For as long as I can remember words, I have been told to think outside the box.
And it gets old real quick because some things are just about as efficient as they are going to get until mind reading and teleportation become an actual thing.
I’ve always felt that I was throwing the baby out with the bathwater when some times there is no path. It is a straight-up forest and you can avoid this tree and another person can go around another tree and you both still get to the summit.
That’s the point of thinking outside the box.
But it feels like you’re ignoring what’s already working, the things inside the box.
And thus we have thinking on the box.
Where you’re not limited by walls that keep things in or out. You see more, view more. I was recently explaining to my roommate that I like certain types of labels (my MBTI, my enneagram, my big5, etc.) because they give me another box to stand on. I’m no longer floundering on ground level trying to figure out why X is happening, I know and I’m above what looks like a mess at ground level, but it’s an amazing art display on the way.
Sometimes it’s because what works well, is the literal best thing for it. I was reading about how leather workers* use bone tools because they last for ages and then some. Archeologists are digging them up and finding 10,000-year-old bones that still do the job they were shaped for. The leather workers have tried plastic, metal, wood, manufactured this or that, and kept coming back to bone because it lasted. It gets better with age and doesn’t shave off bits that get stuck in the materials. They thought about what worked both inside the box and out, picking the best solution for what they needed.
I’ve watched the digital age take shape in such a set back view, it’s strange. I was a teen in the early 2000s but my parents might have had internet before the neighbors but they didn’t let us use it.
Each of their children all knows how to search library stacks (such a useful skill in college) and how to make an academic online search work for us. I could make Google boolean search before they started telling people that it would work, but there are times where I have to physically read the page to take it in.
E-readers are my best friend even when the public library doesn’t want to let me check things out, but I can’t take in audio information to save my life. I know this particular hole in my armor and make the most of it.
I have to write information down. Typing is in one ear and out the other. My fingers and I know this about myself. I convinced my Calc teacher in high school to let me knit in class and I started passing because I was retaining the details (THANKS MR.C). That was when I realized I was a kinesthetic learner and had to do something to keep the knowledge in, though there are some random facts I would love to know how they got stuck and how to unstick them.
But a problem for another day. I’ve got other things I’m focusing on.
I want to share what I’ve learned in my own journey on figuring out how to take care of myself. I’ve figured out a few tricks that work really well with ADHD and others that deal with how my mind works.
I also come with the advantage that I’m willing to try something that is supposed to fix things. And then I have a massive planner/journal I like to document all the things going on right then.
It is messy. It is life. But the journey is something I’ve found a lot of value in.
So let’s strengthen all our spokes and let life roll on.
*I originally read a post that involved leather workers but I can’t find the source now, but I will.
**This post will probably go through several lives. The first began in March 2019. There was an update in Jun 2020.