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Tuesday, April 23, 2013


What I learned about living from a chainsaw

The first time I used a chainsaw, I had to go to a chiropractor afterwards. 

I borrowed a neighbor’s saw, fired it up and began cutting.   I cut and cut and cut working at that thing for a long time.  Finally the tree fell and when I turned off the saw, my arm was tingling and numb.  I’d pulled something in the effort!

On another day, my brother-in-law helped cut down and cut up a tree in just minutes.  I told him my story, and he said the chain must have been dull.  “Sharpen it or buy a new one next time,” was his advice. 

The story made a broader lesson for me than just tree trimming.  If life is more labored than necessary, here’s what I learned.

  1. Turn off the chainsaw:  Stop.  Be still.  It cannot be fixed while still in motion.
  2. Remove the chain from its housing:  Get away from the work environment.  For me, this is my dock.  It’s a quiet place on the pond out back.  Pausing and removing myself from work automatically places me in another frame of mind.  In that separation, it’s not uncommon to see what needs to be done differently…but more about that in another blog entry.  I’ll give it a rest for the day.

1 comment:

  1. That time on the dock does make for a sharp man! I often have to walk away and come back too...the key is being still, and that is not my natural first instinct.

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