systems thinker

When I say I inadvertently think in systems, here’s one of the things I mean:

Monday I went walking ‘round a crushed granite trail with a friend. It was raining. In the moment, that was fine, even amusing…

sole of a cross-trainer shoe, focused on the small, pointy bits of granite wedged in the treads. also a metal blade-ish object (a letter opener, actually).

It was only when I stepped up our sidewalk and heard, “grunch, grunch, grunch,” that my brain rapidly slid to:

  • Wet decomposed granite is sticky.
  • That spiky mud is now on my soles.
  • These are my new workout shoes, intended for jumping in my living room…
  • with its lovely hardwood floors. Floors that thus far continue to appear unscratched.
  • I am not taking These Shoes on That Floor until the gravel’s gone.

In our foyer, I slipped them off and carried them across the house to the drop-zone (also mud room). And there they waited.

Today I’m sitting in the back garden with a metal letter opener, fishing tiny spiky bits out with its point. I caught myself thinking: must be nice to have discretionary time for these sorts of things

then caught myself.

Even when I had all the little people doing all their array of things, I would’ve set these shoes aside. Floor finishes are expensive! And a nuisance — more nuisance than working out in old shoes

and sitting in the August heat with a letter opener.

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