Hoops of Steel
This rule is about remembering your priorities. And keeping those priorities always tightly close to you. My priorities are my work and my kids. I worry and wonder about them. I love them and they drive me insane.
“Grapple them (friends) to thy soul with hoops of steel.” Which means hang on tight to your friends. Some Shakespeare scholars suggest that hoops is a misspelling — the word should be hooks — as in, grappling hooks, ‘for whoever heard of grappling hoops?’ So, that reading means that Polonius advises Laertes to snag your friends with big masculine steel hooks.
But I like the rounder and more feminine image of encircling friends with hoops — rather than hooks — of steel.
Hoops are like hooped earrings or better yet, the frames of big hooped skirts.
Wear your hoops of steel. Carry them around. Put them on. Keep them on and hold tightly to them. Do not let them go.
Hold fast to your priorities — your hoops made of steel.