There is a saying, “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” That’s a fine saying. For even a screw can pass for a nail, if one is willing and able to put in the extra effort to pound away. But what if one’s only tool is a screw driver?
As I look back on the week, I see many things which turned out well, but seemed so much harder than they should have been. I find myself more and more having to throw effort and elbow grease at problems until they yield. The thing is, I am not using a hammer to pound away at screws. I’m using the handle of a screw driver as if it is a mallet, all the while ignoring the cracks and dents each nail imparts upon the handle.
Have you ever felt like you could solve problems only to find more and more problems for which you are not ideally prepared? That has been my feeling all week long from having the wrong screws to rebuild a broken swing set to securing a computer at Miami airport only to find it could not load Adobe Connect. I was able to solve both problems, but each took more time and effort while making me feel foolish for not anticipating the problem until it needed solving immediately.
This whole week has been exhausting and rewarding. My work published our fourth publication of this cycle. I went to St. Thomas and met with the Governor, and on the way back, I stopped in Miami airport to use the Ambassador’s club to participate in a webinar for the American Board of Internal Medicine. To top it all off, I came home to family happy to see me.
I’m tired, but I still feel relevant, less isolated and more importantly, appreciated. For a guy with a fairly aggressive MS, it reminds me how I should define my luck to appreciate what I still have. It has been a good week to remind me to use other tools as needed, and not to panic if the first tool grabbed does not work.
Not every problem is a screw.