King Louie of Dogswald loves car rides. Usually, the invitation to the car means one of three things. He will be the work temple doggie for the day at my dog-friendly workplace; he’s going to Grandma and Nonno’s where he, as the granddog, gets all the treats and all the naps; he’s going to our cousins’ house, where she specifically makes him chicken and rice for dinner. It’s a tough gig for a doggie. Or something.
Sometimes, when we call him to get into the truck on the way home (read: low light), he hesitates to jump in. We encourage him, but he coils up to spring, then, doesn’t, then looks at us. If we shine a mobile phone light onto the floor so he can see where he’s landing, he’s better. He’s an old guy. He can’t just be jumping on a hope and a prayer anymore.
Today, the invitation to the car was so he could go to the vet. They also try to give him treats – even the good stinky liver ones. But he’s having none of it. She didn’t even touch his bum this time, but she was still untrustworthy, alas. On the way home he did the same thing when I told him to get into my car. He hesitated, not sure he could make the distance from the road to the seat. So I pointed to the floor, and easypeasy, he hopped right in.
On the way home, I was thinking about the nature of obstacles. When I got home, Child said that the server he’s building was missing a part. He was upset that he wasted money on something that was the wrong thing to begin with. I told him that in his career, this will happen. The code will not work like you thought. The integration is not as smooth as advertised. The laptop you have can’t run the thing you need it to. So you troubleshoot, and you do some risk management, and when you have a few contingency plans for when things go sideways and mitigation plans so that the high-speed wobble doesn’t end up giving you full speed road-rash, and you figure it out.
So he did.
Sometimes it just takes a friend or colleague doing a logic sanity check to help you look at the obstacle from a different direction to see that it’s not such a big obstacle after all.
Who knows the fable of the donkey in the well? Once there was a donkey that fell into a well. When the farmer found him, he realized that he wouldn’t be able to rescue the donkey. He decided that he would just fill up the well with dirt, and then no one else would fall in, but unfortunately the donkey would be buried. Sadly, the farmer started shoveling dirt into the well. When the donkey realized that he was being buried alive, he started to panic. After a few minutes, though, the donkey quieted down. When the farmer looked into the well, he saw that the donkey had shaken all the dirt off his back, and stepped up on it. Eventually, the well was filled with dirt, and the donkey stepped over the edge, unharmed.
Sometimes, life’s challenges are just stepping stones to better things.
This Lent, when all it takes to solve a problem is to offer a different perspective, may I see something that someone else didn’t.