The Power of Doing It Yourself

This table. Yet another thing that I was able to do due to Steven’s School of Learning to Do Things on Your Own. I attended this school every day for 18 years. I still get lessons from it when I’m home on vacation, but those 18 years were super important. They were the foundation. They taught me the power of being able to do things on my own. They also taught me the power of knowing when help is needed.

You have DIYers that can make the prettiest (insert random craft here)- but that is not the type of DIY I am talking about today. I am talking about not setting limits on what I think I can do because I have never done it before. It is the life lesson that almost ANYTHING is possible- if I just give it a try.

The idea that I am able to do (insert random new thing) comes from those 18 years of daily lessons that my parents gave me. They still come from the random phone calls, texts and FaceTime chats that happen now. I haven’t stopped learning the lessons because I am no longer under their roof- if anything- I appreciate those lessons more.

Now- I cannot pretend to be a parent-but I can say some of the things that have affected my life the most. I am not going to list my top five or ten here- today I am just going to talk about one thing. My parents taught me to be independent and not set boundaries on what I will try and in teaching me that lesson- they also taught me that asking for help does not make me any less independent.

Over the last several weeks- this lesson of independence is something that I have been extremely thankful for. It is an asset in my life and it has, sometimes, been a bit of a curse. Being independent means that I do realize my value, I do realize what I need to do in my life to make it more fulfilling and I do know that that means I will rock the boat some times. But rocking the boat is needed in life. It is needed to make the life that I want and I think it is needed for many others as well. I do not strive to constantly rock the boat, but I do recognize when it is needed.

The second part of that lesson- knowing when to ask for help- is something that is extremely important to any independent minded person. There is a lot I can do on my own. And there is a lot that I will give a shot on my own. I, however, will not try to move a couple hundred pound piece of furniture by myself. I will not barge ahead with plans without thinking them through and asking for advice. Basically what I am saying is that while I will test my limits at all times, I do accept that there are some limits that will exist (whether or not those limits are self-imposed is up for debate).

So yesterday, when I opened my front door to find two huge boxes that held my new patio set, I brushed off this lesson once again, hauled the boxes inside, and tackled putting the table together. Earlier- I had been out front, taking on an unwieldly bush that needed to be trimmed and my neighbor had offered me a random mechanical tool to make it easier. She also said something that stuck with me ‘I knew you were smart and that you could figure this out. I depend on my boyfriend of this stuff’. I had the little tool put together and running in 5 minutes. I had it put together and running because of these lessons. Because of 13 (or so) years of character building sessions each spring. However- I could have decided to not give the tool, that saved me a lot of time, a try-because I can do it myself. There is a fine line of independence and sometimes that fine line just means changing course slightly and going with something you never expected to do, but it just so happens to be exactly what you need.


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