Watch how you do it

Weighing it up

It’s a fairly regular occurrence it seems. You see it on TV and in the movies and you even do it yourself. You have an item you need to place somewhere else, say a piece of paper or an item for the laundry basket. Unfortunately you are not close to the bin or basket, but you are within throwing distance you reckon. So what happens next and what does this say about you? There is even an app or a game for your phone to chuck paper balls in the bin. It’s so satisfying, a little win in your day if it gets there. A little excitement, a little risk. A little finality. Think how nearly all sports involve getting a ball of some sort into a final resting place. Final, done, no questions asked (usually). Some certainty in this otherwise very uncertain life.

Anyway, there I was this morning, throwing dirty sexy lingerie (I’m joking, boring cotton underpants) into the laundry basket….. I assessed the distance, the wind speed, how hard I would need to scrunch the undies so they wouldn’t unravel in flight and slow themselves down. I looked at the direction, considered underarm and overarm throws and other items they might bounce off on the way. I aimed carefully at the basket and….

Waste paper

Do we often take this much care in life when doing things? Do we prepare ourselves for ‘flight’, decide how we will make our next move, aim ourselves in the right direction and give ourselves just the right propulsion, not too much, not too little? Or do we take no risk at all and simply walk over to the basket, using perhaps more energy than we need to do the same work and without the excitement? What if we throw the item and fail? What if we miss? Are we resigned, laugh, decide it was worth the fun and then walk over? Do we leave it for next time we are passing by or hope someone else will clean up after us?

There seem to be signs everywhere about who we are, how we do things, what mood we are in. We manifest in every little thing we do and I mean every thing, even as simple as this. Take a look at how you do things and wonder perhaps if there’s another way…

As for me I missed the basket. I forgot to factor in my unco-ordination. It was off to the right and fell short of the basket. All the more reason to try again next time 🙂

paper slam dunk



4 thoughts on “Watch how you do it

  1. I so very much love noticing a simple little thing and using it to enlighten a broader perspective as you have here. I do take the same care with everything I do as when I’m taking a shot at the wastepaper basket. And as I sometimes miss the basket, I pick up the wadded piece of paper, go back to where I had thrown it, and try again; it might be stupid, but that is what I do. I take as much in everything I do, I frequently miss, go back, and try again. More to the point here, when my wife or someone else sees an error in a blog article I’ve posted I will go back and correct it.

    I am reminded here of an incident in high school where the teacher saw a friend of mine wadding up a piece of paper at the back of the room and eyeing the wastepaper basket at the front of the room. The teacher said, “Glen, if you miss it’s an ‘E’ for the day.” Glen shot back, “Do I get an ‘A’ if I make it?” The teacher agreed and then Glen easily made the shot firing a fastball directly into the basket with no arc from 20 feet away. The teacher grabbed his grade book and logged the ‘A’.

    • I love that story! Especially because the teacher followed through with the A. And I bet you aren’t the only student who remembered that. An unforgettable moment for everyone thanks to the teacher’s great personality. Rare back then. Our teachers were so stiff and unorgiving mostly. That has changed so much now according to my kids. Much more equality.

      Anyway it sounds like you are quite a perfectionist!! You must have learned a lot and come a long way by being consistent and always taking care. I am very fickle. Periods of productivity and then of slump but also a perfectionist or a high achiever when I want to. Obsessive you could almost say. I do reach my goals though. How is it working for you Jim?

      • I was warned by a psych professor (one of my majors) that being a perfectionist is fine but it can be counter productive. I find that to be true. I know I’m far from perfect, but if I can’t give something my very best effort then I don’t want to do it. Sometimes something is a whole lot better than nothing, but too often I settle for nothing.

        Unrelated, I’ve been exploring just doing what I feel like instead of doing what I planned on doing. I’m going to do something and I do what has to get done, but I’ve eased back on blogging and music and whatever unless I feel moved to do it. That too has resulted in less getting done but I am enjoying everything — including being lazy — much more. I can write three 500-word blog articles a day, I really can, but it isn’t always fun. Following my bliss of the moment is a much happier experience.

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