In Too Deep? Just Add Water

Amanda Thomsen
“It’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame”... It is so true that it pinches just a little, doesn’t it? When our work is too personal, or you’re lacking perspective and you know you’re overthinking it, it’s time to seek solutions so you can grow into your next phase.

You know that feeling when you’re trying your hardest at a crossword puzzle* and someone walks into the room and spouts off the word you’ve been sweating over like it was nothing? That’s because they had the mental space to be able to make it happen. You need some mental space, but where to get some?

When we get too involved in our projects, we don’t see what’s right in front of our faces. We all lack perspective and in these situations, the best thing is to get in front of a coach, mentor, accountability buddy, a co-worker with the sweetest constructive criticism or local business support group because these are the kinds of people who can solve your problems faster than you can say “4 across is ‘EMU’!” When it’s all in your brain and it isn’t coming out it’s time to talk it out with others.

You know you’re in the zero perspective club when you only get good ideas (or any ideas at all) when you’re doing the activities that require zero pressure; driving to work, brushing your teeth, in the shower, etc. Find a way to harness the energy (or lack thereof) of the ZERO PRESSURE ZONE; go for a drive just to clear your brain, find a waterproof pen and notebook (it exists) and keep it near the shower or shout messages into your phone when you’re driving. I have to admit I shout many messages into my phone when driving, yelling “HEY SIRI!”, and they come out all garbled and I lose that idea forever (but sometimes it leads me to an even better idea, ultimately, once I figure out who Barbara is and why she’s gleaning the parrots).

It’s important to always have a little notebook in your pocket where you can write down your flashes of inspiration (again, not while you’re driving). I find that good ideas, once down on paper, can wait and do not need to be acted upon immediately. In fact, they only get better with age, like fine Doc Martens. Just having them out of your brain and on paper is money in the bank in two ways: you now have this concrete idea that can be acted upon and it is now out of your brain and your bandwidth is increased just that much.

I know better than to talk to garden center people about meditation, but I’ll leave it hanging out here for you to do what you will with. There are great apps that walk you through simple guided meditations and I have a mindfulness chime on my phone that goes off every few hours that helps me remember to unclench my jaw when I only have seven more marketing flyers to design before I get to go home. Truthfully, I believe the tiny breathers help me clear my mind and continue my days-long assault on those flyers a little quicker and better.

However, the best way to get some perspective, though, is to just add water. Pick up the watering wand, go take a bath, wash the dog, drive through the car wash on your way home, go fishing, hit the aquarium, any water will do. Water has the magical property of diluting our worries, fears, anxieties and overthinking so we can get back to being our best selves** (or nearer, at least) and restoring our perspective. GP


*Of course this was a hypothetical question because you haven’t had time to even look at a crossword puzzle since January… of 2011.

**And even if you don’t believe it, you can still use it as a sales line for those poured stone water features you’ve got out front.

Amanda Thomsen is a funky, punky garden writer and author. Her blog is planted at and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter AND Instagram @KissMyAster.