in the eye of the beholder which in this case is me: I guess it can stay!
What’s more important is the effect that the project had on me. At some point during the sawing or planing or sanding or painting, I seemed to get over all the stuff that was holding me back. As well as having had a lot of fun and learnt something new, I somehow seemed to have pulled my metaphorical wellies out of the mud and made some progress.
So that got me wondering whether you’ve ever been in the same position.
Today’s pebble for you to consider: What could you try to get you ‘unstuck’?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we can work together?