Solving the little problems

Image of stones stacked on top of one another against a white backgroundBig problems are worthy of big thought. They need time and energy to consider and act on them. Little problems should not be time and energy consuming. These, should just be dealt with: spontaneously and with a modicum of fuss. Those particularly adept at problem solving can think about the big problems while solving the little ones. Simultaneously.

Until the other day I thought I was one of those people.

Take buying a bag of ice for example. Nothing tricky in it. No one's life is going to be particularly improved by its purchase. It won't solve world peace or even contribute much to it, nor will it help plug the hole in the ozone layer. So. Just get it done. With a modicum of fuss.

Driving to the petrol station recently, to retrieve a non-world-changing bag of ice, I parked the car near the ice freezer. So far, so good. I noted that the freezer was locked so I went into the shop to pay and retrieve the key. On payment the attendant handed me a key. The key was attached to a large, flat keyring.

I undid the padlock, retrieved the ice and relocked the freezer door. Turning, I went to put the bag of ice in the passenger side footwell of the car. It was then that I realised it wasn't my car. While I was busily retrieving ice that didn't need a moment's concentration, another car had parked behind me. The door I reached out to open, wasn't the door that was there a moment before. It was another one. With a different driver. Who was now a little confused. Turns out he didn't want ice that day.

Perhaps purchasing ice needs concentration after all. I found the right passenger footwell and put the ice in it. I went back into the shop to give back the key.

The attendant gave me an odd look. I looked back at her.

Now, to be fair, I was concentrating this time. It wasn't my fault that the keyring they attached to the ice freezer key was the exact size and shape of my mobile phone.

I reached for the other pocket.