Some mistakes can’t be avoided. Like dropping a bowling ball on your foot. If you knew you were going to drop the ball, you would have taken your foot out of the way.
But many of the mistakes we make, or at least the ones I make, could have been avoided with a little thought and patience.
Here are 15 of the things that, over the years, I have had to learn the hard way:
• When buying a refrigerator, first measure the doors at home that you intend to bring said refrigerator through.
• When pushing 20 feet of pipe through a wall cavity from your basement, don’t stick your head under it to look at it out of curiosity.
• When assembling plastic pipe coming off a water heater, make sure all the pieces are glued together before turning the water on.
• You shouldn’t talk trash about someone else, but at the very least, make sure he isn’t standing behind you when you do it.
• When cutting insulation from around a wire with a utility knife, cut away from yourself, not toward yourself.
• An apology can’t always fully retract a hurtful word better left unsaid.
• Nails don’t always need “one last tap.”
• When tapping on a clogged cast iron pipe with a hammer, bring an umbrella.
• When exchanging practical jokes with the police chief, you can never “get even.”
• If you feel like you might be sick, heading home is a better choice than the shopping mall.
• There is a limit to the incline that a riding lawn mower can handle.
• When your wife asks you to select clothing for her, don’t do it.
• If you poke the end of the catsup bottle into your pork fritter and squeeze till the breading balloons to the size of a softball, make sure no one is sitting across the table from you when you bite into it.
• When working for your dad, volunteer for jobs you don’t like to avoid getting stuck with jobs you truly hate.
• Finally, when your boss suggests you might have stepped in something foul, don’t check the bottom of your shoe by scraping it across the top of his.
I’m sure there are lots of other mistakes I’ve made the hard way, and some will likely repeat themselves.
That’s the great thing about experience. It lets you know what a mistake is when you’ve made it again.
© Copyright 2013 by David Porter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. No mistake about it.