Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Insanity: Doing the Same Thing Over and Over and Expecting Different Results

Both we and our next door neighbor have large crab apple trees in our front yards. Odds are very good they were planted at the same time, as they are about the same size. I wouldn't be surprised if they went in the same year our homes went up (1969).

For the last couple weeks, I have watched as my neighbor goes out and picks the tiny apples off the lawn and side walk. I couldn't figure out what she was doing. Was she trying to keep the sidewalk clean? Was she harvesting them for canning purposes? I was intrigued.

Over the weekend, Best Guy and I were walking Buddy one afternoon when we came upon her once again out there with a small bucket picking up the fallen fruit. We exchanged our pleasantries, remarked on how full the trees were with apples, and then she dropped "I hate this tree!" on us. We didn't really have much to say to that, so we made our good byes and went on our way.

This morning I saw her out there with her bucket, once again fighting a losing battle with a tree she can't stand. Every day, she's out there. Picking up tiny, sour apples.

Every day.

As I see it, there is a very simple solution to her problem. Yet for reasons I am not privy to, she instead chooses to fight a house fire with a thimble full of water. Perhaps her husband planted and loved it, and she keeps it out of sentiment. Maybe she doesn't have the funds to have it professionally removed.

Or maybe she just isn't seeing the most obvious solution.

Isn't that the way? Something seems insurmountable to us, so instead of taking a course of action that would solve the issue, we instead develop habits to let us think we're somehow managing the situation. To the outside observer, our excuses and habits seem downright ridiculous yet they make perfect sense to us. When someone remarks that "if you did {this} you wouldn't have to deal with {that} anymore", we become offended. Because we can't do {this}.


Self-imposed limitations work far better at keeping us in line than almost anything else. Recognizing and dealing with them is some of the most painful work you'll do. Because realizing you have no one to blame but yourself for all these things you could have been doing if only... is a hard pill to swallow.

I love it when lessons come out of the blue and whack you on the head, don't you?

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