This week’s sandbox writing challenge asks how we respond to problems in our lives.

I had to think about this one for a few moments, as my response could have been many different things, and yet in reality it is very simplistic.

Growing up, my Mother always said to me ( nervous, hair-twisting, nail-biting mess that I was), ” There is no point at all in worrying about something you have no control over. If you can fix something, or change something, then do it, but if you have no control over something, let it go.”

I was brought up in a household that had 99 “problems” occurring every hour. But we never called them problems, we called them challenges. And that has made all the difference in my life.

As I grow older, I find myself with dwindling patience for people and their perception of what a problem is.

Rainy days during your vacation? Not a problem. Walk in the rain, bike in the rain, spend time enjoying local restaurants, have crazy sex all day in your hotel room, or catch up on some rest, your reading, or maybe get to know your spouse a bit better without the distractions of your daily life.

Frizzy hair? Not a problem. I have this issue and just live with it. I mean, really? Who cares how smooth my hair is looking on any given day? Has anyone EVER in your life thrown that one at you in the break room at work or at the mall? ” Jesus, Melinda! How do you face the WORLD with that bird’s nest on your head?”

When you start imagining ways in which you can find a work-around for your “challenges”, they quickly change from something worrisome to something rather interesting that you will feel just wonderful about once you get through them .

Who needs Batman when you are just out there being the boss of your own destiny and outcomes?


I know that sometimes there are people in my life(not family) that find me rather tactless, impatient and blunt when they express their frustrations with their endless “problems”. I am aware that all of us were moulded and shaped in very different ways and in very different households.

My upbringing was not conducive to the hothouse flower that needed constant attention and assistance at every turn. And while I am cognizant of the fact that my core beliefs established during that time were not all good ones to learn and adapt to, for the most part, they have served me well during the times in my life that I could have quite easily ordered a bullet sandwich for lunch.

I have the innate ability to see a challenge, and within five minutes, decide if I am going to be able to do something about it, or toss it away and forget about it.

I have suffered enough from anxiety, which the uninformed might call worrying, but is in fact, totally physical in its manifestation in my body, so I don’t include this in my rationale at all here. Even with this, I now have so many tools in my little toolbox that get me through episodes, that I can pretty much shut that shit down, too, within mere minutes.

Changing your way of thinking/processing problems or challenges is the first step in solving them or getting through them.

So, in closing, I am pleased to share with you all that I do not have any problems and am not foreseeing any in my future.



8 thoughts on “Problems

  1. calensariel October 1, 2016 / 10:13 am

    Oh man!!! Bravo!!! I can see I need an attitude adjustment when it comes to the way I view problems. THAT is an amazing observation: problem vs. challenge. I will be pondering on that for a long time. You may have just given me my “theme” for my life for next year. I did truly appreciate what you said about “I have suffered enough from anxiety, which the uninformed might call worrying, but is in fact, totally physical in its manifestation in my body…” That is a place I definitely need to get out of. In fact I’m going to mention that in my post about problems which I need to do!!! Girl, you are such an inspiration!

    (Btw, did I miss posting one of your posts? I have you set for “daily digest” in my reader, but I haven’t been getting your posts. I’m going to go in and change it to “instant.” Looks like I’m starting to have trouble with my management stuff for the third time, and don’t seem to be able to get any help from the Happiness Engineers!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shannon October 1, 2016 / 10:28 am

      I missed last week’s challenge on mystery so don’t look for that! I’m having time management issues and really need to carve time out daily rather than in bursts. I’m a work in progress. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • calensariel October 1, 2016 / 10:48 am

        Thanks. I felt bad because I thought I’d missed one. Don’t worry about not getting to them all. We all miss them now and then. Unfortunately life has the nastiest damn way of interrupting us!!! Grrrr…. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    • Safar Fiertze October 4, 2016 / 1:13 am

      You can set a daily digest? It would help a lot to have a list of priority blogs from the list I follow!

      I can relate to that physical feeling of anxiety too. When I was teaching the workload was always over and above whatever you could achieve even if 12 hours a day – there was always a way of doing something better, something else to document, a student you’d noticed who’d need that extra bit of your time, prepping, planning, an extra comment on a paper that might make a difference and that pressure was very physically felt constantly. But when I was practising karate in a very dedicated way – that would go – the pressure had a physical outlet. Bit like a pressure cooker. In scientific terms – exercise puts all the stress hormones to use and triggers a parasympathetic response – the one you want to relax again.
      However, once that anxiety sets in – it habituates – making it harder to find the drive, like the pot’s burned out from leaving it too long.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Safar Fiertze October 4, 2016 / 1:03 am

    I love this message. I used to teach a lot of hothouse flowers, and as they were 16 when I got to teach them, my first job was to get them to change their mindset from ‘I can’t do it’ and ‘I don’t get it’, to helping them find strategies for dealing with ‘challenges’ before they got to uni, so that they’d have the resilience to cope. It’s an important life skill. I ditto a bravo!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JAD October 7, 2016 / 10:03 am

    Reminds me of a joke I heard, goes something like this (don’t recall it perfectly):
    A private or something barged into his commanding officer’s to frantically report a problem. The commanding officer responded, “Private, in this army we don’t have problems, we only have ‘opportunities.'” “Yes sir,” the private replied, “and we have one helluva an opportunity on our hands!”
    I have low tolerance and patience for other’s problems, but think mine are many and big, and feel-good thinking such as looking at problems as “challenges” doesn’t help me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shannon October 7, 2016 / 10:36 am

      You are likely one of those people that can’t turn your head off, though, right?
      I’m more the type that goes to sleep to escape.


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