The Carpenter

A Message From Founder, Billy Cioffredi, PT

A little over a year ago two of our three daughters got married (in the same year). Anticipating wedding showers and the possible hosting of family and friends for these celebrations, we felt it was time to repair our well lived-in home of 38 years. So we had our carpenter Terry and his number one colleague come to work on our home for what felt like a year.

If you have ever had a renovation done, or worked on one yourself, you quickly learn that there is a plan, but it never goes in a straight line. There is always something that is unexpected and you need to solve the problems of the day. It seemed like an epiphany to me when I realized that Terry’s daily life was made up of continual problem solving. A lot of us see ‘problems’ as unpleasant things when things go wrong. But Terry happily went about his day creating solutions. And first-time solutions didn’t always work. Or, the solution seemed to expose yet another ‘problem’. Even on these occasions, Terry was never grumpy or upset. He just seemed to embrace a life of solving problems. It’s not like Terry didn’t have his own challenges in other parts of his life. He did. It was just the way he approached living life.

But there was more. They also built a new room off of the kitchen, an idea I’d had for a while, that would give our home at least one room with a lot of natural light. This was a ‘creation’, literally from the ground up as it was outside of the foundation of the house. So this was the 2nd part of the epiphany. Terry is a regular ‘creator of things’. As one of his hobbies, Terry is restoring a vehicle at home. So when he finishes his day job he goes home and problem solves fixing up this older vehicle, where at the end of it all, he has another creation. What a rich way to live a life. A balance of embracing problems, finding them interesting to solve, and also being the creator of things.

“What a rich way to live a life. A balance of embracing problems, finding them interesting to solve, and also being the creator of things.”

Reflecting on my own life, I realized that the richness of my work is solving problems. Each individual I see has a unique problem to solve. Unlike an inanimate object like wood though, people come with their unique perspective and attitude towards their problems. I’m not only applying my technical skills, but also trying to connect with the person to support them in a way that they can embrace their problem themselves as an equally important part of the care. It’s the ‘caring’ part of the solution.

There is also an aspect of creation; our organization comes to mind. And over the 39 years there has been a lot of problem solving going on as part of that. In my earlier years, I had not always embraced the ‘problems’ there were to be solved, but it has been a vehicle for my personal growth in this journey. I believe the organization will exist as long as we keep creating. That’s the same for a marriage or deep friendship.

My gratitude to my carpenter friend whose way of life has reminded me again that there are two fundamental things I need to bring to my life: Embrace your problems, balanced with the pursuit to keep on creating.

Best wishes,

Dedicated to providing people with the expertise, support, and inspiration to live happier and healthier lives.

This article first appeared in the March 2024 Cioffredi & Associates Newsletter:

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