You Feeling Totally Paralyzed?

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I hear her bang her computer mouse repeatedly against the desk. My wife is usually an incredibly patient and relaxed person, but every now and again she'll snap. Not to worry, she still has nothing on me in the lose-it department. But as much as she loves computer/video games, they can frustrate her to the point of irrationality. "This stupid level!" she yells.

"Why don't you take a break?" I offer, because I'm all about fixing things.

"I can't," she wails at me as her eyes snap back to the computer screen and the source of her needless angst.

'Gaming is supposed to be fun,' I tell myself. I once made the mistake of reminding her of that fact.

It's so easy to see it in others. "Just take a break. Life will be so much better." And, for whatever the psychological reason, I can't seem to see the obvious in my own life. There was that time I refused to stop working on the shelf I was building. And all those times I did not to listen to my wife who gently tried to encourage me to stop beating my head against my film projects. Of course I've had my own needless repetitions in a game that long ago ceased to be enjoyable. Then there's the school work, the chores, and the arguments that I should have walked away from to come back to later. But I didn't.

Try Again Later

Why do we get totally paralyzed with this kind of stuff? I'm pretty sure I do it because to "give up" would be to fail. And fail I must not.

Such thinking ignores the fact that often we need fresh perspective and a chance to look at things clearly again. My wife is all too familiar with the blind rage that seeps into the corners of my eyes when a task is paralyzing me.

Please, don't be like me.

If something has you stuck, walk away for a bit. Find something that will help relax you.

I appreciate Robin's post that provides a picture of chickens to help us recover from scary math equations. There are some things that bring us back to feeling paralyzed even years later. Such feelings run counter to a life-long love of learning. So purpose to step back for a while. Before you are unable to break away, decide to take a break.

Regaining perspective by cooling off and watching some chickens is not slacking.

It's a good thing. And something I should do more often than I'd like to admit.

Do you find yourself "pressing on" long after you should have? What helps you remember to come back to something that has you paralyzed with frustration? I'd sure appreciate your tips!

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Guardian

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