Pete Vanderpool presents

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.

  • 12/17/2020 8:03 AM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    Have you ever thought of yourself as an avatar? You are one, you know! Every business, non-profit, church, and organization is constantly looking for their perfect customer, client or member. In today’s world, that’s known as an avatar.

    If you’re on the internet, programs are in place to track your likes, dislikes, habits, friends, and more. It’s not all bad. It makes searches more accurate, answers to questions more applicable. You just need to be aware and use caution along with common sense.

    Don’t assume that once you have become the avatar for some entity that it’s over and done with. As you age, your description changes, so your collected facts file changes. What interests you at twenty-four is different than age thirty-four, or forty-four, or fifty-four.

    For instance, at twenty-four you’re probably interested in a job that pays well. At thirty-four you already have a job and are interested in improving your current job situation or getting a new job to better serve your personal goals. Forty-four is mid-life crisis. Fifty-four is last job selection. You get the idea. You are a normal person going through the seasons of life. You have different needs, interests, goals at points along the way,

    But do you realize that many answers to your questions lie within your own stories which are accumulating along the way. You are unique. Nobody else in the whole world has the experience and knowledge you have. By periodically looking back over your stories, it is possible to eliminate some ideas you hold dear and to deep-dive into some circumstances which are easily overlooked without a change of perspective. New concepts come into focus.

    This process is what Squeeze Your Stories is all about.

    Please comment on this blog so that I can better address these ideas in future blog posts. Other people may benefit from your sharing.

    Did I mention that we are all connected?

    I’m Pete Vanderpool and that’s my educated guess.

  • 12/03/2020 6:34 AM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    Have you ever noticed that when you think the toothpaste tube is empty, there are as many as ten squirts left? Or when you think the bathroom spray is empty, you can get another couple weeks-worth of effective deodorizing?

    I was made aware of this fact again this morning. I needed a spritz of sweet-smelling deodorizer, remembered that I had forgotten to buy a new can of it, but pulled back the handle anyway, and discovered that there was plenty left to do a very effective job.

    Then my mind wandered off considering how many times we humans act like that spray can. When the job is stressful, or when a relationship is becoming a train wreck, or when an everyday routine is upset by a calamity – there's always a supply of energy sufficient for the next hour, and the next one, and the next. There's something inside us that supports us through for another round of distress, even when we think our tank is empty. The editor of our subdivision newsletter once wrote an article with a reference to those who thought the E on the gas gauge really meant Enough. We just don’t have a gas gauge, at least one we can glance at on the way to the next event.

    And that is what faith is all about, but that’s for another day and another post!

    I’m Pete Vanderpool, and that’s my educated guess.

  • 11/18/2020 4:29 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    My guess is that you think about it more often than you might guess. When you find yourself in strange circumstances, you wonder what you might do to help or how you might fit into some new situation. You naturally gut-check your uniqueness, looking for help making a quick response. You decide to try it or duck it. Later, you may revisit the facts and change your mind, but all the while, you challenge your uniqueness for more help.

    There’s power in your stories, your experiences. Many times, a person who shares their problem in great detail already knows the answer. Even if you reply with an appropriate solution for them, you may not get their agreement because they are enjoying telling the story in great detail over and over again.

    I’m Pete Vanderpool and that’s An Educated Guess!

  • 11/11/2020 5:33 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    I received a thank-you note in the mail yesterday. It was from my pastor regarding a silly little gift we had given her which arrived at an opportune time and provided way more positive emotion than we could ever have imagined.

    An earlier one was from a friend commenting positively on the lessons I had brought to class. It called to mind yet another one I received many years ago from a parent regarding how happy she was with the lessons her son had received while in my Sunday School class of senior high students. She was moved by the results she saw in him.

    The point to all this is how much these notes mean to me. It was an example of the “pay” one receives very few times over a lifetime. Both were evidence of work well done, making me proud, not in a haughty way, but from a sense of success in the labor of love I had given freely without expectation of reward.

    You always have the opportunity to use the power of a postage stamp to brighten up someone’s life, to what extent you may never know. That’s not why we do it.

    When was the last time you mailed a personal note?

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

  • 06/25/2020 12:06 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    I hate to go shopping. I used to like to go shopping, especially book stores, hardware stores, old fashioned general stores, and grocery stores.  But now I dread the word “shopping”.

    Why? Because shopping makes me mad. In this pandemic, we’ve been asked to wear masks. I was in a local hardware store last week, and I was the only customer in the busy store wearing a mask. My wearing a mask protects you more than it protects me.

    My wife asked a young lady in line behind her at the grocery store why she wasn’t wearing one. She replied that she didn’t like them and wasn’t going to wear one, which only tells me she doesn’t care about anyone but herself. I watched a grandpa holding hands with his grandson of probably four, both entering Lowe’s without masks. Young people are seldom seen wearing them, and then they suddenly contract the COVID-19 and say, “I guess I should have worn a mask”. How many people have they shared the disease with, especially elderly family members?

    My friends in healthcare, including doctors and nurses, all comment on the independent stand of not wearing a mask. Wearing one is the simplest thing a person can do to protect themselves and their families. My favorite line of the day about non-mask wearers is from an emergency room nurse, “You better hope I never see you in the ER!”

    Maybe this will all go away and I will look forward to shopping again, but in the meantime, I guess I’ll have to learn to live with the current normal. I’ll look forward to seeing you smile behind your mask. I can tell, you know. Your eyes sparkle and you squint more!

  • 06/19/2020 3:47 PM | Pete Vanderpool (Administrator)

    Picture an airplane taking off with one of those smoke bombs attached to its wing. The result will be a smooth curve going from the starting point on the ground upward slowly until the bomb runs out of smoke. Life’s curve is generally expected to look like that. You start at birth, learn a lot of things, graduate, get a job, get married, have a family, get active in the community or a church. Eventually you retire and enjoy the grandkids. It’s expected to be a gently rising curve from birth to death.
    But my friend David says he never learned a thing from the gentle upward sweep of life’s curve. He learned when the curve suddenly started straight downward. Some people think of that as failure. Some look at it as a learning experience. Thomas Edison was once asked about his many failures while trying to create a light bulb. His reply was that he didn’t fail. He learned a thousand ways not to make a light bulb.
    So the curve more closely resembles a saw blade. I think of it as “David’s Curve”. The down-drops are the experiences which equip us to help others in similar circumstances. They are times of learning, of testing, of making us into wiser human beings. The way to benefit from those times is to look for the lesson hidden in the experience and not to dwell on the chaos of the moment. For those who insist upon living those trying moments for a lifetime thereafter, life becomes a tragedy. They keep adding the down-drops as if a sum total of them were important. The lessons are. The trauma is not.
    Once a person realizes that life is going along without them and that they would be better served to live where life is at this moment, the better off they will be. In fact, they might even realize that they are equipped by their experiences to bless others. Helping others is a sure cure for what ails you.
    Now that’s what life should look like!

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