Friday, February 03, 2012

Unstuck: Finding the End of the Tape

Have you ever grabbed a roll of tape and been unable to find the end?  You twirl the tape around and run your finger over the surface to find the edge that will allow you to actually unwind the tape you need. Nothing is as stuck as a roll of tape whose end is so tightly wound that it is almost impossible to find.

Almost impossible. But you know there's an edge there and you know you need the tape. So even though the first time around it appeared to be seamless, you twirl it again. This time maybe you look with both your eyes and your fingertip.  In a hurry, you press too hard and you miss the difference that marks the edge.  You still know there must be an edge and you still need the tape. So you take another breath, slow down, work with a lighter touch.  When you find the edge, you tease it away from the rest of the tape.

If you move too fast, the edge breaks. You know where it is, but you still can't make use of the tape that is right in front of you, the tape you hold in your hand.  So you take another breath, slow down, work with a lighter touch.

The more tightly wound a problem is, the more patience it takes to find the edge that will unravel it. This is especially true when you notice that what is tightly wound is somewhere in your core.  You breath around this too-tight feeling. Your stomach flattens, but not in a good way. You are becoming the problem that you are trying to solve.

Rushing won't help. Force won't help. Cleverness won't help.

What does help is patience. You take another breath, slow down, work with a lighter touch.  Because you know there is an edge and you know you need what it will unwind for you.

1 comment:

holymotherofgod said...

omg what a timely post for me. What a great aha this is for me- because (a) i have the tape of being stuck in my mind a lot lately, (b) I cant get unwound lol and (c) i am so frustrated with being unable to UNDO it that it drives me insane. Hilarious! I am the tape!! =) Thanks Linda, I'll find the end soon...