Using structure

I’m aware that I have a habit (or perhaps it’s a dysfunction depending on your perspective) of turning everything into a process. Before I even do something a first time I’m imagining the whatever-it-is as a checklist— imagining it as a process. I’ll be generous, and I’ll call that being detail-oriented and being a planner. I’m also processifying (my spell-checker balks) everything from both ends: The first step I imagine is: What does done look like? I’m building the process from the front (“gather materials,” let’s say) and from the back (“deposit check, dance jig”). In the middle I’ve a place holder: Magic happens.

I refine and sub-divide the stuff at the front. I refine and sub-divide the stuff at the back. I’m creating more and easier steps, and I’m trying to pull as much as I can out of that “magic happens” step in the middle. When I look honestly, I see this everywhere in my life. That ill-defined, magical, central step is the feature. The struggle there is real, and it’s not to be avoided. Once I’ve factored out—moved to before, or move to after, the magic, middle part—all the stuff I’m more or less certain of… what remains is tension, in that magic, middle part. When I do it just right, that tension makes the magic happen.