It hurt.

I couldn’t even see the splinter causing the pain, but I knew it was there after grabbing a piece of firewood. Then every time my finger touched anything else, the splinter reminded me it wasn’t going away.

How in the world can something so small be felt in a big way? Then again, when anything hits a nerve—it’s going to stay there unless we deal with it. That’s when I decided to seek help.

“I also have a real problem with those little boogers,” said local splinter removal expert Matt Carter. “Knock on wood I won’t get any more. By the way, what do you call small splinters in your thermal underwear? Long John slivers!”

I decided to ask the local expert if he had any suggestions for getting rid of the little nuisance under my skin.

“Absolutely,” he replied. “Think of splinter removal like a football playbook. I’ve got six plays for you to run and you’ll score a touchdown each time.”

“I’m ready, Coach,” I replied.

“The first play is to use baking soda,” he began to teach. “Add some water to 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to form a paste. After cleaning the area with the splinter, add the paste to the splinter area. Cover with a bandage and leave it for 24 hours. After removing, the splinter should be visible and you can pull it out with tweezers.”

“Well, there’s always baking soda in my kitchen so that’s a possibility,” I replied. “As those in the cooking world say, ‘The arts are not frosting but baking soda.’ ”

“The second play is to use duct tape,” said the local expert. “If you have a splinter slightly sticking out, that sticky stuff will rip a splinter right out!”

“Wow,” I responded. “It’s like the old saying goes, ‘If you can’t fix it with duct tape, you ain’t using enough.”

“The third play involves Epsom Salt,” said Carter. “Soaking that splinter in a little Epsom will draw that sucker out. All you need to do is sprinkle the pad of a bandage with Epsom Salt, and cover it. This will draw out the splinter. If you don’t want to pull it out with tweezers once it’s peeking out, continue adding a new bandage with salt daily and it will eventually fall out.”

“Now that’s interesting,” I told the local expert. “I may even go take an Epsom Salt bath after the splinter comes out.”

“For the fourth play, you’re going need some white or apple cider vinegar,” said the local expert. “Place your splintered finger under some warm water for a minute or so and then soak it in the vinegar for at least 10-15 minutes. It will come out.”

“I hate the taste of apple cider vinegar,” I replied. “But if it helps remove a splinter, I’ll try it if none of the other methods work.”

“As for the fifth play, all you will need is a Band-Aid and a banana,” he said. “First step is to eat the banana. After eating it, cut a small square piece of the peel and place it on the affected area for splinter removal. Secure with a Band-Aid and let it sit overnight,” he continued. “That splinter will easily come up and even stick to that peel itself.

“So, there you have it,” he concluded. “Your playbook for removing splinters.”

“I thought you said there are six plays,” I inquired. “You only gave me five.”

“Oh yeah,” he said. “Forget the above plays and go grab a needle and tweezers without the hassle. That will work too.”

That’s what I did. I decided to grab my tweezers and remove that invisible, little nuisance. Luckily, the tweezers found it, removed it and I shouted, “Rah. Rah. Sis boom bah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.”

And now—for today’s life-learning lesson: We all have splinters in our lives whether we like it or not (and I’m not talking about the little sliver of wood that gets between our skin).

That’s life.

But we have a choice. We can either leave them alone and let the splinters fester for ever and ever. Or we can seek a remedy (next time I’m going to try the banana technique), grab some tweezers and take it out. I already know a few splinters that zap my energy day-to-day that need to come out.

Life is short, my friends. Live abundantly. Love wastefully. And be all you can be.

What are the splinters in your life that you need to remove?

Hmmm….

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