Life Lesson #3 From Camel’s Hump


#3     Seen in the distance, problems sometimes appear larger and more ominous. But as we move closer, the solution appears. 


2 IMG_1069
The 2D nature of the photo doesn’t do it justice. Imagine a six foot drop.



I’m tempted to quote the “One Step at a Time” adage, but this is different. The lesson in this one for me was that my perception of danger (or risk) lessened as I got closer to it, as I got more information.


When difficult sections loomed ahead, I’d think, “This is where I needed Dave’s help on the way up; whatever will I do now?” But each time, as I got closer to that point, I could envision how I would go, where I would put my feet, what I could grab onto.


As I kept moving forward, toward what had at first appeared insurmountable, the path (the way, the answer, the solution) appeared.


Frankly, I think this is one of life’s more important lessons.


How about you?


[learn_more caption=”Did you miss the earlier posts in this series?  If so, here are the links:”]

#13    When the going gets tough, each step is of equal importance.

#12    Sometimes, perseverence is more important than having fun.

#11     Sometimes, there is no single, absolutely right place to put your foot.

#10    Sometimes, when we try to follow the signs, it ends in disaster.

#9      Sometimes, the path we need to take doesn’t look like a path at all.

#8      Sometimes, we just have to stop and listen.

#7      Sometimes, we just have to stop and stare at the view.

#6      Sometimes, it’s nice to have a reminder that we’re going in the right direction.

#5      Sometimes, it doesn’t matter which way we go.

#4      Sometimes, when we think we’re in it alone, it’s good to remember that others have gone before.

17 Responses

  1. Ian Mathie
    | Reply

    I don’t like problems and convert anything that looks like it might be a problem into ‘something to be resolved’. That’s because when seen for a distance one can easily misinterpret the thing to be resolved. As you get nearer and more detail becomes apparent, it generally becomes less daunting – unless, that is, you continue thinking of it as a problem. Then it grows in stature because things look bigger close up.
    It’s about attitude and approach, you see. My wife sees everything as a problem, and she worries about what could go wrong. As a result she spends so much time worrying she doesn’t have time to enjoy things. Even when it’s obvious there is nothing to worry about, she worries that something could crop up unexpectedly. She’s got Gold Medals for worrying.
    Me, I don’t bother wasting the time or energy on worrying. If something needs to be resolved, I do that. More often than not the solution becomes apparent the closer one gets to the issue, and then it’s a straightforward process. But when it isn’t, I still have the energy and clarity to deal with the matter because I haven’t cluttered the things up with pre-judgements and assumptions. It makes life so much simpler and allows me time to enjoy the richness and diversity around me. Including the six foot drops in the path I’ve forgotten from the ascent! 🙂

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      “More often than not the solution becomes apparent the closer one gets to the issue, and then it’s a straightforward process.” Yes indeed, Ian. Of course, this only applies to those problems we can actually do something about. For me, I’m still needing to stay alert to those times I’m trying to fix something that’s not really mine to fix. And, do be careful of those six foot drops. They can be a doozy.

      • Ian Mathie
        | Reply

        On the other hand, sometimes it is fun to leave a few things unresolved, particularly if thet don’t actually need sorting out. This has the benefit of always leaving you something to wonder about and think what if… when other things get boring and mundane. 🙂

  2. Marian Beaman
    | Reply

    Applied to writing, your anecdote reminds me of the E. L. Doctorow quote: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

    That’s where I am right now.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I love it, Marian; it’s a perfect quote. Sounds like you’re a classic “pantser.” Welcome to the club. I sat down the other night to write a short essay on “Coming Home” and it turned into something quite different when I was done. But isn’t that part of the magic of this whole process? We are explorers of our own psyche. How exciting. Glad as always that you dropped by.

  3. Merril Smith
    | Reply

    I’m with you and Marian as far as writing. My blog posts nearly always end up somewhere different from where I thought they were going to go.

    Related–my husband and I just saw the movie, “Learning to Drive.” It’s based on an essay by Katha Pollit. Conquering fears–learning to drive or whatever–can seem like insurmountable problems, but sometimes you just need to take the first step and keep on going.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Merril. I’m so glad you brought in Learning to Drive. Woody and I saw it when we were in NYC last month and loved it. Of the four top rated movies we saw, we liked this one the most. I’m so glad you made the connection between this week’s theme and the Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley flick. I recall another movie, years ago. Robert De Niro (mob boss) and Billy Crystal ??? (a psychiatrist) where “baby steps” was a motif. Or else I’m getting my gangster-sees-a-therapist movies mixed up. I love movies. Cheers.

      • Merril Smith
        | Reply

        I love movies, too! So many coming up that I want to see. Learning to Drive was lovely. It was my celebration movie for finishing my big summer assignment. I wouldn’t put it in my top ten, but it was still a sweet movie–with bits of humor, too.

        I know there was a movie with De Niro and Crystal, but I never saw it. . . .I looked it up, “Analyze This,”

  4. Joan Z. Rough
    | Reply

    This is a great one, Janet, and is especially relevant to me. When something comes along that I don’t know how or just plain don’t want to do it, my mind goes crazy listing all of the impossible things I’ll need to do. It can go on for a full week until I just say, ENOUGH and do it. It’s always so much easier than I thought it would be.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Joan, and thanks. I’m glad this one resonated with you. This is actually my third response to your Comment and I know both of those were different. Let’s see what pops up this time . . . I’m struck recently by the idea that the problems we confront in our everyday lives sure look a lot tamer from the “far side” than they do when still in front of us. Going into them, going through them is usually the very best (certainly simplest) thing we can do. But then I recognize that I can get stuck in defining something as a problem, something to be tackled or that even needs to be addressed. Denial is such an underrated defense! Cheers. Safe travels home, too.

  5. Janet Givens
    | Reply

    Sorry, Merril and Joan. I replied to your comments but I see now neither of them made it to the site. Mysteries abound. I’ll try again, back on my laptop. It may have been a glitch with using the phone to reply.

  6. Janet Givens
    | Reply

    Hi back Ian. I referred to just this in my reply to Joan a few minutes ago. I think I’m quite good at deferring, deflecting, and forgetting. I’m also thinking how much more interesting life is when our friends have those quirky neuroses. I just hope they are as forgiving of mine. Do we even know them, really? Hmmm Something to ponder as I go back outside to harvest my hops. Ta ta

    • Ian Mathie
      | Reply

      Hops? Are you going to make beer out of them? Oh goody! I’m coming to help taste it! 🙂 🙂

      • Janet Givens
        | Reply

        I made tea out of this first batch yesterday. It was rather terrible, if I do say. But come on over anyway. You don’t really need a reason. 🙂

  7. Janet Givens
    | Reply

    Oh Merril, it sounds like you see movies the way Woody and I used to. This year, the only movies we’ve seen were the ones we caught in NYC. For the last three years we’ve not seen one of the movies nominated at the Academy Awards. This must change. Priorities need to be revisited here!

  8. […] #3     Seen in the distance, problems sometimes appear larger and more ominous. But as we move closer, … […]

  9. […] #3      Seen in the distance, problems sometimes appear larger and more ominous. But as we move closer…. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a blog you'd like to share? I use CommentLuv Click here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.