I’ve recently been thinking about what my problem is.
You laugh. But really, I HAVE been thinking about why upcoming Field Day and preschool vacation bible school (both of which I am involved in in the organizational way for the first time this year) stress me out so much.
And I’ve decided that part of the problem is that I sucketh at visualizing stuff. I really don’t Have. A. Clue. what those things are like (never having organized them before) and not being able to visualize how it goes means I don’t know what I’m doing.
And that stresses me out. You see, I am terrible at visualizing. I’m convinced the reason I don’t paint or draw or decorate my home or know how to dress is because I can’t get a picture in my mind of The Way Things Are Supposed to Be. I don’t say “I’m going to draw a cat” because I can’t see the cat before a cat exists. Now if you give me a picture of a cat and tell me to copy it, I’m fine.
On the other hand, not having a monolithic, black and white picture in my head kind of helps when contemplating the future or looking for solutions to problems. Because I don’t know The Way Things Are Supposed to Be, it means I can see alternatives to the way things are done now.
It means I can hold two, totally opposing and opposite views in my head at the same time. Yep, I understand that bacon and potato salad drizzled with mayonnaise is WRONG on pizza, at the same time I take a bite and enjoy it.
I marvel at people who are so confident about How Things Should Be, whether it be their opinions about abortion or how to spend PTC money at girl1’s school, or what color goes with mauve pants, or what to put on a pizza.
I LIKE knowing The Way Things Should Be. Part of me YEARNS for the solid comfort of being absolutely sure I’m working towards the right goal.
People like Ghandi and Mother Teresa and Nikola Tesla seemed to know The Way Things Should Be, and without people like that we’d be a much poorer world. (we won’t mention the dark side of that coin; Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot and such)
But really, folks, there is no monolithic good. There’s only us flailing around down here in the mud trying our best, with no guarantee that the path we choose is the best path, or that there even is a best path.
More than anything being a parent has taught me this.
And if more people would tolerate ambiguity, would approach situations with the attitude of
a) I believe X, but I can see how you believe Y and as long as you don’t try to Y me we can work side by side here
b) I see you believe X, but maybe I need to communicate with you about Y so you can understand why I’m not doing it your way and you’re probably not going to convince me X is better, so let’s just compromise for this particular moment
we would get much more done. Without being so judgemental of ourselves and others.
And yes, this little tirade was brought on by me being on the sidelines as two people in my circle of acquaintances got upset with eachother because they both knew The Way Things Should Be but couldn’t articulate those visions to each other enough to stop irritating each other.
How’s that for ambiguity!