Problems Are Indefinite Guests

Imagine you’re running an inn. Every now and then, an odd guest shows up. They might not pay a single cent, burp loudly while sitting at the bar, or constantly hassle you with outrageous demands. For some reason, however, your boss always tells you that these guests have a right to stay. “Take care of them like all the others,” she says, and, begrudgingly, you oblige.

Every one of these guests displays some other form of irritating behavior, and sometimes, half a dozen of them show up at once. The worst part, however, is that you don’t know how long any one of these guests will remain at your inn. Some stay for a day, others disappear within a week, and others still have you grinding your teeth for months as they spill yet another glass of orange juice at breakfast.

That’s what problems are: Indefinite guests in the inn that is your little world. Your boss is life itself, and so, no matter how much you wish those pesky guests would all just disappear overnight, you’ll always have some problems roaming your living room.

At times, your humble abode will be peaceful. Everyone will sit quietly in their corner, enjoying a cup of tea. Every now and then, the place will be a flaming mess. Dishes on the floor. Stray cats pooping on the counter. A bar fight in full force across the entire room. That’s life! Problems come, problems go.

The trick is to not get so emotionally invested into any one problem that it occupies your every thought. Stay cool. Practice detachment. You want to be able to watch a problem cause mayhem with a chuckle while still servicing its needs. If you take good care of it, in time, it’ll leave of its own accord — and so will all the others.

Being a good host, like everything, is usually hardest when it’s most valuable. Stay patient, don’t give up, and who knows? The worst problem might also leave the most generous tip on its way out the door.