I’ve just passed the first anniversary of being laid off from my job and to celebrate, I’m paying attention to how I’ve changed, what I’ve learned about myself, and what I’ve accomplished in this year of freedom and discovery. One thing that feels different about the me I am now is that I don’t seem so scared about stuff. For example, I recently discovered that I need to replace my water heater. It’s not leaking at the moment, but I can tell it’s boiling on borrowed time. So to avoid having scalding water flood my living room and ruining my carpet, my piano, etc., I need to be proactive, pronto!
In the past, I would have felt a huge amount of anxiety about this, especially since I have no real income at the moment and it’s going to cost several hundred dollars, at least. But I don’t feel anxious. It just seems like something to do, and I have a feeling that it’s all going to work out fine. The money is there right now, and I have a feeling that money will continue to be there when I need it. I also have a feeling that this project is going to be fun.
That’s because one of the things I’ve learned about myself this year is that I just love repairing things – small appliances, simple plumbing, etc. (One of my proudest accomplishments is that I disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled the carburetor on my lawnmower for the first time!) I enjoy analyzing problems and figuring out how to fix them. And I like playing with (non-power) tools. But I’m also not stupid. And this isn’t my first home repair rodeo. I know these things are rarely as simple as you think they’ll be. It’s not like those paint commercials where they say, “Hey, Honey! Let’s paint this dull old living room!” And that same evening, after what looks like a fun, easy, and amazingly clean workday, they’re laughing and dancing as they entertain friends in their newly refurbished digs. Well, I’ve painted the living room and I can tell you, it’s not fun, it’s not easy, it’s definitely not clean, and couples who do it together can pretty much forget being on speaking terms by the end of the day, much less dancing!
But I’m still looking forward to installing this water heater. And if Bob & I are still speaking, maybe we’ll go out dancing afterward!