Skip to main content

Measure twice, cut once

I hate to admit it, and I probably wouldn't if so many of my friends are...well, let's say that getting older and making stupid mistakes seems to be happening more frequently. Please note that I want you all to know that I, for one, have made stupid mistakes on many occasions throughout my life. But, okay, I admit it, I'm making more stupid mistakes now. My friends are making more mistakes.

And here's what I think. What I think is, we don't think. We're used to acting on certain things without giving those actions much thought because in the past they never seemed to require that "moment's pause." Even if we screwed up in the past we didn't fear it was a trend. We didn't think it would happen again. There was a confidence in what we did.

But the other day as a friend of mine made what she acknowledged was a stupid mistake and began to recount a series of them over the past few days which then prompted me to recall a series of my own stupid mistakes over the same past few days, it suddenly dawned on me that I can no longer take actions for granted. I can no longer do things without at least a moment's pause. A moment of conscious thought. It's not such a big thing. It doesn't take all that much extra time. I think it's more a matter of realizing this is something I need to do which means I can't operate the same way I did way back when.

Then I decided that it would have probably been a good thing throughout my life to have taken a moment's pause before acting on something or saying something only to realize I screwed up. I've misplaced my glasses, my keys, my purse...the list could go on and on...and, yes, that happens more frequently now, but had I paid a bit of attention to what I was going to say or where I put something, it would have always been a good thing.

I'm reminded of a tip a friend of mine gave me a few years ago that has truly been a godsend. I went over to her house to pick up some soup she had made me but I stayed to visit for awhile. She wanted to be sure I didn't forget to take the soup home and I told her with what was probably false assurance that I wouldn't forget it. She held out her hand. "Give me your car key". I gave her a puzzled look but gave the key to her. She promptly put my key in the fridge on top of the container of soup. Simple. Brilliant. I now do it all the time. I have everyone I know do it when there are things they have to take from my home. Young, old, it doesn't matter. It's a surefire reminder.

An extra moment. That's really all it takes. A bit of thought. A plan of action. Measure twice, cut once. It's not only a way of making sure about what you're doing. It'll save you/me so much time in the end.


  1. oops, I think I deleted my comment. If I'm repeating myself, chalk it up to one of today's mistakes!!
    What I am thinking is that most of what you said so well was about human nature mistakes that plague us all. When I was sixteen, I would walk into a room and wonder what I had come in for...Now I don't know what room I went into!!!!!
    Heavier instances of thoughtless mistakes, to me, are things that insult or hurt friends or family. If we all thought of the other person/people's feelings and reactions, perhaps we would be more generous of thought!!!
    My post-party-em philosophy of the day. :>}


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

My friend asked me to pose nude for her...

The other day C. called. She has always been an avid photographer and she's really good. I have one of her photos on my wall. Anyway, she told me she was going off for a weekend course in how to photograph people in the nude. Older people. In particular, older women. I waited. I didn't have to wait long. I had my "no" at the ready. When she did ask me if I would pose for her I thought it would be rude to just say "no." What I did say was that the day I can get dressed facing the mirror rather than with my back to it, I would consider it. Notice, I was careful not to say anything definitive. Here's the thing. Like plenty of you out there I have a hang-up about my body. It's not a bad body, especially given that it's an older body. And I'm not going to list the various parts of my body that I particularly have a hang-up about because...well, it would be a long, boring and familiar list. But I really wanted to show my support for C.'s

Thank God you can pick your friends!

My husband and I are about to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of very special friends. We met Ted and Deanna 36 years ago and we've stayed strongly connected through a number of moves (ours not theirs), illnesses, life's many ups and downs. We've shared sad times and joyous times. We've traveled together, spent wonderful visits at each others' homes. I'm sure we must have shared thousands of meals together. Thousands of laughs. They've always, ALWAYS been there for us and we have always tried to be there for them. History. We have a deep and meaningful shared history. J. and I are  truly blessed to have a wonderful group of close friends and we value them all. But there are very few couples I've known and loved longer than this very special couple. You can't pick your blood relatives but thank God you can pick your friends. From the very first time we all met, J and I picked them. We were couples with young families. We were in the first dec

You can take the girl out of The Bronx, but...

Well, you know the rest. I have to confess for a long time I really tried to get rid of The Bronx. For a long time after that I thought I had. And for a long time I felt good about it. I'd escaped. No one could tell by my speech, my look, my style, etc. I used to love to hear, "You're from The Bronx? I'd never have guessed." And it's more than that. It's escaping a past that didn't fit in with my fantasy of who I wanted to become, who I wanted to be. It was an escape from a certain social class, an escape from parents whose customs, manners, interests felt alien to me - or maybe the truth was I wanted them to feel alien to me. I wanted to be my own creation!  But deep down I knew the truth. I knew it and it bothered me. I felt like there was really no escape. Not from The Bronx. Not from the lower income class that shaped me. Not from a mother who loved a bargain more than almost anything. And it bothered me. But lately something has changed. It&