Yet a few more reasons to be grateful…
Some of you who read Diane’s post know about our stove catching on fire.
The default response is, “Oh my God! What a terrible thing! I’m so glad no one got hurt!”
Well, so am I, especially since it was my family and my house.
But it goes beyond that. Way beyond.
Everything on planet Earth breaks down eventually. Lawn mowers, underwear, stoves.
It’s the mark of a thing well used and well enjoyed that it eventually breaks down.
And the stuff that breaks down prematurely…well that’s the mark of something poorly thought out, or poorly executed.
That doesn’t make it bad…or us bad, for that matter.
The stove was 13 years old. It provided some really good roasts, some soul satisfying vegetable dishes, and one particularly outrageous dish of tilapia, mango and edamame that still gets talked about years later.
It put out thousands of chocolate chip cookies our daughters learned how to bake. It churned out soups that were ready for me after shoveling snow off the driveway.
It was a good friend, and part of me is kind of glad it went out in a blaze of glory, without causing any damage.
It made me grateful for a fast thinking wife, and fire extinguishers under the kitchen sink.
Also made me glad for a responsive and professional fire department.
What if it had gone the other way? What if it had caused damage or hurt someone?
Well, I’m not going there. No need to.
But I promise you I would have found something to be grateful for and build on.
What’s the alternative?
Meanwhile I’ve already sharpened my grilling skills. Last night’s chicken came out perfect, if I do say so myself.
Tonight’s cold cuts and fresh fruit…the perfect family treat. I already marked my container of raspberries. Eat your own, Sarah!
And we get to appreciate having the financial abundance to pick up a new stove without missing a beat.
Wasn’t always that way. It is now.
Martha Gesegnet said it well earlier in the day with her quote from John C. Maxwell:
“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”
Ain’t that the truth!
Learn to enjoy the moments…each and every one of them.
Even the seemingly bad ones.
It’s a skill…you can overcome the habit of saying, “This is a very bad thing.”
You can replace it with, “Thank you for my resourcefulness, my sense of humor and the chance to do it better next time.”
It lays the foundation for a life of blessings.
Some in disguise.
Some exactly the way we’d like them.
Your Grillin’ Pal,
Do yourself a favor…make sure you have an all purpose fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and you – and the rest of your family – know how to use it.
Getting off the train at Yankee Stadium, I’m keeping my eyes open for my pal Scott. He’s about 6′ 5″, so he’s not too hard to spot.
I’m looking forward to this. Haven’t caught up with Scott in a long time. He’s one of my oldest friends, and a fellow baseball nut.
And here we are getting ready to see Yankees vs. Mets on a Friday night.
We’re catching up on the way into the stadium, and the conversation goes this way and that, as it’s prone to do between us.
Seemingly out of nowhere, he asks if I remember The Malachi Crunch.
I answer as if he asks if I knew my own birthday.
“Of course I do. Who wouldn’t?”
But we’re both grinning like the kids we used to be.
The same shared frame of reference.
For those of you who didn’t watch American TV on Tuesday nights in the 1970’s, the Malachi Crunch was move put on by the dastardly Malachi brothers in an episode of Happy Days.
Fonzie and Pinky, his girlfriend at the time were squaring off against the Malachi brothers in a demolition derby. For those who are interested enough, here is the link to see the action.
I wouldn’t recommend it though. It definitely didn’t age well.
But how cool is it that we have a monster warehouse of memories to go back to whenever we want?
How great is it we can find a sense of community to share them with? I happen to have the Mighty Scott to bounce stuff off of, and he has me.
But I can share the Malachi Crunch with folks all over the world, knowing at least 12 of you just got smiles of recognition.
And we get to pick and choose the memories that serve us, and discard ones that don’t.
It’s not that hard. Just takes practice and discipline…
…and a belief you are supposed to be happy.
After the Malachi Crunch, Scott and I moved onto talking about baseball (Sorry Scott, my Mets beat your Yankees.)
And we talked about our families, and careers and the arc in which our lives are moving…
…and how we intend to create even more blessings.
OK, we didn’t use those exact words.
But the spirit of it is there.
Got a Malachi Crunch experience you can share with the world?
Bring it, Baby!
Laugh with it, even as you go forward into the next joyous part of your life.
Your Cool Friend,
I was driving to the Stop and Shop plaza in Bristol, Connecticut, so of course I was traveling on Jerome Avenue. It’s one of those streets you travel on at least two or three times a day.
Interesting street, that Jerome Avenue. There are a bunch of nice old houses, including one salt box from the 1700’s. The original owner was William Jerome, who I suppose they named the street for.
There are also a couple of babbling brooks running under the street. I figured out if you drop a leaf in them, it could possibly wind up in the Atlantic Ocean. But that’s a story for another time.
There’s also a low income public housing project, close to Route 6. You’ll often see shopping carts in front of it, even though there’s a sign in the supermarket parking lot that asks you not to take them.
And two houses down from the public housing complex, tucked away a bit off the street, there’s a small, well kept house with lots of acreage in the back. There’s a fenced in pasture with two horses.
Not what you’d expect near low income housing in a small New England city.
But there it is.
Change is inevitable.
Growth is a choice.
So is frustration.
So is peace.
So is joy.
So is a sense of humor.
Things grow up around us, sometimes not in the way we intend.
I’m thinking someone who created a horse farm didn’t expect the neighbors they got.
Or maybe they did. Maybe they found a little plot of land and built their dream in what others would call chaos.
They called it beauty.
You get to carve your own private tranquil space around whatever’s going on in your life.
Got too much on your plate?
Welcome to the club.
We all have stuff. It’s what we do with it, and where we choose to focus.
Don’t tell me you have too much going on. Don’t tell me circumstances are impossible.
I ain’t hearing it.
Every person who succeeded beyond their wildest dreams also spent some time staring into the abyss.
You can create your own work of art.
Your own peaceful meadow.
Even in the chaos and lack consciousness that surrounds you.
Learn to receive more.
Stay open to miracles. They’re everywhere.
Have the courage to follow through on good ideas…yours and other people’s.
Gotta be easier than maintaining a horse farm!
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Let the fun begin!
If you feel a seismic shift on Saturday morning, May 7, it’s probably the nervous energy of millions of teens.
That’s right…it’s that time again!
Millions of 16 and 17 year olds around the world are taking the SAT for the first time.
Many have studied, maybe out of a book or maybe from an expensive test prep program.
Many more haven’t done anything in particular to get ready for it.
All of them are feeling pressure to one degree or another.
Just about all of them have been told one way or another this test will make or break their prospects for getting into college…
…and by extension their chances of success in their careers, and in their lives.
True? Maybe…to a degree.
Many colleges do use this test as one way to make choices about who they accept and who they don’t.
And at a time where college applications are at their highest ever, more kids are receiving the dreaded rejection letters than any point in the past.
It’s simply a matter of supply and demand. More applicants for basically the same number of spots.
Who’s going to internalize rejection?
Who’s going to internalize someone else’s judgment of them?
Of course, the other side of the equation – the Happy one…
A bunch of kids are gonna get a great score.
One that opens doors at that elite university.
One that launches a college education that starts a whole new life.
Tests are cool. They’re a great way to measure what we’ve learned.
As long as it’s a fair and valid test.
Say what you want about the SAT, and the pressure it puts on kids and families. But by and large it does a pretty good job measuring what it’s supposed to measure.
But that’s not the point, is it???
One test, one morning, one anything.
It has exactly as much power over our lives as we permit.
If our lives and our ambitions are wrapped up in getting into that college…
Or working for that company…
Or living in that mansion…
We’ve given up control of our happiness and our prosperity.
There are 4932 ways to what you desire…
As long as your clear about what that is.
Kids don’t usually know.
But many of them know how they want to FEEL.
And that’s a great start.
It’s also a great start for adults.
Got a good score? Great!
Use it to advance your education and your career.
Got one that your parents don’t want to mention to their friends?
Roll with it.
Prepare better next time, if you’re so inclined.
Or figure out what you want.
And find one of the other 4931 ways to get it.
Find the fun in the adrenaline rush.
Actually, everything ends in that transition.
So enjoy the ride, Kimosabi!
HOW TO RECEIVE had a fantastic beginning! The letters are coming in already. Just from covering what receiving IS, a few people got their worlds turned around already! Get on the NO MORE HOLDING BACK mailing list. Some special offers are coming up…including the LIVE H.T.R. Seminar.