My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #821: When one door closes . . .

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-18-2012 10:07 AM 4387 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 820: Looking Forward Part 821 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 822: Finishing Up Some New Projects »

I know we have all heard that saying – “When one door closes, another opens.” And while the saying is intended to give people hope in times of despair, usually when someone recites it to us we are not very receptive to its meaning.

Going through difficult times can be really tough. Especially when we are cast out from our ‘comfort zones’ and changes are occurring in our lives and we feel we have lost control. As humans, we find comfort in familiarity and routine, and when those familiar things are disturbed for whatever reason, it is easy to find ourselves anxious and in a panic regarding our situation.

When looking up the origin of this phrase, I saw an interesting variation of this quote by the great inventor Alexandar Graham Bell that I thought I would share.

”When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Did Mr. Bell nail it, or what?

Leave it to a creative “genius” (whom had many, many doors close throughout his lifetime, I am sure) to give this wonderfully poignant extension of these words that were meant to both comfort and give promise that better days are ahead.

Bravo, Mr. Bell! I like you better just for reading that!

So many of us fear change. We find what we call our ‘comfort zones’ and dig in with our heels and fight with all the energy in our beings to keep things as they are in certain circumstances. Many times, we aren’t even happy with the situation that we are fighting so hard to keep. There are bad marriages, unfulfilling jobs and other situations in our lives that perhaps aren’t damaging us, but are holding us back from reaching our potential. Perhaps we are just going through the motions because even though we are unhappy with the situation, in our own minds it is better than the black abyss of unknown that lies ahead should we choose to change.

I think Alexander had it right when he spoke of longing regretfully for the past – so deeply that we are blind to all the wonderful opportunities that are available to us. And for what? Because we fear what we don’t know and ‘what may be.’

But how, I ask you, are we ever to improve or grow if we don’t change? If, say, we don’t like our job or current situation, how are we ever going to expect our lives to be any different if we don’t try to change things and make things better.

We simply can’t.

The way I look at it, life is a journey. We travel from place to place and learn and grow and encounter new things each and every day. When we stop traveling, we stop learning and experiencing and at least to me, I would think that life would become stagnant and unfulfilling and pointless.

Many times we long for the past. Sometimes we long for it even if it has been destructive or detrimental to our lives. But just like Alexander Bell said, we sometimes waste so much of our time longing for our past, that we are blind to all the wonderful things that the future holds for us ahead. Some people just don’t know how to let go.

I am currently going through some changes in my life. At this time, I am not completely comfortable with the changes and I do fear the unknown that lies ahead. I admit this because I am sure that from the outside looking in, people are not aware of this. There have been some areas in my life that have become too comfortable, and perhaps even stagnant. Even though I thought I was doing “OK” in them, in my heart I know that I can do better. I deserve it. So it is time to make some changes that are not very comfortable to me, but necessary to keep me happy and fresh and growing as a designer.

Like many, I have held on to things long after they served me well. Even though I know that not only are they no longer beneficial to me, but they are on the brink of being downright destructive.

Also, like many, I have allowed this to continue because of my fear of the unknown, and what closing that door would mean to me. I have been blinded by that fear and I have been so obsessed with it that there has been no room for growth or even considering what the other doors have to offer.

But I am past that now. And with reading the above quote in the context that Alexander Bell placed it, I realized that this applied to ME and my own situation. It labeled and identified how I have been thinking all along. And it validated my own feelings.

I am moving now, and not allowing the closed door to dominate my thoughts. I no longer wish to give it that undeserved power to do so. The ability to let go is something that we all have within us, and once we learn to use it to our advantage, it can be one of the most significant assets we have. We only have to have the courage to use it.

There are so many new opportunities are before me. Many are those that I have considered in the past, but not had the initiative or courage to explore. I no longer fear the changes in my life, I look forward to them as exciting new adventures that will lead me to the path that I need to follow. I may take a wrong turn once in a while, but we all know there are many paths to a single destination, and the destination of happiness and fulfillment is no different.

I will find a way.

I wish you all a wonderful Tuesday. Don’t be afraid of opening new doors.

PS – I just noticed as I was typing that Ms. Debbie posted her interview she did with me for the Lumberjocks Newsletter this month. It is an honor to be selected from the over 40,000 members for this interview. I can never repay the kindness, friendships and guidance that I have received from the web site. I highly recommend it for woodworkers of all types. You will not regret being part of this great community. You can read the interview HERE. Thank you so much! :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

8 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2829 days

#1 posted 09-18-2012 12:59 PM

Oh yes Sheila. I also know that when the fridge door closes, a bottle o Guinness or Coors Light opens… lol

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3333 days

#2 posted 09-18-2012 01:12 PM

I have always viewed change as a new adventure that keeps life from getting boring. these new change adventures in life have always proven to be positive and have yet to ever be detriemental in the long run.
You will enjoy your current new journey and look back on it with a smile.

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2249 days

#3 posted 09-18-2012 01:53 PM

My favorite quote is closely related and from the very well spoken Winston Churchill:

“It was not the first time, nor indeed the last, that I received a blessing in what was, at the time, a very effective disguise.”

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2945 days

#4 posted 09-18-2012 02:05 PM

LOL Roger! You are killing me! :D What a great way to look at things!

Greg – you are so right. We so often fear the unknown, and so many times those fears are unfounded and the time and energy we spent worrying about things wasted.

Kay – I like that quote very much. So many times we expect instant gratification. I believe it is due to the times we live in, where everything happens so quickly. Patience is becoming a lost art, but those of us who are willing to wait for things and take time to develop them are rarely disappointed. There may be bumps along the way, but by slowing down, we learn to redirect our plan, sometimes many times over, and ultimately we are able to guide ourselves into a better place.

Thank you all for your comments! Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View ronbuhg's profile


121 posts in 2173 days

#5 posted 09-18-2012 04:20 PM

hmmmm,good thoughts !!and I will ponder them seriously….maybe its time for me to “move on” also in several areas as well…thank you for todays blog !!as well as all of the others….I have really enjoyed reading them !

-- the dumbest question is the one you dont ask !!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3140 days

#6 posted 09-18-2012 08:32 PM

Sheila thanks for sharing a little from the past with us :-)

well earlyer this week I sneaked opened a door to get away from home just to have something to do
the next four weeks as the handyman on a sort of school after school for the yungest classes
but not so sure I want to make it wide open …... all I have done so far have been housepainter ..LOL
and stand on latters and my feet all day long …. hardly able to walk upstairs to the PC at the evening
I hope they have nightmares over what to do with a handyman for free the next four weeks …. LOL
no complain from me the children is great and they are realy creative in the different shops
from theatre ,sewing ,painting and doing a little woodworking too if they get a little support
its fun to see I´m the new in the class since I go around in blue working tuxedo and not like
the other adults in jeans + what ever :-)
but the children do expect I have time to show them how to use nedle and tread standing on the latter
with paintbucket in my hands …. wonder if they think I´m an octopus….. LOL

take care

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2947 days

#7 posted 09-19-2012 01:50 AM

Take a good look on the one opening is a new adventure however I see it personally on what doors you are in. Sometimes, when I look at the boxes I made, I am already tempted to sell and earn a living out of them but I am still occupied of my current work (employed as a maritime insructor). Losing my career and replacing it with my hobby is a difficult move to think about. At present, que sera que sera que sera, what ever will be will be is the way it is for me. No one knows when I will close that door and open another door. Thanks for the hope you had given me on this blog to look for the new adventure. A nice one to ponder.

Take good care,

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2945 days

#8 posted 09-19-2012 09:27 AM

Thank you Ron! :)

Dennis – You know I love to paint, but painting walls is really back breaking work. I am rather afraid of heights too, so ladders and me are not always friends. I love that you find some good in any situation that you find yourself in. It seems that no matter what comes your way, you take it on with a kind and gentle nature. I admire you very much, my friend. You are a fine example for your beautiful daughter too. I wish the best for you and I hope that something comes your way soon that will be a bit easier on your back.

Bert – I find that the older that I get, the easier it is for me to have the attitude of ‘what will be, will be.’ I have spent so much energy in my young life fighting to move in one direction or another, and many times in the end I wound up in the same place I would have wound up regardless. I suppose it is called ‘mellowing out’ here. But as I get older, I see how that is many times the best path to follow. Yes, the doors are there, but only you know when the time is right to pass through them.

Thank you as always for your insights and thoughts. I have learned a lot from you in these past years and admire your talent and wisdom.

Have a good day! :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics