Rules To Live By

I enjoy breaking things down so I can use the parts to build or build up something else.

One thing I’ve learned through personal experience – make sure there are no sharp points protruding or you’ll be sorry when you touch / pick it up / move it…step on it.

Ouch!  No matter how many times I remind Self, “Watch out for that board, it has a nail in it”, I invariably forget

  • and stick myself
  • poke myself
  • scratch myself
  • catch my clothes on it
  • or snag my skin with it….

That’s how it is when you tear things down – and when you build things up.  If you’re not careful, you will create an environment that can be injurious – to yourself and to others.

Be sure you take care of all the sharp points.

  • remove them
  • pound them flat
  • bend them
  • cover them
  • dispose of them

Those prickly, pointy things, that once served the purpose of holding together what you’re tearing down can inflict harm and work against you and your goal of recreating what was into what can be / could be / should be.

The same is true whether it’s tearing down a bed foundation or rebuilding a relationship.

Here are some rules that help me steer clear of pointy, sharp-edged things that can skewer me or the tender flesh (or emotions) of others. (Many apply equally to relationships.)

  1. Keep your work area neat. (Be neat.)
  2. Clean up after yourself as you work. (Be responsible)
  3. Stack things out of the way…off the floor if possible. (Don’t create stumbling blocks)
  4. Remove protruding nails / staples, hammer them flat, OR turn the board so nail tips point DOWN and not UP. (Don’t be prickly, take care not to hurt others.)
  5. Don’t leave anything on the floor to trip over. (Don’t be a stumbling block)
  6. Leave no room for accidents. (Care about how your actions affect others)
  7. Be safe, think it through. (Plan ahead)
  8. Measure twice – cut once. (Proceed with caution)
  9. Don’t step on boards / wood. (Watch your step when moving forward)
  10. Don’t mash your fingers or those of others. (Mind boundaries)
  11. Don’t step on nails / staples, or on boards containing them. (Watch your step)
  12. Don’t grab wood with nails / staples protruding. (Keep your hands where they belong)
  13. Just because you think you can doesn’t always mean you can – or should. (Boundaries again)
  14. Keep your mind on your work. (Stay focused on what’s important)
  15. Keep your eye on what you’re hammering. (Pay attention to your own actions)
  16. It will always take longer than you think and involve more resources than you presently have. But, it will be worth it. (Love…need I say more?)
  17. If the hammer head is loose…use a different one. Trust me. (Don’t fly off the handle)
  18. Anticipate the unexpected. (No one’s perfect)
  19. Keep bandaids and alcohol handy. And, pair of pliers. (You hurt others, they hurt you – it happens)
  20. Don’t use a screwdriver as a pry-bar. (Need help? Get the right kind of help)
  21. Remember – if it’s taller or higher than you, it can (and will) fall on you. (It takes two)
  22. Wear shoes. (Take preventative action)
  23. Wear protective eye-wear. (Be proactive)
  24. Check and double-check. (Be watchful)
  25. Always measure twice. Always. (Be cautious)
  26. Put things where they belong. (Be considerate)
  27. Pick it up, don’t lay it down to attend to later. (Deal with problems quickly, don’t let them fester)
  28. While it’s in your hand…deal with it. (Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath)
  29. Keep things handy. (Be available)
  30. Assemble what’s needed BEFORE beginning the task. (Be prepared)
  31. Remember, you only have two hands (Yes, you’re limited in what you can do alone – sometimes it takes two).
  32. Work neat, smart – eyes open and mind engaged – always watching for potential danger / problems. (Be proactive)
  33. You messed it up? That means you clean it up. (Be quick to forgive and to ask for forgiveness)
  34. Cleaning as you go keeps you safe and your work area uncluttered (Be thoughtful)
  35. Work with safety in mind. (Others first)
  36. Finish one project before beginning another. (Be reliable)
  37. Draw up a plan. (Be determined to do what’s necessary to make things work)
  38. Have a set goal in mind. (Be intentional)
  39. Be creative –  not crazy. (Think outside the box and don’t box others in)
  40. Be open to change. (Welcome change)
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