vision, clarity, franki colbert
Vision, photo by Simon Matzinger

Problem Solving requires Clarity

I wrote this blog post shortly after our first Florida relocation over ten years ago. I remember this moment like it was yesterday! This is a timely reminder that frustration affects the ability to pinpoint the actual problem that needs solving.


Is there gum in your key? – post from 2009

My husband and I recently moved from Georgia to Florida. I was so excited at the prospect of warm weather and palm trees! Since we have two cars we decided to leave at different times. I would go first and take our puppy and he would come the next day. Unfortunately, I had to work on moving day and didn’t leave until that afternoon. I also thought it would be a good idea to invite my mom along for the ride and then fly her back the next week.

So with mom and puppy in tow (in a very small vehicle), we embarked on our journey.

I was irritable and cranky the entire ride to Florida due to a whiny puppy and a doting mom. In fact, everyone was a bit ill…dog included. Around 2 am, we finally arrived at our new home. I used my brand new garage door opener and pulled into the garage. I go to unlock the door to my new house and….nothing. I walk to the front door and give it a try….nada. “Okay Franki…don’t panic”. (FYI: It’s race week and there aren’t any vacant hotels in a 60 mile radius). I then proceed to call my husband in a panic, but there’s nothing he can do as he’s hundreds of miles away.

Long story short, my mother, my dog and I slept in the garage that night. Miserable doesn’t even begin to describe the experience. I felt hopeless and at a complete loss. Here I’ve dragged my mother and dog to a new place and I can’t even get the door opened.

The next morning my husband arrives. He looks at my key….wipes the dried gum off and proceeds to unlock the door!

So what’s the lesson here?

1. Never leave dried gum in the bottom of your purse.

2. Take time to see things for what they really are before giving up.

So often we lose our ability to stop and focus on what is there. If I would have stopped and taken a moment to access the situation, I would have discovered the problem wasn’t with me, but with the key. The situation was not hopeless it just took some extra attention. The next time you feel that your problems do not have any solutions, look into the cracks and you may find that it’s just a little gum in the way you need to clear. 

*Photo by Simon Matzinger

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