Photo taken by Ryan Pouncy
My daughter was very upset.
For the sake of this post, it doesn’t really matter why she was so upset. She just was. I tried everything I could think of to solve the problem. As noted above. Neither of them worked. Neither of them even scratched the surface.
She decided to go up to her room. So that she could be by herself.
But I can’t concentrate, relax or focus when my daughter is crying!
I was finally able to convince her to come downstairs and sit next to me.
At this point I am still trying to figure out how I can solve the problem. How I can logically fix this situation. I am the adult and I am an educator with many years of experience handling situations just like this one.
Kids often come to my office upset and/or angry. I sit them down and we work through everything until the problem is solved or at least I feel as if I have given them a strategy that can help them better handle the problem the next time it occurs.
But my own daughter?
I couldn’t figure this out. And it’s a lazy Saturday afternoon. And all I want is peace and quiet and everyone to be happy.
I finish my bagel and second cup of coffee. And…
We decide to play the board game Trouble that she had just gotten for her birthday. Just she and I. Playing several rounds of a game that relies on luck more than skill.
We laughed. We smiled. We joked. We had fun.
The world was good again.
What was the problem earlier?
We don’t have to solve them all. I have heard that men always feel as if they have to solve every problem that is presented them. I don’t know if this is true or not. I know I am guilty of this.
But today. This morning. Several hours ago. My daughter was upset and I couldn’t figure out how to solve the problem.
Now, several hours later I realized something so simple and yet so profound.
Every problem that presents itself to us does not have to be solved.
Where did it go?
What does it matter?
It didn’t linger and it left no residue.
It just went away.
Because it could.
Because it wasn’t that big a deal to begin with.
Because it didn’t have to be solved.
It just needed time and space and freedom to evaporate.
I must remember this the next time I am presented with a problem that I can’t figure out how to solve. That doesn’t need to be solved.
I must remember that sometimes problems just go away. If we let them. And that’s okay.
Because maybe it wasn’t meant to be solved in the first place.
Maybe it was just passing through.
And we must learn to let it.