I cant remember the last time I caught a cold, but I have one now. Its not the worst Ive had, but its affected my work in the shop.
I used to get colds just like anyone else usually maybe once a year or so. But for some reason Ive managed to go at least five years without one. My wife changed teaching jobs twice during that timeframe, and interacting with so many new kids meant she was bringing a cold home maybe twice a year during that same period. Somehow, I was lucky enough not to get one from her. But now I have one.
Colds come in different varieties from mild to terrible, from head colds to chest colds, from colds that primarily make you sneeze to colds that mostly give you a headache. This one came with stuffy sinuses and a mild sore throat, plus its making me feel just plain dopey and like everythings in slow motion. As a result Ive made some equally dopey shop errors like marking a cutline and then cutting on the wrong side of it. More than once. Im fumbling things, and forgetting where Ive set tools down (more than usual, I mean). I dont know if this is all because its been so long since Ive had a cold that its impacting me this way, or if its related to the fact that Im getting older, or maybe both.
This has gotten me to thinking about how shop-safe I am right now, and my conclusion is, not very. It also has me thinking about those warnings on the cold medicine box something Ive rarely worried about in the past especially the one about using machinery.
So Ive decided to take it easy in the shop for a while. No machinery, no major cutting of irreplaceable materials (including the hands holding those materials), not even any big decisions regarding which direction a design will go on the table Im making. It can all wait. For the next few days Im just doing chore stuff like shop cleaning and maintenance, maybe some light sanding, or maybe Ill inventory my hardware and supplies, which is something Ive been meaning to do.
In the past Ive never really had this option. Getting a cold just meant sucking it up and getting back to work, not always with the best results. But back then I wasnt working for myself. As my own boss, Ive made a cogent business decision to take it easy and thus avoid damage to critical workpieces and critical body parts. I can always put in extra time next week to make up for any time I lose now.
Till next time,