'Something Has to Give'

The Video contains much of the written content below for those who have requested it in video format. :)

It’s a phrase I am hearing a lot. I’ll hear it in conjunction with unemployment, abuse, sleep deprivation, career…

I think it’s something that is said when someone has been through hell and can’t seem to get out of hell. I feel like it’s almost like sitting at your bedroom window and making a wish on the stars.

If you have ever tried to build a house of cards, you know at some point (depending on how strong your base is) something is going to bring the whole mess down. That is the negative part of the saying indicating something is simply unable to support it. Something gives and crumbles.

But we use the sentence like it’s a form of hope. In other words, you have either applied so much pressure to change something or someone that you now feel entitled to it or them giving in. Maybe, so much has been applied to your situation and you simply can’t imagine anything else piling on top so you say, ‘something has to give’. That phrase also signifies that we are entitled to change. Basically, if we get angry enough, incite enough riots, stay busy, work work work, change will happen because enough pressure was applied.

‘When my ship comes in’ isn’t too far from the tree here either. It is also a phrase of hope which kills time and keeps us at bay. Unfortunately, it does just that; keeps us at bay. Like the castaways on Gilligan’s Island or Lost, we stare at a horizon line for long periods of time waiting for the ship to come and save the day. Hope can be a lovely thing, but I believe the problem happens when we consider our hope an investment.

I was really sad to watch one of the Planet Earth series where a baby elephant was separated from its Mother. What joy I felt when I found out it has picked up on her scent again! Then the camera zoomed out, way out to divulge the little baby was on her scent but heading in the direction of where she had already been, the wrong direction. Talk about an investment of time! The narrator said unfortunately, the baby would eventually die. I was outraged because of the time invested. I was cheering this little elephant on and I was hopeful! Why don’t they step in and save him? Well apparently they are not supposed to step in, only document and observe. (May I add that they saved a baby penguin in another segment of the show that was in a hole, but don’t get me started…)

What I realized in watching this all go down is that time invested does not equate to a happy ending. In fact, sometimes the more time we spend going in the wrong direction puts us at greater risk for being completely lost.

Why are we so stuck on doing the same thing over and over even though it’s not working? Have you ever made pie dough? Mom used to say, “If you can’t get that thing rolled flat in the first 5 minutes, it’s junk.” The thing about making it, is unlike bread dough, it doesn’t like to be overworked. It simply just has to be done properly. That’s it.
But I invested a half a cup of shortening and lots of flour! I can’t throw it out! Mom would say, “You’ll be piecing that thing into the pie plate in one inch sections then.”
That actually does work. You can make a whole pie shell from one inch pieces. But an hour later, you could have made 2 dozen cookies, some brownies, a black forest cake and some pulling taffy.

I have the stubborn Stever streak from my Father. I was all about proving a point. This wasn’t because my method was very good, but because I was embarrassed about my failure and like a dead horse, I beat the pie dough into submission. It’d be an ok pie, but I’d look over at Mom and she’d be at a loss for where to put her enormous piles of treats.

I realized that the 80’s lyrical reference “foolish pride” was pretty prevalent. My own pride was actually stopping me from recognizing hidden talents. I totally know how to make all those sweets now. Why didn’t I just listen to her then?

I try now to look at my day and spot where my skipping record is. If I am doing something that ‘should’ take 10 minutes and hours have passed, am I looking at it from the same angle? Am I just complaining a lot and doing nothing? But the bigger lesson is, there is probably a lesson to be learned first.

Why we mimic what everyone around us is doing while they flail is beyond me. ‘Something has to give’ is now discarded from my vocabulary because actually, something does not HAVE to give. It can give if it wants to or it can never give.
Perhaps the better phrase is something has to change…but I would argue, some ONE has to change. That is the person in the mirror.

I know life seems difficult, but working hard does not always mean working smart. Working smart requires education before action. Had I watched Mom a bit longer and educated myself on all the things that would make my pie-dough making more efficient, I could have saved myself a ton of time and had more treats piling up.
Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think he recognized life was trial and error. We recognize it is too, but man…we just love to see that error pop up over and over again. It’s like staring at the empty place on the grocery shelf where your favorite snack usually is. At a certain point, if the grocery manager says they are out of stock, you sort of have to move on!

Being stubborn has served me well in many areas of my life. Being driven is a good thing but driving ahead means you are moving. When we are sitting still wishing for movement or change, it goes against the laws of the Universe.

The answers are out there. Sometimes we have to go back to Mom and ask for some assistance while other times we simply have to try again. Trying again should be accompanied by a healthy dose of education. It’s just tough to give up the invested time…and of course we age and become tired. Whatever we went through was exhausting.

I hope you can muster up the energy to sit back and develop an overview of your scenario and start fresh. I personally had to gain perspective first. I realized that just because the gun goes off, it doesn’t mean I am ready to run. I may have training to do first.

Hoping we’ve seen the end of foolish pride used in a song,
Karen :)

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” ~Albert Einstein

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