Perhaps a slight overdose on the Pickwick Papers this week, but whatever gets you through the day! A few of these days involved medical testing and so forth, always pleasing to discover that the wonky eyes are no more wonky than they were before (which is significantly wonky), sometimes its possible to imagine that they might last the distance to some extent, which would be pleasing indeed, and some new laser treatments in a couple of week should go some way to ensuring that happy, distant outcome. Indeed, as I sat on the train surrounded by individuals arrogant enough to ignore the signs outlining the legal obligation to wear a mask, focussing my mind on the extraordinary discoveries in medicine that have provided me now with an excellent young Ophthalmologist who has so much detailed knowledge, and a somewhat more rare ability to explain such things to me in a way that is both understandable and respectful of the fear the patient inevitably experiences. Saved a very Victor Meldrew like meltdown, or a duel to the death!
Coincidentally, I was so fortunate to discover a new documentary series on Apple TV+ called Home, the first episode is called Naturhus and is the story of Anders Solvarm and his family in Sweden. Anders has build a wooden house in the traditional Swedish way (no nails for example), but around this house he has constructed a giant greenhouse, which gives an extra couple of months of warm climate, much better growing conditions for a huge range of fruit and vegetable that otherwise would not grow there, and new methods of water and energy use, production and saving.
The story of the house is woven with Anders’ own journey of dreaming about, planning and building the house, solving problems along the way, and also dealing with the disability of one of his children and how that situation had required a major re-evaluation of his expectations and beliefs. An absolutely beautiful story, and seeing the process of change and solution finding in the house construction and within the family relationship is really inspiring. I really recommend finding this if possible, and I’m looking forward to seeing if the following episodes are equally powerful.
I was already thinking about new models of flexibility in coaching models and goal setting, it seems that these concepts are very closely related. I may demand satisfaction (achieving my goal or outcome), but the when and how of this, are almost certainly best discovered along the way, built upon, expanded, and adjusted accordingly. I feel that this is what creativity is about anyway, if you step back and look at what you are actually doing when sculpting clay or moving a pencil or brush around on a surface, its about having a general, intended endpoint and then starting somewhere and adjusting and exploring as outcomes either fit or don’t sit well.
So, what are some situations you’ve been in that have required readjusting your expectations, plans, strategies or even complete goals and wishes? Can you see how you might retrace those steps and apply a similar approach to a current situation?
Despite the insurmountable pile of horror all around, satisfaction is still to be had and I’m quite relieved to be able to still, literally, see it. This photo is of my lovely eucalyptus tree, its a particular winter hardy variety that is recognisably gum tree enough to make me think of Australia, especially when in bloom or dropping Gum-nuts, even though these trees grow far from where I ever lived. This one thrived so dramatically that we needed to cut the main trunk down before it crashed either into the house, or the garage, or the neighbours car. As you can possibly make out, nature decided to use the opportunity and the stump is now covered in new growth, giving us a very pretty eucalyptus bush. Gay kookaburras would be happy to sit amongst it.
So helpful to remove what is no longer useful or appropriate, and to then be open to what surprising new and excellent…. better even?….. things will fill the cleared out spaces. Inadvertently, the gum tree goal has been very nicely achieved!