Sometimes I Sort for Same!

There’s a concept in the field of Neuro-linguistic Programming that says that some of us sort for same and others sort for different. 

All boiled down, it basically means that some people prefer things they way they’ve always been. Tradition. Routine.

And others prefer variety and novelty and things we’ve never done before.

At least that’s the way I learned it.

With all due respect to my learned teachers, I think there’s something they forgot to mention.

Most of us do both! Here are a couple of examples I know best.

When it comes to music, I sort for same. I’ve actually had the same CD in my car for about five years! And I have about three choices for painting alone times. All of which I’ve known for at least 20 years.

Bill, on the other hand, sorts for almost everything when it comes to music, as long as it’s loud.

Food is a whole different deal.

I sort for variety. Novelty. Local food. Ethnic food. Darn near everything except snake, octopus, or bugs. As long as it doesn’t come in a cardboard box with cartoon characters on the label.

The Legendary Husband sorts for same in food. Same restaurants. Same order. (The “Bill Special”!)

Recently, I’ve had a new experience with food. You see, right around Thanksgiving last year, one of my favorite restaurants was closed due to smoke and water damage from a nearby fire.

I’ve really missed them! Noodle Decatur. 

As you probably guessed, noodle dishes. Bowls. Soups. All really good. (If you leave out the tofu!)

And, even better, dumplings. Just a few, for appetizers. If we’re telling the truth, fried pork dumplings.

And, best of all, sushi. Really, really, really good sushi.

I’ve tried other sushi, of course, in the long months Noodle has been closed. Finally, I gave up. And took to checking at least once a week to see when “the permit problems” would be resolved and I could, once again, have the food I missed so much.

Same order. Every time. Which is extremely sort for same-ish for me!

You guessed it… they’re open again!

Lunch. Virtually unchanged menu. Some of the same staff. (And some new guys learning to fold napkins.)

New tables. A bit more pared down decor.

Dumplings, yes. And my favorite sushi roll.

And I am, kind of oddly for me, relieved.

Which is, I guess, variety of a sort!

I tell you this story today, in the middle of my happy dance, knowing that if you’ve been hanging around for a while, you may have heard some of this before. That’s okay, though. You see, I think there’s an important reminder in here.

First, to borrow a bit of language from Bill Harris, most of us have more than one strategy for handling things, like choices.

Last week, after my fall, my strategy for dealing with food was pretty much whatever hurt least to reach. Today, an excursion to the land of familiar and comforting. Often… as often as possible… exploring new things. (Italian, house-made pasta with fresh shaved truffles comes to mind!)

And food isn’t the only thing for which we have strategies. How to mow the lawn. Or pay the bills. If it’s working, great. (Until your bank changes its system!)

Have you had the same argument 27 times with the same person?

Or backed into your trash can once a month for 3 years?

It might be time for some new strategies.

The good news is that we don’t have to give up the old ones to add new ones. Sometimes we just need some more choices.

Just now, after about 17 coats of paint (!) I’m developing a new strategy for hair on one of  my paintings. It didn’t happen all at once, this new strategy. It happened by going back, again and again, and listening to the outcome from each attempt. By learning from experiences that didn’t quite work and not giving in to old voices whispering “failure”.

I’m headed back to the studio next. Some different. A bit more same. A lot more learning.

And, it’s entirely possible that when my friend comes for lunch tomorrow, we may be back at Noodle!

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach