This is my new fascination, The Tangle:
They come in a pleasing array of colours and textures, and according to their website, are designed for a variety of uses from desktop puzzle to stress tool. I first came across one on a personal development training course where we discussed what type of learner we were. I am a kinaesthetic learner, which means I learn better when I am doing something and moving, rather than sitting still. I found the tangle to be a really good fidget device, much more satisfying than the pen which I normally use.
What I liked about it was its pre-defined yet unpredictable way of moving in my hands, that I could scrunch it, twirl it, stretch it out and wind it up, over and over again. It is very calming and soothing, and I read somewhere that it was designed with Autism Spectrum kids in mind.
It is my desire to own one just like I discovered in the class. However the one I got myself from Amazon is not the same and has not been the same good friend to me. Its joints are squeaky, which means I am not able to use it in classes, because it will disturb the other students. They are also loose and prone to dislocation, so that what should be a satisfying stretch turns into an anxiety-provoking pop, like a jack-in-the-box, and I lose the flow. I’m am not using excessive force, probably no more than the force I would use to put on a sock. So instead I have to use it very gingerly and push it rather than pull it, which does not give me the same effect.
I want to get a new one, but I feel bad for this one. It’s not its fault that it struggles to function as it was expected to, and I know that feeling all too well. I had a bit of luck using nail varnish to tighten up the joints, but this does not help the squeaking. Still I would rather be able to use it with some noise, than have it jolt me out of my relaxation with such alarming regularity. So it stays in my bag and comes with me wherever I go.
Update: Upon hearing that my new toy needs premature retirement, the kind people at Tangle Creations have offered to send me a replacement. I am very happy.
© Catastraspie, 2012.