HOW TO HANDLE ADVERSITY WITH FLAIR

My son recently told me this story about his paternal grandfather, who was returning home to England after a short trip.

Seems the elderly gentleman had a bag of pomegranates in hand when he passed through Security at London’s Heathrow Airport.

“You can’t bring fruit into the country” he was told.

He couldn’t bear the thought of having to part with his beloved fruit, but knew he didn’t have a choice. He felt defeated.

Then suddenly he had an idea.

“I want to eat them”, he said, “Is there a place where I could sit?”

The security officer directed him to a chair. The grandfather sat down and proceeded to eat the pomegranates.

This struck me as particularly funny because he had a total of 20 pomegranates!

Plus, he is a man of very slight build, who gives the impression that a gust of wind might blow him over.

Yet, he sat there and ate the pomegranates.

All twenty of them.

I had to admire his tenacity.

It seems that when faced with adversity there are two basic personality types. There are those that simply give up and throw in the towel.

Then there are those who get creative.

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THE MATCHING GAME

Have you ever made a trip to a furniture store to purchase, say – a bed – and you also bought the matching pair of nightstands?             

How about a sofa, along with an accompanying loveseat and a matched set of coffee and end tables?

Did you answer “No” to both scenarios?

Then I’m willing to bet that, if nothing else, you’ve probably purchased a dining table with a matching set of chairs. You likely did this simply because the furniture was sold as a designated set, a very common practice.

What if I were to tell you that you are in no way bound to buy matching sets of everything?

In fact, most designers, including myself, would far prefer to mix different styles rather than have everything ‘matchy matchy’.

Why is that?

Simply put, designers like to think outside the box, taking a more playful, ‘mix-&-match approach instead.

Don’t get me wrong.

I love symmetry. To me it speaks of order and calm, in a sometimes chaotic world.

I’m sure you’ve seen the look – matching sofas facing each other in front of a fireplace, with matched end tables and side chairs.

It comes across as formal, well-organized and perfectly balanced.

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7 PENNIES

My husband and I recently celebrated our 7th anniversary, which meant gifts of copper – if you follow the charts that tell you which material, or substance, represents your anniversary year.             

Even so, when I sat down to breakfast on the morning of our big day, I was surprised to find seven pennies on my placemat.

I was completely puzzled.

It took me a moment before I ‘got’ it. In the next instant, I was totally impressed by my husband’s cleverness.

In all my searching for an appropriate gift, I had never noticed the pennies in my wallet.

No worries, those pennies weren’t my actual gift.

But it did make me think about the many, obvious things we overlook everyday that are a little like those pennies.

I decided to turn those hypothetical pennies into some everyday hints for updating your décor – ideas that require little time or expense.

They’re simply there at your fingertips, ready for the picking. (more…)

HOW TO HANDLE ADVERSITY WITH FLAIR

My son recently told me this story about his paternal grandfather, who was returning home to England after a short trip.

Seems the elderly gentleman had a bag of pomegranates in hand when he passed through Security at London’s Heathrow Airport.

“You can’t bring fruit into the country” he was told.

He couldn’t bear the thought of having to part with his beloved fruit, but knew he didn’t have a choice. He felt defeated.

Then suddenly he had an idea.

“I want to eat them”, he said, “Is there a place where I could sit?”

The security officer directed him to a chair. The grandfather sat down and proceeded to eat the pomegranates.

This struck me as particularly funny because he had a total of 20 pomegranates!

Plus, he is a man of very slight build, who gives the impression that a gust of wind might blow him over.

Yet, he sat there and ate the pomegranates. All twenty of them.

I had to admire his tenacity.

It seems that when faced with adversity there are two basic personality types. There are those that simply give up and throw in the towel.

Then there are those who get creative.

In a given week, each of us has any number of challenges to deal with. Sometimes we get creative, but other times we don’t.

Has this ever happened to you?

If I’m struggling to figure something out on my own, or if it’s an activity I simply don’t enjoy, I’m all for hiring outside help.

Like an accountant to handle my taxes. Or a gardener to assist with yardwork. Maybe you’ve hired a caregiver to assist with an elderly parent?

Anything that makes your life a little bit easier is absolutely worth it!

Perhaps you’ve taken on a home improvement project that has pushed you into a state of overwhelm. What steps could you take to make the task easier?

I’m biased, of course, but I will tell you that hiring an interior designer will definitely make the task easier.

You may be thinking ‘No way can I afford such a luxury’, but I’m inclined to think you cannot afford not to give yourself this gift.

Gift? What gift?

The gift of time. The gift of having someone assist you, someone who can oversee your project and provide their expertise. Someone who can see the red flags and guide you toward a sound decision before you make a costly mistake.

Like anything else, you need to plan for it, and figure it into the budget. You need to look at the ultimate Value of what such a service means to you.

Let me remind you, that none of this is etched in stone. There’s room for flexibility, and there’s certainly room to be creative.

My design work challenges me to be creative.

How about you? How do you handle a challenge? Do you handle adversity with flair?