Stephanie C Brown

I Thought I could Not – Then I Did

Is there something you want done but are sure you can not do? You might be surprised if you decided to do it yourself. I have been many times. When I was forty, I was sure I could not buy a Christmas tree, unload it, saw off the bottom, bring it into the house, and get it into a stand relatively straight. Tonight at seventy-five, I did all the above. I am not advocating you become self-reliant – just do not be quick to think you can not do what you want. Perhaps you can not, but perhaps you can.

It is no wonder I did not realize all the things I can do. I have a sister three years older than I and a brother a year and a half older. Of course, they could do more things than I could because they were older, but I did not consider that when I was growing up. I just thought I could not do anything. My mother was impatient and often told me to just get out of the way and she would do it. Then at eighteen I married a man who did everything.

In the twenty-five years I have been alone, I have done many things I thought I could not. Some were out of stubborness. My ex-husband is a pipefitter. When I needed a new faucet I was determined to do it myself without his help. I accomplished it with the help of a very kind plumber who answered his phone late in the evening and talked me though it. Some were because I did not have the money to hire it done. My brother believed in my abilities before I did. Often when I had no money to hire help, he convinced me I could do it myself. He has talked me through many DYI projects.The more I did, the more confidence I gained.

I no longer think of myself as someone who always needs help. Before I say I can not do something, I think it through. I do not just assume I can not. Now because I am older and not as broke, I usually call someone, even for some projects I know I can do. I have learned to ask myself even if I could, why would I. The things I did tonight I did because I am self-isolated so did not want anyone else in my house. I feel good knowing instead of agonizing over how I would get a tree up, I just did it.

If this inspires you, use some common sense. Do not try to do things physically harder than you can handle. The importatnt thing is do not let voices from the past or present limit you.

Disclaimer: I do not always use common sense. Do not try this at home.

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