The marketing department where I work often orders giveaways. They brainstorm what they think will be well-received for a variety of events and seasons, and one of the recent orders included fidget games. I walked into the office after lunch and several people were having fun with them. A little later, I got a phone call from someone in the building. A couple sentences into her questions, I interrupted to say, “Are you fidgeting?” What I meant was, “You’re popping the fidget game, aren’t you?”
Yes, she was.
The very thing that helps us stop physically or mentally fidget actually becomes the fidget. I wondered what else is like that. What do we put in place to avoid something that actually duplicates what we’re avoiding?
- We try not to get distracted, but do we choose another distraction to try to focus on?
- We try to replace a bad habit, but do we choose another habit that isn’t beneficial?
- We get out of a situation because it’s unhealthy, but until we personally get healthy, do we find ourselves repeating some concerns and dynamics?
- We wonder why our friendships don’t seem to stick, but are we willing to see ourselves as the common denominator, and reflect on how we can grow?
- We find people and situations repeatedly disappoint us, but are we willing to adjust our expectations?
We need to consider the solutions we employ. Sometimes they’re short-term, and sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they’re well thought through and sometimes they’re a crisis response. Sometimes they’re healthy, and sometimes they are not.
When we get fidgety, we can find something that soothes the fidget with the intention of moving beyond it. Many of the tools we use are simply to help us grow into that next step instead of staying put.
When we experience peace, we often just want to sit and enjoy it instead of letting it soothe us just enough to resolve to step forward with strength and wisdom.