I would call myself creative, but not necessarily artistic. I would call myself capable and determined, but I also have my limits. Sometimes, no matter our intentions or efforts, things don’t work out how we planned. And sometimes, those things are small, but nonetheless significant to our lives.
For instance. Stephen and I have been designing some marketing material to announce our new and expanded services at Middle Way Health. We were having fun mixing professional details with free-form imagination. And in theory, everything was hunky dory; even glorious in minute ways. We liked what we’ve created so far, we felt accomplished, and we were happy to move onto a new project. Life requires momentum and we were riding this particular wave rather effortlessly.
Until… the rocks beneath the mighty ocean of life began to reveal themselves, preventing the harmony I envisioned in my head from duplicating itself on paper.
Sometimes, approaching things with an innocent or fresh perspective can yield wondrous results. At other times, the child inside needs some reassurance. For just as we were getting ready to go to print, we found out that the images we’ve extracted and glued together are not compatible or appropriate for print layout.
“Ok, no problem, still do-able,” I think, not pushing the panic button and still genuinely hopeful. So the determined and optimistic side of me attempts to get new images and put those together just like I had the old ones. But it turns out that the online publisher we’re using needs the images in a different format yet. So I go back to my sources and attempt to secure the altered ones. But while I’m able to open those, I can’t edit or thus utilize them the way I need to. In addition, I’m still having a compatibility issue that can’t be rectified unless one of the images is totally recreated. And that’s only about half of the snafus that keep swimming by and nipping at my toes.
On one hand, the life-experienced adult in me can laugh at the absurdity. Terms like ‘Murphy’s Law’ and ‘Comedy of Errors’ come to mind as I scratch my head and wonder how I could have avoided this conundrum in the first place. But if I had foreseen this potential trouble and sidestepped the project altogether, I wouldn’t have lived it and now been richer for the experience. (At least that’s how I have to look at the situation – without too much ‘Oh, woe is me, why is this happening?!’ lamenting, with some flexible focus, and a compromising meeting of the minds with my project partner.
Certainly, I would have preferred it all go as smoothly as planned. But I know I’m only somewhat in charge of what happens in life. So I put my best foot forward and stubbed a toe – it happens sometimes. And at least I’m one step closer than I was before, even if in a ‘one step forward, two steps back’ kind of way.
How will this all turn out? Literally, hopefully with some marketing materials we can at least live with. Reactively, hopefully not afraid to try something new in the future. And figuratively, hopefully with us wiser for the wear. Wise enough at least, to know that the planets do not always align in our favor, that there is a black hole for laundry socks somewhere, and that tricksters are always in our midst.
(The folklore of many nations around the world include stories of magical little people, like the Leprechauns of Ireland. In Hawaii, it is the mischievous Menehune who are said to haunt the deep forests or the mountains. They come out mostly at night to play tricks on people.)