I have a story for you, if I may.

Last Thursday I asked my wife if she’d take a look at my foot because I was having problems seeing if it was bruised or not. She looked at it, said it looked like it was bruised a little, and that we should keep an eye on it. And that was that.

Actually, no it wasn’t. About 10 minutes later she stood at the door of my office and asked me what I did to my foot. I kind of looked down and said that I had hurt it. She asked me how, which I really didn’t want to answer.

I finally said that I had first tripped over a sneaker in the bedroom when reacting to the phone ringing, that I fell forward and first hit my knee on the edge of the door, then as I was going down to the ground trying to protect my upper body from the rest of the door my foot hit the door even harder. The rest of my body handled the hit quite well; my foot, not so much.

She took a beat then said “I told you that having shoes laying in the middle of the floor would hurt you one of these days.”

I said “But that’s the first time in 12 years I’ve ever tripped over any shoes.”

She said “It was bound to happen.”

There are 3 ways to look at a story like this. One, you could say “Wow, is Mitch clumsy.”

Two, you could say “Wow, worrying about something every day that took 12 years to happen and only happened once seems a bit obsessive.”

Three, you could say “This is why we have to stay on top of things because you never know when disaster could strike.”

If we dismiss the first one (not because I might not be clumsy, but because my clumsiness doesn’t get us anywhere except my hurting myself all the time) we can concentrate more on the other two.

For the second one, because it happened to me I was pretty much ready to dismiss it as a one time thing. After all, I’m usually pretty good at keeping my shoes at the edges, if you will, so that I can’t trip on them unless I was intentionally trying to do it. However, I don’t always do it, which now has proven to be potentially dangerous, and being diabetic I’m supposed to take care of my feet better. I have another injury on my right foot (this time it was the left) from November that’s slowly healing that I have no clue where it came from, which highlights the potential dangers to my feet if I’m not careful.

For the third one, even though initially I didn’t think so because it involved me, I realized it’s absolutely the way to go for many reasons.

One, if we never address things until the problems are right in front of us they’re harder to fix.

Two, we never know when teaching moments might arise by being vigilant at all times.

Three, we never know when we might find a smarter way to do something (we actually have a shoe rack on the back of that same door that, if I’d use it, I’d be fine all the time).

Four, we never know what other problems could arise from the first problem because we didn’t have our eyes open (falling in general wasn’t much fun, or a good thing).

And five, if long term stress can be avoided by working smarter, everyone’s happier (a week later my foot still hurts, though the worst is over).

Oh, I guess there’s a six; you won’t have your spouse looking at you with that smug expression. 🙂

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