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Monday, August 30, 2010

Hoisted by my own Petard

I think I finally figured out my biggest obstacle for learning to do new things and become more self sufficient.

It's ME!!!!!

I realized this the other day as my neighbor was explaining to me what I needed to do to build an arbor to hold up my wisteria. I had the best of intentions - I fully intended on doing the work myself. But he started talking about 4x4's and 1x2's and wood screws and crossbeams and supports....and well, I could feel my eyes glazing over. Literally. Then I found myself staring at the roses and thinking I really needed to prune them, and perhaps I should take a ham out to defrost for la la...

So here's what I pictured in my mind as he was explaining how to build this thing.

And here's what he actually ended up building for me.

I should have been able to do this for myself. It wasn't a difficult project. So why is it that my mind just shuffles off when it's time to learn how to do something? I refuse to believe it has anything to do with me being a woman. I will admit that some men seem to be better equipped than some women to handle these sorts of tasks. But not once have I ever been in the middle of project and had to stop and say "Now, where did I put that penis?" It's not a matter of being a girl. I think it comes from spending my whole life with a man around who would take care of these things.

I went from my fathers house to my husbands house to my next husbands house with very little time in between. And I always had male friends who would help out with things. Prior to getting my home I had an apartment and there was a maintenance guy that took care of everything. I have never HAD to do anything on my own and never had the desire to do it. I can distinctly recall a number of occasions where my dad would be fixing something and he would explain to me what he was doing and I would just smile and nod and let it go in one ear and out the other, because I knew I wasn't going to have to do it.

Well, look where that has gotten me. Now zoning out has become automatic and I can't seem to prevent it from happening. At the same time, I was able to look at pictures in a book and build my upright garden trellises with no problem. Am I going to have to resort to figuring out how to do things by reading about them? It's entirely possible. And that's not a completely bad thing. But it's so much EASIER to let someone else do things for me.

It's amazing what you learn about yourself when you decide to head off into a new and previously unexplored direction. I always thought I was pretty self sufficient, but I'm discovering that I really do rely on the kindness of others to help me to keep things running and in working order.

My father is coming to visit and help me fix the guest room toilet in two weeks. I can hardly wait.

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