The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese man had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the man bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the man one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old man smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?” “That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.” “For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Voices in your Head

I’ve been reading a book by Susan Baroncini-Moe–Business in Blue Jeans.  She makes a lot of good points. One of her observations is about the voices we have in our heads….

The Voices in Your Head: Have you ever taken a moment to notice all the voices in your head? While you’re going about your daily life, there are voices in your head that are observing, considering, judging, commenting on the past, planning for the future, making lists, reacting to everything… it’s an almost endless dialogue. And only some of the voices in your head belong to you.

That’s right. You have voices in your head that belong to all kinds of people: family members, friends, teachers, pastors, bosses, coworkers, some random person that you met at a bar one time. They’re all in there, they all have something to say, and we all make the mistake of thinking that what they’re saying is what we believe.


Old Report Cards–From Dick & Jane to College

I was sorting through old report cards yesterday–Mom & Dad kept all of that stuff and I found it in a box in the back of their closet when I was cleaning at the family house last month.  Report cards back in the 50s and 60’s were nothing like today’s–they were a heavy paper stock, with entries for all 4 quarters that the teacher woud fill out and make comments about each student’s progress.  I thought I’d keep my brother’s for him (I’ll be visiting Lee in Kentucky next month) but he told me to throw them out…and now I know why!  He wasn’t the best student in the world.  I was so surprised, since he’s so smart.

It turns out he just didn’t like school and thought there were better ways to pass the time–like reading and drawing.  (He did get A’s in art)  He told me about the time a teacher caught him with a book on his lap under his desk.  He was reading instead of paying attention in history class.  The book was Einstein’s Theory of Relativity!

My report cards were not that much better….I got high mark in the classes that interested me (Journalism and History) but barely made it through science and math. And I was so shy in Kindergarten that I wouldn’t play with the other kids…the teacher made notes on my report card that I couldn’t skip and I wouldn’t go down the slide.  I remember the slide scared me because I’d never seen one before!  I guess we were pretty sheltered back in the mid-1950s.


This picture is a few of the reports sent home (yes, even college report cards were sent to parents back in the 60’s!).  The yellow one is from First Grade and one of my college grade reports is in the lower left corner….

While Lee and I were comparing notes yesterday we came to the conclusion that we might have done better in school if our parents had praised and encouraged us instead of just insisting we do well.

A little praise goes a long way–it makes me wonder how my own parents were raised.  Now that they are gone I wish I could ask questions like that.  Talk to your loved ones while you can–you never know how long you have them!

Making Lists

I have decided the best way to stay on track is make a general list for each day.  It should take about 5 minutes in the morning to write out. even if I don’t accomplish everything, at least I am aware of today’s needs and can transfer the undone items to tomorrow.

Here’s my Monday list (in no particular order):  Groceries, Office Max, Lunch w/Steve&Mary, Cookies for mail lady, Laundry, Take Hammy to Lisa’s, Trash pick-up day, Check on Jake.

I have an on-going list for the office:  take pictures, list items on eBay, work on website, organize book shelves.

Wow, I could really get into this list-making:  I could have a list of future scheduling, too.  Let’s see…Sam & Tom will be coming here on the 25th, John has a week-end trip coming up in early July (he takes care of his own stuff, but it’s good for me to be aware that he will be gone), check on July birthdays so I can buy cards all at once….I’m sure there will be more, but you get the idea!

Points to Remember

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.

9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important sex organ is the brain.

23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

25. Forgive everyone everything.

26. What other people think of you is none of your business.

27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

30. Believe in miracles.

31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

40. The best is yet to come.

41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.