I've been reflecting on the "Zoomed In" focus I talked about in a blog from Japan. I think we get so close to and so focused on what we are doing, and how we think it should be done, that we don't see the alternate solutions. We, or should I say "I", lose sight of other options.
In particular I remember a situation I had with a shelf unit in my closet. It was one of those Home Depot kits, with the adjustable shelves. My brother helped me install it shortly after I moved in. And soon thereafter the particle board around one of the holes where you put the peg that supports the shelves, broke away. The support pegs that came with the unit now no longer stayed in the hole and the shelf wobbled and often collapsed. Over the next few years ... yes, years ... I tried multiple different methods to keep a peg in that hole. I spent money on all kinds of different of pegs, brackets, screws ... whatever I could think of that might stay in that hole and support the shelf. Meanwhile the shelf kept wobbling and dumping my scarves or whatever I else I put on it onto the floor.
Finally one day, I was looking at it, frustrated at not being able to fix it when I had a flash of brilliance. Well, not brilliance ... but a different way of looking at it. All I had to do ... after all these years, ... YEARS!!!!... was move the shelf up or down one notch where the holes were still usable. Voila. The problem was solved.
Recently this was brought home to me again ... I had an area in my back yard that I had envisioned as a flagstone patio. I had collected stones from my yard, a neighbor's yard, a friends yard, bought a few ... and still had a area about 3' x 3' that wasn't covered. l didn't want to spend a lot of money buying more stones. What was I to do? A couple days ago I was sitting in the back yard looking at it, and it hit me ... make the patio smaller. Wow. What a concept. Didn't need more flagstones. In fact, once my helper and I finished the project we had stones left over, and I had room for another garden bed. Fabulous.
So why does it take so long to see the obvious? I was so focused on fixing that hole in the shelf unit, it was years before saw the obvious ... move the shelf up or down! It was several season of flagstone collection and arranging before I saw that if I made the patio a little smaller, I had more than enough stones to complete the project.
So how do I do this on a regular basis ... zoom out, look at alternatives, and KISS ... keep it simple stupid!