I have been fortunate enough to be at home all week. Christmas Holidays is family time and we were all together. We were also visited by family on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We didn’t get out much. We did eat and drink too much. We watched so much bad TV. And we didn’t much like the weather.
I received some wonderful gifts and – with a great deal of help – managed to give some very successful presents. My daughter and I went on our annual shopping trip earlier this week. She told everyone how decisive I was…‘yes we should get that’ and ‘they serve great coffee in there’ seemed to work.
My son and I watched sport. Outdoor sport…although admittedly from the comfort and warmth of indoors. My wife and I loved and enjoyed the family being together, and worried about our parents.
By Saturday I realised I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Not anything to do with excess alcoholic fluid intake I hasten to add…nor from a lack of email. No…I realised I was missing having to put things together.
It’s one of those classic Holiday memories (or do I mean nightmares). Every Christmas someone gives someone a puzzle, or a device or a ‘thing’ that has to be put together. One thousand pieces, or multiple coloured wires, or just a set of instructions to follow. But not this year. Nothing. Was that feeling one of loss? Or was it just relief?
Saturday morning then and what’s to be done? Well I realised that my opportunity was in front of me. My sister-in-law had somehow managed to destroy one of the drawers in our kitchen. She felt pretty guilty of course, but we knew better. That particular drawer hadn’t opened correctly for some while…it was ‘drawer destruction’ waiting to happen. But now it needed repair. My moment had arrived…a chance to put something together at Christmas.
Buying a ‘flat pack’ replacement drawer was surprisingly straightforward. The helpful people at the DIY superstore showed me exactly what I needed (which was different from what I thought I wanted) and also indicated (reassuringly) how easy the drawer would be to fit together, and slide into the existing space. I went home happy.
Before I started I knew I needed to understand exactly what I was doing, how the drawer would work, and I had to be sure that it would fit into the available space. This ‘think and understand’ phase turned out to be more complicated than I expected. There were far too many variables and pretty soon I realised that I had no confidence (nor idea) about whether the drawer itself would fit…let alone whether the drawer front (which matched the rest of the kitchen) would work with our new drawer.
This was a moment. I sat back, sipped my coffee and considered my options. Giving up seemed attractive…but unfortunately would not be acceptable. So what was to be done? And slowly it dawned on me. I had no option other than trust. I had to follow the instructions…including all the specific measurements of where to drill holes in the cabinet and in the drawer front.
Of course I knew the original drawer was broken anyway. So I didn’t really have much to lose…other than an hour of my afternoon. But nevertheless I went for it and just did exactly what the instructions said; in the order they said it.
And yes…it was no fun. And yes…there were no decisions to be made. And yes…I had no idea what I was doing. But yes…it all fitted – and worked – perfectly!
Maybe thinking too much sometimes doesn’t help…