Do It Yourself

So yeah, this happened: I got dressed in grubby clothes, complete with an extra t-shirt to cover my hair, and a face mask and safety glasses and gloves, and I dragged my fat self under my house. Mission: installing insulation on the sub-floor.

I think it’s important to know one’s house from top to bottom, but I’ve never known a crawl space that wasn’t unspeakably gross, and this one is no exception. Despite the extra t-shirt, I was picking spider eggs out of my hair in the shower later that day. Fortunately, the rat poop was at a minimum, but it was still there. And I was blowing fiberglass and dust out of my nose for hours afterward. I knew I would feel it in the morning, and I wasn’t wrong.

Why do I put myself through this? For starters, I’m cheap, and can’t justify paying someone else to do something that I can do myself. But mostly it’s simply because I can, and I’m proud of this. When I was a teenager, I had a summer job with the Youth Conservation Corps and it taught me that I’m capable of a heck of a lot.

My whole life, I’ve been told I couldn’t do things. Because I’m a girl. Because I’m too young or too old or too weak or, well, because it’s just not done. So I used to change the oil in my car myself. I took vacations alone in the woods. I traveled overseas by myself. And I’ve done more than one home improvement project in my day. It does wonders for my self-esteem.

Sooner or later I’ll reach an age where crawling under my house will be foolhardy at best. I can see that time off on the horizon, but it gets a little closer every day. I wonder if I’ll be sad or relieved when that day finally comes?

My advice would be to ignore the naysayers. If you have the brains to learn how to do something (God bless Youtube), and the physical ability to pull it off, then do it yourself as often as you can. You’ll value the results more, and you’ll gain the confidence you need to climb over the next hurdle that crosses your path.

Me under my house.

Check this out, y’all. I wrote a book!

10 thoughts on “Do It Yourself

  1. Carole Lewis

    LOL, I am so proud of you. Rick and I have done so many things in the last 43 years and we still try to do everything ourselves. It is getting so much harder and takes twice the time to get things done. We wouldn’t have it any other way. I think in our previous lives we must have been the first to seek out new places to settle and build. And, in our future lives we will still be exploring new and challenging lands and ways of doing things ourselves. Perhaps, we will meet you, hug, and say “Job well done, Barb.”

  2. lyn sutton

    Glad you’re appreciating your independence while you still have it. When you get old and feeble, it’s the asking for help that’s hardest when you’ve spent your life being the independent doer/ giver. It’s a good day if your own basic needs are met, so all those projects just sit gathering rust and dust. At least I keep my brain dust and rust free by reading your stimulating posts. Only hurdle…reading them with these #^@>&/*! cataracts…but I’ve climbed it. (screen’s set at 133% and max. brightness) 🙂

    1. Hope you have those cataracts dealt with at some point, Lyn. I’d miss you. I’ve had a couple people who have had the surgery and they highly recommend it. And yes, my biggest fear is getting old and becoming so helpless that I have to rely on some indifferent hired stranger to wipe my behind, etc. What a nightmare.

      1. lyn sutton

        Just waiting on my ophthalmologist and insurance to decide it’s time. It’s effecting my perception of color shades and hues and at night I think it’s foggy outside because of the halos around lights.

        I understand your fear but can tell you, having been that hired stranger, I was never indifferent about wiping anyone else’s behind. 🙂

    2. Carole Lewis

      Lyn, I know how you feel. At 75 the hardest part is asking for help. Most times when it is offered I refuse, not to be stubborn, but because eventually the less you do the less you are able to do.
      I agree, Barb’s Blog stimulates and activates areas of my mind that challenges me to try and experience new areas of thought and that helps my mind and body.

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