“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu
Each day is another chance to add to our own story. Will the day begin with the alarm clock or right before it sounds off? What will be the first thought that enters your mind? Will you remember to be thankful to be alive before anything else or will it be what you told yourself to remember right before you fell asleep? What will be the thing you remember most at the end of this day? Just by these factors alone, it will be a whole different day with endless possibilities and opportunities for a new experience.
Running into people you haven't seen in years is always a very interesting occurrence and as random a thing that can happen. While leaving an office building, I happened to run into a former tenant of some property I managed. I hadn't seen him since he had terminated his lease due to falling under financial hardship. He and his wife operated a senior home assistance service in our same office complex. I remember him always being very pleasant and professional, which I greatly appreciated. Immediately upon recognizing each other, we smiled and shook hands.
Hmm, for some reason, I remembered that I didn't ask him "How are you?" I asked him "What are you up to?". When you think about it, it's a question that relays a real interest in someone's life. Sure, someone could just reply with a not much or nothing much, but I probably would have chosen to use the aforementioned how are you then, anticipating their level of interest in carrying on a conversation.
"I'm buying a house.", he said with a proud gleam in his eye. "That's so exciting. I'm happy for you." I replied. We spoke a little more before I made sure to wish him and his family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, knowing that I would, most likely, not get another opportunity.
This exchange brought back many memories of my interactions with him over the 5 years he held a lease with our office. There were several instances where we worked with him on changing rental due dates, pushing it back to fit the best time for their receivables. We worked with them providing several months of rent reduction and even suspending payment. The landlord was very gracious and generous to extend such help and assistance, but it was his transparency and integrity in his dealings with me and the owner that made that level of generosity equitable. He was always upfront and honest when I had to inquire about late payment. There was no dodging calls or issues with returned checks to deal with when it came to him. The day he came into my office and notified myself and the owner that he was closing his business, it was with great appreciation for all the dignity and decency that we had shown him and his family. He also delivered an envelope containing several months of back rent due on his lease.
They had exhausted all their personal finances trying to keep their first business venture afloat. I was also previously unaware that they had to sell their family home and relocate to a rental property. I remember telling myself how impressed I was at him handling what most others would consider devastating and dismal circumstances. We offered to help any way we could.
To meet up with him now, see his joy and hear his good news made my day. That's what you always hope for, good things happening to good people. It renews one's faith in the ability to turn situations that seem dismal to prosperous. I have no doubt that much of what helped was the love and support of his wife and five children. There is nothing like knowing that your family believes in you. That kind of encouragement can give anyone the will, courage and determination to move beyond obstacles to a greater state of achievement.
Things and circumstances never stay the same and it's important to trust that you can handle whatever comes your way. In the case of my kind acquaintance, he handled each hurdle with acceptance and integrity. No matter the circumstance, he remained true to his values and good natured manner.
This reminds me of a recent project that didn't go my way. It was something I've been wanting to experiment with for a while and thought I was prepared to tackle.
I wanted to repurpose a cut out piece from a coffee table project I had completed and use that for another more modern and one of a kind piece.
I chose to use different sorts of colors other than what was traditional and decided on staining the birch circles with food coloring to achieve the look.
The plan was to use an epoxy to encase and cover the 1/2" circles of birch in order to create a hard and clear surface. Mixing the batches together was an upper body work out, requiring 8 to 10 minutes with each batch. Getting equal parts of both the epoxy and the hardener was essential for this to cure correctly.
What was surprising, is the color change the epoxy coating gave the birch circles previously stained with food coloring. I loved how it changed the colors from a series of pastels to the more earthy tones of orange, blue and green. Unfortunately, it must not have been warm enough in the room, or the ratio of epoxy to hardener was not as precise as previously thought because the mixture only partially cured. At this point, I have to figure out a way to save what I've already done.
It became clear to me that I was willing to commit more time and effort towards my table concept. I might put it on the back burner and move on to another project, but there is something to say about not giving up too easily. If my first attempt at using epoxy doesn't work out, I know I'll master it eventually.
How do you handle things that don't go as planned? My friend's situation was much more serious and required some real soul searching, but because of his unwavering belief in himself, everything turned out fine eventually. I think that is the moral of the story and something I happen to believe. . .
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.”
― John Lennon
Being so close to Christmas, I thought I would attach a link to the most amazing Christmas Duet that made a huge impression on me. "The Little Drummer Boy" sang by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Wishing for peace on earth will always be my ultimate Christmas wish.
Little Drummer Boy a duet by Bing Crosby and David Bowie
Always stay classy,
Project Vintage US
Thank you for taking the time to read my blogpost and feel free to leave your thoughts and comments. I started writing pieces and posts to prove to myself I could articulate my thoughts in a way that made sense. I realized soon after that it was somewhat therapeutic to express my thoughts about life's mysterious twists and turns as well as all the wonderful lessons we learn on the way.