Pete Vanderpool presents

My Educated Guess

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  • 02/25/2021 9:35 AM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    If you’re a golfer, you know they water greens randomly. At our course, you can see the 15th green while teeing up on the 12th tee. Seeing the water shoot high and wide can be disconcerting, to the point of blowing your concentration on the hole ahead. You might worry that you’re going to get your feet wet. You might worry that the ball is going to be slow when you putt over there. Or you might look forward to the challenge so much that you lose focus on the next three holes before you get there.

    In many ways, we are blessed in NOT knowing what lies ahead. We have reason to expect that when we reach the next hole, project or station in life, we will be prepared to handle the task presented there. But if we knew the exact circumstances, we might be fearful of them. Or we might concentrate our thoughts on some particular upcoming event and lose sight of the present goings on.

    There’s an ad showing an older couple getting together with their insurance agent. The conversation starts with the agent asking, “Need to make some changes”? Each person seems happy to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the circumstances.

    I like that ad. It shows people happy to adjust to life. They have changed before and seem to expect to change again. They are enjoying life as it comes, moment by moment. How beautiful that is! Focus on what’s before you now. It really is a “present”!

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

  • 02/18/2021 10:51 AM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    Have you heard the saying, “Too many teachers create confusion by constantly changing the students’ focus”?

    Here’s an example: If you have been thinking about starting an online business, you’ll know what I mean. Each entrepreneurial guru has a way for you to make money. They tell you they have made millions themselves, and you assume, if they can, you can. And maybe that’s true. But then you run into affiliates. They show up in your email with more and different programs. If you’re like me, you just gotta check them out, so you listen to another series of webinars and your focus is shot.

    If you are a golfer, you’re familiar with this. Every few days, on every green, the hole moves. It spreads out the wear on the green, and offers a new challenge to the players.

    Even grocery shopping is a challenge. The sugar used to reside with baking supplies. But this week it’s on an endcap with a recipe for glazed pork roast.

    Are there too many choices? Too many challenges? Some days that would seem to be true. But it has also been said that variety is the spice of life. At this time, there is much chaos parading as spice, right down main street. We need to choose which float we want to ride on, and ride it to the end of the parade route, or until it breaks down.

    Sometimes a choice is nice!

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

  • 02/10/2021 3:23 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    After my wife found out about my soap chip, she got into the game. On morning I stepped from the shower and noticed the chip was gone! All of a sudden, I felt something missing from my morning routine! I didn’t have my little friend the soap chip to start my day with smiles and snickers.

    While cleaning the shower, she had gotten mischievous and moved it to the other end of the bar. As I hung up my towel, I spied it there, all dry and lonely. Now it became enjoyable for both me and my wife. That little chip moved as much as the Elf On The Shelf!

    Sharing in little things like this “game” helps keep relationships fresh and exciting. Being playful and laughing together can strengthen relationships both within the home and the workplace. Laughter adds an element of comfort and joy. Humor can and should be, a part of daily life. As you incorporate humor into your life, you will find you are more creative, more relaxed, and even more energized. You will be better prepared to face the day – or the situation – or the big decision – or just life in general.

    So, as we approach Valentines Day, remember that creating some laughter today is at least as good as a card which doesn’t quite say what you feel, or a gift that doesn’t quite come up to the recipient’s expectations. Put them both together, and you will have created a gift that lasts. Laughter is emotional, and memories are retained because of emotion.

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

  • 02/03/2021 12:43 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    Our bathroom shower is the common variety – beige fiberglass. The sliding glass doors are hung from an aluminum bar about six feet off the floor. I bang my head on it periodically.

    Once recently, I was washing with a bar of soap which had about come to its end. A little piece about one inch square broke off and was headed for the drain. I picked it up and put it atop the aluminum track to throw out when I was done. I forgot it.

    Next shower, I forgot it again. And the next, and the next. It got to be funny after a while. I’d see it and smile. Then snicker a bit. After a couple weeks, I’d almost adopted the thing as a friend.

    Why don’t we treat our mistakes like that. Be it forgetfulness or just plain stupidity, why can’t we laugh at our mistakes. We tend to criticize ourselves, more so as we grow older. We label the events as some physical or mental disease, and beat ourselves up while waiting for the next scenario.

    How much healthier it would be if we could just observe and laugh. As long as there’s no malice involved in the action that caused the mistake, we don’t have to re-live the moment for ever. Laughing at one’s self is healthy. The most successful comedians know this well.

    So at least chuckle! People will wonder what you see that they don’t! And they will ask.

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

  • 01/28/2021 12:10 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    There was a stage musical years ago: Stop the World! I Want to Get Off!

    I think of it often these days. You know the situation. I don’t have to describe it to you.

    Recently I posted a graphic: “Have you ever wished someone else would make the climb for you?” Well unless you have people working for you, that would seem impossible. In truth, we have to do things ourselves in order to learn stuff. It’s why we’re here -- to learn stuff.

    But we might expect to find someone else to climb along with us. Mountain climbers get in shape physically. When the day of the climb comes, they join others, hoist up their backpack or give it to a Sherpa, and climb together. The view from the top is worth every grunt and groan, every trip and stumble, every challenge. The feeling is one of awe, one that will never be forgotten.

    So, forget off-loading the assignment. Accept it and, if appropriate, look for someone to join you as a mentor, cheer-leader, or participant. The view from the top – the moment of accomplishment – is worth the effort for you and for your support staff.

    Later, as you share the details of your challenge, you might unwittingly encourage someone toward success. Our world needs more of this. It needs more recognition of people blessing people. It will go a long way toward improving the world we live in.

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

  • 01/22/2021 3:13 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    What if you knew ten years ago that this pandemic was coming and that it would last this long? Important to your answer to the question would be the amount of detail you got with your foreknowledge. Facts like homeschooling, job losses, social distancing, separation from family and friends would certainly have been helpful. Would you have done anything different? Or would you just have worried for ten years?

    What if you only had a one-year foreknowledge? Much less time to worry – a blessing perhaps. Also, less time to prepare. Not so big a blessing!

    Probably the first thing to do would be to stockpile toilet paper. Then probably a serious savings/investment program. If your information included those little details, maybe you would have spent more time with family. You might even have collected family history from the senior members. You might have investigated what is involved in homeschooling and provided a “school space” for the kids.

    So here we are today. Programs like Zoom have provided a way for us to meet as friends, businesses, and churches. People who knew how to sew started making masks. Social distancing was defined.

    Question is, what have you learned which ultimately makes you a smarter, more valuable person? You most likely are a different person now than when this all started. You learned how to sanitize stuff. You learned, or relearned, how to cook. You learned how to use Zoom to advantage. You have grown to be comfortable with working from home. You may be pursuing a new career.

    The world is experiencing compassion, support for one another, awareness of our differences with the opportunity to live together in respect not fear, with funny times, and a myriad of emotions like never before. We have no idea what the “new normal” will be. Change is still rampant. It is expected that things won’t settle down for at least a year.

    My hope is that we keep listening to each other, talking to each other, and share the good that is present and available.

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

  • 01/14/2021 9:07 AM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    Recent circumstances keep rubbing our noses in it. But have you noticed the connections are different, stronger perhaps, more interesting maybe? And when we actually get to meet mask to mask, we have so much to share that normally dull conversational topics become animated good times!

    Conversations are less about criticism and more about ways survival has led us into new ways to do old things. I recently read about a person in a big city who wanted to eat out for a change and walked to a nearby restaurant, only to discover it had closed permanently.

    Walking further along, her second choice was doing a booming business in take-out. She learned from the owner that she had been thinking about adding take-out to her business, and jumped on the opportunity to do so. A difference in perspective for sure, but her customers appreciated her change and found their favorite foods still available. They were all still connected. And later, when the owner could open for sit-down dining, she could continue to make take-out a viable option.

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

  • 01/06/2021 4:52 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    Rock climbing, both inside and out, has become popular. Growing up on the rock-bound coast of Maine, I enjoyed climbing over, around and even under the rock formations. The lot lines in that area were defined in many places by a stonewall, created as the farmers plowed the land and uncovered stones, placing them on the edges of their property. The rocks were a nuisance where nature had placed them, but ultimately useful as markers when re-placed by the land owner.

    Today the rock walls serve as a metaphor for obstructions. You hear people say, “I’ve hit the wall”. You know what they mean -- things have gotten out of hand.

    When was the last time you found yourself in this situation? Are you a first responder who has been busy for the last eighteen hours straight, six days in a row? Or a hospital worker dealing with the pandemic for the last eighteen days with no break, putting in unimaginable numbers of hours? Or a mom dealing with a family member with a serious condition that, although being treated, doesn’t seem to be responding well?

    Please share your thoughts on this blog post. I’d love to hear from you. I’ll bet you have some uplifting thoughts to share for the inspiration of others.

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

  • 12/30/2020 1:28 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    Quoting Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones, “Between the worldwide pandemic, the extreme polarization of politics, compelling social protests and disastrous climate-related events, 2020 has pretty much run us through the wringer.”

    And so, on this New Year’s Eve, we look forward to a vaccine to help relieve the pandemic, positive arbitration on the political scene, active discussions and conclusive results directed at social protests, and more progress in the climate-related arena. As my friend Sally, the retired NASA engineer states, “This is our winter of sacrifice but not despair.”

    As individuals, we need to spread hope, compassion, and joy. Within the things listed above, we can identify opportunities to become involved in the transition from 2020 to 2021. Even if you can only spread hope, compassion, and joy to friends and family within your sphere of influence, you are making the world a better place to live, work, and play. If, additionally, you can work within the arenas described, all the more positive influence will result.

    Celebrate tonight, take a few days to catch your breath, then lean into the opportunities to navigate through this winter of sacrifice. We will all be blessed as you do so.

    Happy New Year!

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

  • 12/23/2020 9:54 AM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    For most of us, the preparation is done. Stores are closing. Presents are bought - maybe not assembled or wrapped yet, but home. Food is waiting to be assembled and cooked. About the only thing left is a quiet party or a church service. Soon the little ones will be put to bed and the adult population can crash.

    This year – 2020 - has been different. Santa visits were different, shopping was different, visits and parties were different. Much of it can be blamed on the pandemic, but there were other factors of which we are all aware.

    Now is a time to take a breath and relax for a moment or two. Disregard all the stresses that came with this holiday season. Individually, let’s freely share smiles, hope, and laughter with those around us. We’ve earned a collective ‘time out’!

    Maybe we can do something tonight. Maybe the opportunity will wait until tomorrow. My hope is that you be aware of activity going on around you and promote enthusiasm. Then, when reflecting on this Christmas years from now, the bad stuff will be relegated to: “well, that’s the way it was in 2020”, and other facets of this Christmas will bring up happy memories.

    Merry Christmas to all.

    I'm Pete Vanderpool and that's My Educated Guess.

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