What’s in My Toolbox?

I brought my toolbox (I actually brought one of my husband’s toolboxes) today.  I want to share 3 of my tools for success.  (I open the tool box and take out a piece of paper.)  This is my motorhome packing list.  Since I live in New England and it get very cold in the winter months, we need to remove all the fluids, food and medicines from our motorhome.  It use to take me a good two days to pack and still I had doubts about the job I had done.  The motorhome packing list has saved me so much time.  When we unloaded the motorhome, I entered everything into my laptop so when it was time to stock up before our Memorial Day excursion, it only takes me 2 hours to pack.  It’s so much more efficient and sets my mind free from undue stress.

(Then I took our magnetic family grocery list from the toolbox.) My next tool is a family grocery list.  It has a magnet on the back and resides on the refrigerator.  Whoever used the last egg, finished the box of ceral, granola bar or yogurt of choice, writes the item on the list.  Did you notice I said our “family” grocery list?  It’s not “my” list.  Anyone with a valid drivers license may tear off the sheets and go shopping.  One day not too long ago, my daughter went to the freezer to get a popsicle.  There weren’t any.  She said, “Mom did you just go shopping?  There are no popsicles.”  I replied, “Yes, I just went.”  Before I took another breath, she says, “It’s my fault.  I had the last one last night and forgot to put it on the list.”  There was stunned silence in the Ramrath household.  A teenager took responsibility and did not blame dear old mom.  That’s what I call success.

The third success tool I removed fromt he tool box was my dream list.  It is a small book.  I explained that it hasn’t always been in that form.  I’ve always been a dreamer.  I use to keep a mental list.  The problem with that is I forget.  I get busy doing (sewing) too many things and forget some of my dreams.  One day in the early 1980’s I started to write down my dreams on little peices of lined paper.  I would slip them into a folder in my desk at home.  The problem with this is that I only opened that folder once a year.  Usually the first week in December when I was looking for inspiration to write a Christmas letter to my family and friends.  I realized that I had accomplished some of the items on the list, and there was the content for the letter.  In 1993 I started keeping a dream list in this book.  I keep the book in my bedroom headboard.

One item on that list is Toastmasters.  In 1983 I was a coop student at Avco.  There was a Toastmasters meeting in the cafeteria.  I asked my mentor what Toastmasters was.  She explained that employees were selected to join to improve their speaking skills.  I thought, “How cool is that!”  The employee builds comfidence and learns to give great presentations.  The employee’s boss has something really positive to write on his/her review.  The customer is happy with the presentation and bids on more jobs.  The employer gets more business.  It makes so much sense!

Secretly, I wanted to be selected to grow in confidence.  My mistakes were….I kept that secret to myself.  It was only on my mental list. I didn’t even tell my boyfirend (now husband.)

Flash forward 23 years.  I read, Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly.  In that book one of the messages is to keep a dream list.  People who keep dream list have happier mariages, are happier on their jobs and attain and dream more dreams.

The very first thing on my mental list that came back to mind was Toastmasters.  I immediately wrote it down.

Then I took a walk with my hubby and our adopted dog, Rocky.  I asked Rob, “Does Toastmasters still exist?”  He said he didn’t know.  I told him I really hope it is.  I would like to participate if I’m allowed. That was it. I shared my dream with someone.

The next day as I’m eating lunch in front of my laptop, an email flys in from Rob.  He shared a toastmasters website.  He said it must be alive and well.  He told me to check it out, find a meeting that fits my crazy schedule, and go for it.

The ball was now in my court.  I sent an email to the President of Bose Speakers Toastmaster.  Within a month I attend a couple of meetings and joined.

17 months ago I joined Toastmasters and now I’m delivering my 10th talk in the Compentent Communicator Manual.  You’ve learned about my passion for quilting, my family, our adopted dog, Rocky, my volunteer efforts and now three tools for success.  I hope you will adopt one of these tool, a packing list, a family grocery list, or a dream list.

( Then I turn to the Toastmaster of the meeting )  Ms. Toastmaster

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About inspiredlayerslinda

I have been quilting for more than 18 years. I am an Island Batik Ambassador for 2017. I enjoy the challenge of designing new quilt patterns with this very special batik fabric collection. I joined Toastmasters to find my voice and learn to share my quilts and stories with others.
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2 Responses to What’s in My Toolbox?

  1. Ray Wilson says:

    Just stumbled across the comment that you were in avco toastmasters in 1983. In wilmington MA?? I was there then, won the District Humorous Speech Championship in 1984 and became Club President in 1965. — Ray Wilson. Now in Texas, also a Matthew Kelly fan, and right now establishing a Catholic toastmaster club in Austin.

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