DIY or Die Trying

March 8, 2013
By: ACP
Icicles on roof

DIY or Die Trying

In the few months I’ve relinquished the title of “wife” to “single mom,” each week presents a new challenge in navigating uncharted territory.

Since establishing residence in an apartment complex full of like-minded folks, I’ve learned that there are a few things I used to take for granted ­— specifically, addressing necessary repairs to my residence or my vehicle.

For example, there is a wooden board that fits in the track of my patio door to prevent it from opening. It’s there because the lock is broken and the building manager has never fixed it. The exhaust fan in my bathroom sounds like a freight train. Even though said manager has visited twice to address the problem, all he succeeded in doing was replacing the decorative cover vs. getting to the root cause, a broken motor.

The rain gutter running above my garage leaks like a sieve. In the winter, melting ice drips to the ground below and freezes. The buildup prevents the garage door from staying down half the time. The rest of the time I purposely stop it from closing all the way to the ground for fear of the seal freezing to the asphalt. This happened one morning and prevented access to my car, triggering an apoplectic fit in my youngest whose biggest fear is being late for school.

My point is that when I was married, I never worried about any of these things. My ex is a handy guy who always addressed things before they became bigger issues while I lived my life, blissfully ignorant of potential catastrophes that never saw the light of day. Now I’m more conscious of potential and real problems and have to be forward thinking in having a backup plan. Instead of defaulting to relying on professionals or the kindness of strangers, I’m researching how to rectify things on my own. I’ve Googled “How to fix a patio door lock,” “recommended tire pressure for a Toyota Rav4” and “how to replace an exhaust fan motor.” A year ago, these things weren’t on my radar. Today, they are part of my new normal.

The trick now will be to overcome my fear (and a slight lack of motivation) to go beyond Googling to actually address these issues in a concrete way. As I’ve said before here, I like DIY projects, but I like the thought of them more than I like the actual execution. However, I intend to change that.

What about you? What kinds of DIY projects have you tackled? What are you proud of? What DIY project should you have left to a pro? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time…

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