Category Archives: receiving

Cabinet doors and piles of paper…

Cabinet doors and piles of paper…

I realize it seems like a strange title. Bear with me.

I helped moved, or I actually did move my parents three times throughout my life.

We moved from Pittsburgh to Ligonier when I was 9. Even though I was only 9, trust me, they worked me. Then years after I moved out and my wife and I were married, my parents downsized from the Ligonier house to their final Latrobe home (not far from Arnold Palmer himself). I helped them move from Ligonier to Latrobe. If you read my posts, you may recall that my parents both passed away in 2009. With the help of my one sister, I again “moved” my parents things one final time. In some cases we took the items, we gave to others, we sold at auction, and we put in a dumpster. It was sad, tough, draining, yet there were things I found, things I read and experiences I had going through their possessions for which I am grateful. My parents saved lots of my cards, my dad saved so many things from my career and notes about my accomplishments.

I digress. Years and years ago my father was a cabinet maker. He started small in a chicken coop as a one man gang. He grew and grew it until he had about 30 employees. At 45 years old, he had his first heart attack and soon sold that business and became an independent sales rep in the kitchen cabinet industry. He sold to other cabinet shops and kitchen dealers.

Well, as you can imagine, after having a large cabinet manufacturing business for years, after being a cabinet door and component rep for years, one does collect a lot of cabinet doors and parts. In our double car garage there were shelves, bags, suitcases, and piles of cabinet doors , front frames, plywood sides, and all sorts of parts. We had a metal pole building (like a barn) and at least half of it was filled with even more! There were cherry doors with stain, maple with paint, oak unfinished, and all other combinations. There were metal bread boxes that he bought in bulk and didn’t sell. There were bundles of mismatched, incorrect wooden spindle rail that some supplier paid him in lieu of the commission he owed to my father (for years he tried to sell pieces to recover some of the funds but couldn’t). There were laminated Formica doors from the 1970’s, cheap plywood doors for the projects, and fancy handmade custom walnut doors. In many cases there were just one or two doors of each. Sometimes there was a whole set (kitchen) of the doors.

Let me make a claim; my father didn’t throw anything away! He was born during the Depression and started from nothing and made something, something great. He accumulated possessions, shall we say?

I can tell you that the doors and parts that were moved from Pittsburgh to Ligonier were definitely still there when I cleaned out the home in Latrobe years later. And yes, he added more and more new ones! There were long, heavy, dusty, mouse-infested tubes of mold-covered plastic track. There were piles and piles of moldings that went out of style in 1979. There were countless damaged pieces, warped doors, water-stained parts that were beyond repair.

Why did he keep all of these parts? Part of me still gets sad talking about it even years later. He kept these parts in hopes that, when he retired, he could build things for he and my mother, for his kids, for his grandkids, for the church, for friends, etc. etc. Through the years I recall him holding up a specific piece or pointing at a pile of items and describing how he intended to make a table, a dresser, or a desk for someone.

Don’t get me wrong, he did build things for people. He made me a printer stand, computer desk, a workbench and I know he made things for church, for friends, and for his toughest customer, my mom.He helped build things for the church, helped with the kitchen renovation there too.

But, when he passed, he had years and years of pieces left. I recall standing in there barn, looking at the piles of things left behind, being overwhelmed by the work ahead, overwhelmed by the feelings of loss, and suddenly realizing that my dad will never be able to build all of those pieces for his loved ones. In that sad state I thought of it as some kind of ‘barn of broken dreams’. We had 4 of those large, full sized dumpsters filled and removed.

Throwing out most of the pieces was so difficult for me in many ways. Like my dad, I don’t like to throw away anything but I knew I had to get rid of some things. There was a sentimental nature to each item. There was the sadness, emptiness, and loss tied to the action. There was the feeling that my dad didn’t fulfill his dream of using up all of these potential gifts. He enjoyed making the gifts, giving them and seeing people enjoy the pieces. I felt that he would never be able to see that joy and I felt bad.

Over time, my state of mind improved and I reconciled the items left behind. Like anything, when I calmed down a bit, I was able to see in my mind all the things that my dad was able to accomplish and that these additional pieces would have been ‘bonus’ pieces for his life. I truly believe that.

So what’s the title about – piles of paper? My home office is sometimes messy. I have piles that are organized on my desks but they don’t look neat. From time to time I go in and clean it up, purge extra stuff, and I organize it.

The other day I walked in my office and was going through some piles of information, articles, books, CDs. I was aware of my own thinking at that moment and noticed that, over years and years, I had been collecting these articles, books, CDs, and other information so that ‘some day’ I would start to write a novel, a non-fiction book, a blog, articles, and other products to share with friends and maybe with the world. I was collecting all this ‘good stuff’ so that I could creatively do my thing to it and share with the masses. Sound familiar?

It struck me that, like other instances, I was just like my father here – but instead of cabinet doors and parts waiting for stain and assembly, my piles of information were sitting there waiting for my creative input, processing and articulation.

After a breather, after a bit of a shock, I knew that I had to take action today. I had to start a book, blog, anything. It didn’t have to be perfect. But it had to be. This blog that you’re reading is not the first attempt or iteration. So far I believe that it is the best one I’ve produced and I hope you can gain value from it.

I guess I just want to use up those piles of information sooner rather than later so I can see others benefit. Maybe my father was sent to teach me that lesson. Regardless why or how, it was something valuable for me to realize.

Here’s to hoping that you start using up your cabinet doors. You have a dream, a talent, information, gifts, or something that you want to do, right? Don’t let your children uncover it after you’re gone. I heard Wayne Dyer say once, “Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul.”

Show your kids and others around you that you value your talents and that you want to contribute to the world. Set an example for others. Be brave. It will never be perfect. Just go ahead. Just do it. Be yourself.

Advertisements

9 Things You Should Never Tell Your Kids

Here are some good reminders for us parents…most are obvious or should be. Some seem obvious but many can benefit.

Good to refresh though…

FROM: 9 Things You Should Never Tell Your Kids By Woman’s Day

I know you can try harder. Frustrated by a daughter who you know is capable of much more in school, sports, music, etc.? Any comment that makes it seem as though you’re not satisfied with her efforts can not only be discouraging to your child, but can also do the opposite of motivating her to try harder, says Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time… If your “try harder” has to do with tasks or chores, then be clear about what you expect: “When you have your room cleaned up, then you can go out and play.”

You always… or You never… “At the heart of these statements are labels that can stick for life,” says Jenn Berman, Ph.D. and author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. “Telling your child that he ‘always’ forgets to call makes him more likely to be the kid who, you guessed it, never calls.” Instead, ask your child how you can help him or her change: “I notice you seem to have trouble remembering to bring home your textbooks. What can we do to try to help?

Because I said so! This phrase puts all the control in your hands, and dismisses your child’s growing sense of autonomy and ability to figure things out, says Berman. It also leaves out a potential teaching moment. Let’s say your kids don’t want to visit their aging great-aunt on a sunny day when they’d rather play. Instead of “Because I said so” try, “I know you’d rather ride your bike, but Aunt Clara really loves seeing you, and we try our best to honor our family.”

I told you waiting until the last minute was a mistake! You’ve repeatedly told your son that if he played video games all afternoon, then he’d have less time to study for the math test. And guess what? Unprepared, he didn’t do well on the exam. But saying “I told you so” tells your child that you’re always right and that, by contrast, he’s wrong, says McCready. Instead, point out positive outcomes when he follows through, says McCready. If he cleans his room when asked, say, “Isn’t it easier to find all your stuff when your room’s tidy?” This puts the control and the credit with him.

You’re the best at soccer! “Say you always tell your child how smart she is. She may, over time, become scared of trying new things or more challenging work, for fear she won’t be ‘smart’ anymore if she gets a B instead of an A,” says McCready. It can also backfire if your child is struggling with work and you say, “But you’re so smart!” She may only feel worse for not living up to the label you’ve given her. Focus instead on her hard work: “You show up to every practice and try your best” or “What a fantastic job you did on this science project!”

Don’t worry—the first day of school will be fine. What’s wrong with trying to soothe an anxious kid out of worry? “If you tell your child not to worry, then you’re dismissing her feelings,” says Berman. “So now she’s still worried about the first day of school, and she’s worried that she’s worried, or that you’re upset over her worry.” Same goes for “Don’t cry” and “Don’t be angry.” Instead, say, “I can see you’re worried. Can you tell me what you’re most concerned about, so we can talk about it?”

I wish you didn’t hang out with Jack; I don’t like that kid. Yeah, a lot of parents don’t like “that kid,” for whatever reason, but “the moment you tell your child that ‘that kid’ is not your favorite, he becomes more appealing,” says Berman. Keep the lines of communication open between you two to hopefully spark discussion about values, right and wrong, and so on. “Ask your child some open-ended questions,” says Berman. “Such as, ‘What do you like about hanging out with Jack?’ ‘What do you guys do?'”

That’s not how you do it! Here, let me. You asked your child to help you with a task—but then she does a not-so-great job. It can be tough to hold yourself back from just jumping in and taking the task back, “but that’s a mistake, because then she never learns how, and is less likely to try anything else you ask down the line,” says Berman. If you must, then you can step in—but in a collaborative rather than dismissive way: “Here, let me show you a neat trick my mom taught me about folding towels!” Let the child do it!

Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother? Siblings and rivalry go hand in hand—and anything you say that sets up comparisons only fuels that natural flame, says McCready. “Comparisons slot siblings into categories—the smart one, the athlete—and discourage kids from trying the thing their sibling is ‘good’ at.” Try instead to encourage each child in whatever pursuits are “his” or “hers,” while avoiding comparisons.

A thought on want….

A quote from Mike Dooley/www.tut.com


For all things and non-things that you may ever want, understand that sometimes the fastest way to get them is to forget them, and to focus instead on just being the most amazing human being you can be. At which point all of your heart’s desires, spoken or unspoken, will be drawn to you more powerfully than a magnet is drawn to steel.

Have an amazing day,
The Universe

Making Tough Decisions- Improving Life Long Term

When y

Words To Live By: Giving – Part 2- Receiving

In the second part of Words To Live By: Giving/ Receiving, I wanted to focus on the other part of the concept – receiving.

 

As I said in the previous post, what goes up must come down. What goes out must come back. As Deepak Chopra says ‘In reality, receiving is the same thing as giving, because giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy.’

 

For many of us, myself included, the first posting is often the hardest – giving. My natural personality is that of being a quiet person when in some situations and that also translates to holding back – and I don’t naturally give as much as I want to – also probably due to some things I learned growing up. Likewise I’ve had some financial tough times not long ago and in the back of my mind I know there are still thoughts and limiting beliefs around scarcity. Hence I don’t give as much in the material world as I want to do.

 

But, for many of us, Receiving is very hard. How many times are people given a compliment only to turn it down. “You look nice.”…other person, “Oh this old thing? I think it makes my butt look fat.” OR “You did a great job on that project.” ….other person “Yeah, I could have done better on the last part though….”

 

Take the compliment! Take it when you can get it!

I know that when people compliment me about work or parenting I seem to want to disqualify it.

We need to receive gifts in our lives, such as compliments, to complete the energy flow. There are many parents that have given all of their lives, and now children or others can and want to give back but the parents have a hard time receiving it. Without being too specific, there is a very nice lady I know who always makes food, treats, and desserts for many others. When we try to do for her, she won’t accept and insists that she does it instead.

 

She won’t receive the gift we want to give her. So in some ways she is taking away the pleasure and joy that we’d get from giving her something – although I know that she does not mean to do this nor means anything negative by it. I must confess, because she hasn’t accepted our gift over the years, it has diminished the value of her ‘gift’ of food and treats, at least from my perspective. The flow of energy isn’t there. She is a wonderful person and gives and gives but sometimes we must receive to make it complete.

 

Chopra says that we need to “gratefully receive all the gifts that life has to offer me…..gifts of nature: sunlight and the sounds of birds singing, or spring showers or the first snow of winter.” This of course gets mixed in and overlaps gratitude, doesn’t it?

 

Chopra advises that to better apply the “law of giving”, we need to “be open to receiving from others, whether it be in the form of a material gift, money, or a prayer.” Sometimes we don’t accept a gift because of pride, because we’re not used to doing so, or because we have a self image/esteem issue surrounding the situation.

 

By not accepting the gifts of others, we limit the growth of a relationship. We may also limit our own growth. I recently received some help from a friend. Because of pride and self image, it was tough for me. I believe it may have been uncomfortable for him. But now that some time has passed, I believe the relationship with my friend is stronger.

 

Let’s face it, receiving gifts in life may overlap the Word to Live By: Acceptance. Life has challenges and changes that we often think are all negative – a job change, an opportunity that didn’t happen, a loss, a relationship change. We are so sure that this change is a bad thing and we fight it. But if we accept it and receive it as a gift – a gift of learning, wisdom and patience – then we can move on better in most cases.

How many times do these ‘bad events’ in life happen, we get mad, upset, depressed about it, yet after a longer period of time, things actually look better – even much better. That lost job was painful but led to a new, better job with more flexibility and fulfillment.

 

Or that relationship that we thought we couldn’t live without opened the door to a much more mature, loving and caring relationship.

 

You get the idea. Life is full of gifts. People offer gifts in so many small ways. By acknowledging them more and accepting these gifts more, we can all grow and benefit.

 

I want to give you wishes and prayers for a peaceful day with your loved ones. I hope that you can give one stranger a day, over the next 7 days, a positive thought, prayer, compliment, or effort. I also hope that you are more aware of and welcoming to receiving gifts, big and small, from others and from life.

%d bloggers like this: