April Jeppson: The missing cue ball and finding a solution

Published 8:45 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

My co-worker and I found ourselves at a party this week with a house full of people we did not know. It was a tad awkward as we walked room to room and looked for familiar faces. We got ourselves something to drink and then decided to set up shop in the room with the pool table. I was initially bummed because there was a group of people setting up a game, so I knew it would be some while before it was our turn.

April Jeppson

I overheard the ladies talking about how there was no cue ball. Soon we were all looking under pillows and in cupboards trying to find the illusive white ball. Within a few minutes everyone had given up and no one was playing pool. I was bummed. We were so close to doing something fun, and yet we were halted. I have trained my brain to see obstacles as opportunities, so I didn’t see a reason to give up yet.

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I invited my co-worker to a game of pool, and after a brief discussion we decided to use the 8 ball as the cue ball instead. So we set up the other balls in a way that made sense and went for it. We proceeded to play, and before long people started to watch us. Individuals that didn’t know about the missing ball would ask why we were playing this way. Those that knew were almost watching in awe that we figured out a way to play.

When we first arrived at the party, I was a bit uncomfortable at the thought of having to strike up uncomfortable small talk. I was happy when I saw the pool table because I knew this activity would be a more enjoyable task to partake in with strangers. Perhaps it was my desire to play that helped me pivot and come up with a creative solution. Or perhaps it was my loathing of small talk that motivated me to find a way.

Whatever it was, my brain was able to solve a riddle that others could not. This is not the first time I’ve been able to navigate through seemingly impossible waters. I can recall many times when situations shifted quickly and it would have been acceptable for me to stop or call it quits. However, I don’t like quitting. I probably suffer from the other extreme where I hold on to things for too long. I have such difficulty letting go or “giving up” that I have held onto plans and friendships long after the coroner had declared a time of death.

At this stage of my life I’m trying to find the balance between walking away and trying one more possible solution. I find peace in knowing I did everything I could, it helps me sleep at night. I’m pretty sure no matter how hard I try, however, I’ll always choose playing the game “wrong” over sitting idle on the sidelines.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.