My father said, “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” And, he was right. There is. You could pull off the skin like a sock, or you could cut down the center line on the stomach with a sharp knife and take off the skin like a coat.
There is always more than one way to solve a problem.
Now, I don’t plan on skinning any of my four cats. Even when Pooh died, I wouldn’t have skinned him for his fur. We cremated the cat and his ashes are in a cedar box on my desk.
What does skinning a cat have to do with anything?
There is more than one way to skin a cat, and there is more than one way to solve a problem. Sometimes, when you are in the middle of a problem, you might think there is only one way to fix the problem — the way it was done before.
Would my father’s wisdom help me fix my broken mailbox? Was there more than one way to repair the mailbox? Would I have to reattach my mailbox to the post the exact same way it was attached before?
And now for: (cue dramatic music here)
The Case of the Broken Mailbox
The screws holding my mailbox to the post had rusted. My mailbox was falling off the base. It was a sad day last winter when I noticed it was loose. It was too cold outside to properly repair the mailbox, however black duct tape worked very well. Stylish and strong.
The snow melted, the sun came out, and it was time to fix the mailbox.
The piece of wood under the mailbox had rotted and the screws holding it together had rusted. I took the mailbox off of the stand and took off the piece of rotted wood it was attached to.
I took the rotten piece of wood that was under the mailbox and used it as a template to cut out another piece the exact same size.
This is a lightbulb moment. Here it comes.
As I was about to cut the lumber — the jigsaw was plugged in, I turned it on, and started cutting.
The lightbulb in my brain turned on.
Hey, I can use a bigger piece of wood. I don’t have to do what someone else has done. I can make my own decisions.
Just because someone else has chosen to solve a problem a certain way doesn’t mean we have to do it the same way.
This lightbulb moment applies to everything we face every day. We don’t have to do what someone else has done. We can make our own decisions.
1. We don’t have to write like someone else.
2. We don’t have to sound like someone else.
3. We don’t have to dress like someone else.
4. We don’t have to eat like everyone else.
5. We don’t have to paint like everyone else.
6. We don’t have to put cheese whiz on our celery the same way our Aunt did.
7. We can find our own way.
What would your life look like if you designed your day to look like you, and not like someone else?
We can go through life following what others have done, or we can create our own path.
There is nothing really wrong with the small piece of pine, it would have held down the mailbox, and you can’t see how large the support is under the mailbox once it’s attached.
The Case of the Broken Mailbox helped me see that I follow what others have done even if it isn’t what I really want.
I hadn’t written here in several weeks because I had read other blogs who told me I needed to write a certain way. They told me I needed to cut out a small piece of lumber just like they had done. But I wanted to cut out a piece of lumber in a different size.
When you end up with a broken mailbox in your life — please consider looking at your problem in a different way. You don’t have to approach life the same way as everyone else.
Do you think there is more than one way to skin a cat? Please let me know in the comments. I always love to hear from you.
p.s. Does anyone know where I put the screws for the red flag for the mailbox? They are in a safe spot in the garage because I didn’t want to lose them.
p.s. My father taught me how to skin animals when I was twelve.