Tangled Necklaces

Behold: the hopelessly tangled necklace – the thin and delicate chain somehow snarling itself into a tiny unyielding ball of fused metal; relegated to the back of the jewelry box to languish in the vain hope that someday, someone will have the patience to unleash it from its sad tight bonds.

I must have a specific strain of OCD that compels me to take on the tangled necklace.  I can’t let it be.  I can’t let it go.   I WILL unknot that knot.  I WILL unsnarl that snarl.

How to unsnarl a tangled necklace:

1. Find a clean, clear, white table or counter with lots of light as a workspace. Place the necklace on the work surface.

2. Using the ball of your fingertip, roll the snarl around gently to take stock of your challenge and to begin to loosen the bonds

3. Using your fingernail, tap gently on the snarl until the chain begins to loosen.

4. Using your two pointer fingers/finger nails, continue to tap and spread the chain as it begins to loosen.  Do not attempt to unsnarl the chain yet.

5. Continuing to spread the loops of chain out on the work surface and begin to notice how the chain is twisted around itself.  If there is a clear twist, carefully untwist that one loop careful not to disturb the other loops. CAUTION: Though you may feel relief and excitement as a result of this small progress, do not pick up the necklace and do not attempt complex untwisting.

6. Continue to gently tap the knots and spread the loops until you expand the mess to the ends of the necklace.  At this point it may become clear that the ends of the necklace can now be drawn over/under/through the loops.  Take care to address one loop at a time and keep the necklace on the work surface so as to avoid screwing it up. (Note: “screwing it up” is a technical term in untangling)

Untangling a necklace takes time and patience.  More importantly, it takes will.  Many of us live with sad tight snarls in our work and in our lives and relegate these important parts of ourselves to the back of the jewelry box. Over time, we no longer have the resources to get new necklaces or to unsnarl the ones we have.

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