Merry Monday – Methods


flower-1385756_1920Today, I had my visual fields test and eye check up. The visual fields test is rather like a crappy videogame. You press a button each time you see a light. It’s crappy because it isn’t fun to sit in an uncomfortable way while you wear an eye patch and you aren’t allowed to move. Because my eyes run dry, it’s extra uncomfortable for me. I have to blink multiple times to keep my eyes from heading into emergency tearing mode. Sometimes we even have to pause. We tried to pause today and the machine got angry and decided we had to start over. I was almost done with the right eye. In theory, the tests aren’t that long, but preservatives in eye drops and bright lights all cause me pain. My eye doctor doesn’t do the puff of air to check for glaucoma. She uses advanced photographic imaging to look at my optic nerve and the health of my eye along with her own eyes and bright lights. Does that mean the puff of air was no good at checking for glaucoma? Not at all. Many eye doctors still use it.

Unable to continue reading the novel I brought or use my phone once my pupils were dilated, I was forced be more present in the room. What did I see? A man who had an unusual way of tying his shoes. He pulled the laces tight and wrapped them around his fingers until he had a little ball and tucked them inside his shoes. I wondered how well it worked to keep his shoes at the right tightness for him. Until that moment, I never knew there were other methods than mine and the bunny loop method. I never once sat there and thought that he was tying his shoes improperly, only that he did it different than I do. All that matters is that it works for him.

In Microsoft Word, I can cut and paste text in a number of ways after selecting the text. I can use shortcut keys (Ctrl+X, Ctrl+V). I can right click with my mouse, choose the menu option to cut it, then do the same to access the paste option once I have my cursor where I want it. I can use the symbols on the menu ribbon. I can go into the larger edit menu. I could write a macro if I wanted to. All of these methods result in text being copied and pasted. Some might be faster than others, but that doesn’t make them better.

I spent time with friends last night and up until I had seen the way my friend uses her bullet journal, I was unconvinced in the point of an analog planner. Why not just use digital calendars and todo lists? But something has been wrong for me lately. I haven’t been accomplishing as much as I want to. It’s possible I’m a little depressed as getting laid off tends to do to a person. Incidentally, that’s why I’m so upset with my doctor and reporting him. You don’t refuse care to a person with the symptoms of depression. It’s hugely irresponsible. But I digress. I think my digital todo list is fantastic, but there’s so much on it that I’m feeling overwhelmed. So I looked at how she mostly plans for each week with the odd event that is longer term and I said perhaps that is what I need. If I focus on just a couple of things each week, rather than a list that shows novels years into the future, maybe I’ll actually get where I want to be. It’s possible that it won’t work for me and I know that my friend won’t be mad at me if it doesn’t. She didn’t appear to be using the bullet journals recommended short forms, but her own instead.

Problems begin to occur when people decide their method is the only method to accomplish a goal. I’ve run into this a lot with colleagues and especially micromanagers. Sometimes the key to solving a problem isn’t everyone approaching it from the same direction, but members of the team having different pieces of the mission or a different mission that is a piece of a bigger whole. That kind of division is good. Like in Star Wars. A group of rebels provides a distraction and cover fire, while another group gets the power cable plugged in, while the heroes get the plans transmitted, and another group busts through the planet shield. It’s hard for the mission to succeed if people in one of those groups argues with each other on the best way to provide cover fire or if the cover fire group spends their time judging how the power cable group goes about getting their piece done.

Everyone has different needs that are similar. Take plants, for example. All plants need sun. Some need more shade than sun and die in direct light. Some need full sun. Some need indirect light or at least to avoid the sun when it is at full strength. All plants need water. Some need very little once in a while. Some need to be misted rather than watered. Some cannot have water touch their leaves. Once in a while they need fertilizer too. The components of that fertilizer will differ as some need more nitrogen, some need bone meal, etc.

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of ways to write a novel. There might even be as many ways as there are writers. Many writers don’t write each of their novels the same way. There are pantsers, plotters, and hybrids. Among those are a variety of ways to plan, draw inspiration, get through blockages, narrate, characterize, create the setting, manage pacing, etc.

And I think it’s wonderful.

It’s wonderful that there are different ways to do things. I’m looking forward to seeing how people from different dojos do kendo this weekend. Maybe I’ll learn something that will help me be better.

Ciao,
R~

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