Pete Vanderpool presents

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.

  • 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.

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