As a Wannabe Retiree, I have many interests as all of you, or at least I assume you do. One of my interests is Do it yourself projects. I haven’t always been very handy and compared to others I am far from it. However, I like to try new things, make new things, “update” my house, and hopefully learn in the process. I feel a real satisfaction when I complete a project and other times I am not happy with what I have done. Sometimes I feel both, depending on what day it is. Knowing that I want perfection, yet can always see the flaws in something makes it hard for me to fully appreciate the finished product or project. Still, I try.
I was thinking about these things while talking to my sons about always striving to learn more. I want them to be better than I was at the young ages of 9 and 10. I don’t want them to be lazy and think that school is the only time to learn anything and so I have them read and use Khan academy to explore and learn outside of the classroom. I take them to national parks to hike, take them on vacations, enroll them in sports, and try to be involved in any way I can so they can learn about themselves and appreciate what life has to offer. I want to give them every opportunity to be the best person they can be.
This is what I needed in my life at their age but unfortunately the opportunities were few and far between. So, I am making up for lost time. I do not have a mentor to teach me about remodeling a bathroom, laying tile, resurfacing cabinets, installing flooring, painting, building furniture, and all the other diy projects I have done or plan to do. I do not have all the tools for all the different jobs and I definitely don’t have unlimited money to spend. What I can do is watch youtube, read blogs, use common sense, borrow or buy the tools necessary, and sometimes muddle my way through certain aspects of the project. Is it cheap? Hell no! Can it be cheaper than hiring someone? Hell yes! Which provides a little more incentive and motivation aside from learning. Can it be more expensive? Sometimes it can be if you make a bad mistake that you cannot fix. I suspect that this is the main reason why many people don’t do their own projects.
I understand peoples trepidation about screwing something up and not being able to fix it. Some may not think it is worth their time to fix, make, or change something. Hell, I feel that way myself before, during, and after a project is done. I get overwhelmed by a projects scope, the cost, and complexity. I focus on little things that don’t go right, how the project is taking too long, and that my body is sore. No matter what though, I am learning. Whether it’s about myself or how to do something new. I enjoy turning something old and unused into something refreshed and useful. I like saving money so that I can save the rest. I like surprising my wife when she may have secretly doubted me (I don’t know if this is true but I do have my own self doubts).
I have never regretted one of my diy projects. I have cursed in anger, ran over budget, scrapped somrthing and started over until I was satisfied or ok with what I had done. Yet after every project or even during the current project, I plan the next one. There is something about using my hands, my brain, my muscles to create something. I am addicted to it because I never thought I would or could do the things I do now. It’s a creative outlet for me. It shows my sons that if you want to do something then you can do it if you try. Rarely, do the projects go smooth or perfect but I am learning, I feel satisfied, and I feel more complete after each one I do.
Please share your thoughts, projects, or ideas on anything you would like. Thanks for reading!