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The Hardwood Personality Factor

Mar 4th 2020 at 2:56 PM

Sometimes I look at life through metaphors.

Maybe it's weird, maybe it's normal. I don't know. Blame my fourth grade teacher for making me think I could be a writer. Blame the hours and hours on my dad's x86 in the middle of the night, forging new pathways and learning to perfect the comparison.

So when I look at my hardwood floor, I don't just see a hardwood floor.

It can be a broad mystical plane intersection the dimensions of upstairs and downstairs. It can be the great desert separating my couch-formed self from a snack in the fridge.

More often, the things around me become metaphors for myself.

So, when I tell you that polyeurathane is important, I hope you'll understand why.

Wood is natural. Hardwood floor is wood. Even if it's not actual hardwood, it's at least a picture of hardwood printed on a very compelling forgery.

That broad, flat plain can be the strength of our foundations. Or the sometimes slippery social platform that we are expected to navigate every day at work or play, and every night at home.

We see this broad flat plane as ourselves. Our foundations. We have something strong, fresh, and natural to begin. It has texture and uniformity, but it also has unseen depth and a capacity for limitless potential.

Then life happens.

We get dirty. We get trod upon. We even get scuffed or, in extreme cases, splintered.

When you look at it like this, our hardwood floor has a pretty miserable existence. Life is hard. Wear is hard. To be constantly trod upon gets tiring, even if we feel that's actually our purpose in life.

So what's a floor to do? We can always clean the beams. We can sand down until we find a floor as pristine as when it was new. In the worst case, we can always pry up the bad pieces and try to match today's fashion into yesterday's stock.

But every sanding takes a toll. Replacing boards is almost impossible to do without some telltale signs after the replacement. Even the simple act of cleaning can leave the floor bloated or peeling.

But not everyone's floor needs this kind of harsh treatment. Some floors take water without complaint. Some floors endure an impact that would have splintered or at least scuffed other floors in the same circumstances.

So what's different? Is it harder wood? Sometimes. Is it a slow wood, that is less porous and thus resistant to moisture? Perhaps.

But preparation beats all the intrinsic factors as soundly as a pro player at recess.

We find ways to buffer ourselves. We find ways to create a protective layer that foils the bumps and scrapes and attempted to shatter that which keeps us grounded.

For your floor, the answer is simple. You seal the wood early, and reseal it often. Whether you have the time and money to go high grade or medium grade in the product you use, Streetshoe vs Bona Traffic, you will get more protection than if you went without.

For us as individuals, this preparation is inspiration, aspiration, and resilience.

If only it was so easy to just roll it on with a paint brush.

But no, what we need is the gentle guiding hands of a peer or mentor that has come before.

For most of this, that's mom and dad. For some of us, it's that one teacher that made us stop and think.

What we do with the information, though, is up to us.

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