Caution … Staying Safe

ON TUESDAY I WAS GIVEN A TONGUE-LASHING. At first, I responded to the well-meaning reprimand from my friend with the usual head-nodding and agreement—because I do listen to advise, weigh it and then do what what seems best … for me. Occasionally, I will do “dare-devily” kinds of things … but with caution.

But there was much more behind her impassioned plea. She had just lost a dear, long-time family friend to a preventable accident. He and his wife were just beginning a new chapter in their life when his life came to an abrupt end. She was crushed by the senseless and way-too-early death of her friend. And me talking about my gimpiness and hatred for being tethered to a crutch struck a cord.

Her feelings were still very raw as she told me to be more careful. To use my crutch/cane all the time, even if I don’t feel it’s necessary. To think twice—especially before doing those things in my yard that took me off of the ground. Climbing ladders, for example. From reading all my goofy Facebook posts, she knew I took unnecessary risks to take care of my yard and home (mind you, all in the name of saving a buck and getting it done the way I want it done …). Doing things that could cause a preventable accident. As she spoke, my gut reaction were: I’m not that old, I’m careful, I’d never do anything to put myself at risk like that … Right. Never? I do it all the time. Sigh.

She knew I had a tendency to toil beyond the “safe” point … where exhaustion overrides my reflexes and common sense—whether in work or play—and it has led to “minor” incidents (like my sprained ankles and badly wrenched knee and shoulder because I ignored the well-established cautionary red flags in my mind). I’ve worked with power tools in this state—down-right stupid, right? Yes, I see that now.

Her loving rant made me think—to actually take the time to think. To think about how careless I was at times. I’m still thinking about it, which is a good thing. A very good thing. Bless her! She even offered to rally our friends around me to do the cleanups that I need to do (but shouldn’t do) to keep me safe. But, Proud Me refused her—at least for now—as I am utterly embarrassed at how cluttered and run-down my home and yard have become. And this new injury keeps me from doing what needs to be done—yet again—even the stuff on “ground-floor” levels … the safe stuff.

Now (sigh) … to put this “newfound” eureka moment into practice. That is going to take some doing, as I am an extremely independent soul. Oh, yes, extremely so. As she scolded, I thought of all the simple things requiring me to get off the ground (or taking me onto uneven ground): a severely cracked timber (2×4) in the bunny condo needs to be replaced (it’s 8 feet off the ground), gutters need cleaning (sniggle—that was supposed to be done before the rains began!), weeding/pulling/cutting down unwanted plants (ivy, poison oak, weedy bushes)—on the hillside, fixing the fence line, creating a parking area off to the side of my driveway (and moving the fence to accommodate it) … and I can’t forget the CalFire requirements of cleaning up the property of combustible stuff—oh, the list is endless … most definitely.

So … even though I don’t like the idea of “strangers” on my property doing things they way they want to do them, tromping on my fragile hillsides without regard to the erosion it could cause … I must farm-out these less than safe (for me) duties to someone I can trust. It means I’ll not be doing the things that I love (what am I saying—I’m not doing them now!) and I’ll find myself less active—I’ll just have to find something else to do to replace them.

Starting today … well, the great procrastinator in me says next week. But, it will happen. Do you wonder how good are you at keeping yourself safe when you toil at home or work, or when you are driving …? Think back to near mishaps. Could they have been avoided? Perhaps you too need to reconsider how you do things. Join me in changing habits to be safer. Our friends and family will be ever so grateful.

May this Friday and the upcoming week find you safe and blessed beyond belief.