There are days when I feel just like this disjointed Spider Man…broken, non-functioning and forgotten. I found this poor figurine on a bench at the mall. He was obviously played with to the point of breaking, then left in pieces. This is exactly how I found him. All the pieces are there, except his right hand. We figured out that the central cord that connected all the limbs was missing, either the child had intentionally pulled it out or when the right hand broke off the other pieces fell apart as well. However it happened, this Spider Man was left for dead. Still in good shape, yet useless. 

I recently had a day like this where I felt discombobulated. I had most of the working pieces and yet nothing worked. I knew what I was trying to do, yet I was prevented from being successful because all the pieces did not work together. It can be very frustrating when you know what is supposed to happen and no matter how you try it doesn’t happen. On these kinds of days I find myself working to get the square peg into the round hole…or it can feel like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube. An impossible task that will yield nothing but pain. 

Then there are days when you are only missing the central element, the one thing you can’t do without. And no matter how you try to put something else in it’s place, nothing works. The ‘system’ was designed to work one way and that way doesn’t work anymore. So you are helpless with no alternatives. Do you give up – leave your Spider Man for dead? Or do you  keep the pieces and see what you can do with them in another project? I have seen kids playing with GI Joe who has a Teenage Mutatn Ninja Turtle head and Superman cape. The missing, non-working pieces from toys lent themselves to a unique plaything of the future. 

I struggle with wanting things to work the way they are supposed to work. There is a beauty and peace when the system works. There is also a clever ingenuity when you create a new, completely special toy just for you? No one else will have that toy – and when you combine the strengths of each one into a new creation – watch out bad guys! It is cool to see Spiderman’s hand on GI Joe. By giving up what it is supposed to be you allow yourself to experience new ideas, new options, totally new creations. 

So thank you broken Spider Man for reminding me that just because the system no longer works doesn’t mean I can’t create something even better. I just have to be open and spend the time to fit the old pieces into a new creation….and stop worrying that no one will get my new ‘thing’. Remember, somewhere in time this Spider Man was new…now he is fodder for greater things.