Many things stop us from tackling projects around the house. Most of the time they are perfectly sound, reasonable reasons: time, money, safety. However, I know I have a few fears that are silly and probably completely unfounded. I can’t always explain what gave me this fear, but I fear them anyway. I’m pretty sure all of us have fears like this that we may be a little embarrassed to admit because we know how silly it sounds.
Silly sounds like a good Wednesday activity so here you go:
Laurie’s DIY Fears
Public Humiliation – you probably think, “Well, we are ALL afraid of that!” but mine is pretty specific. I hate getting on a ladder in the front yard to do the gutters or anything off the ground. I’m not afraid of falling. I’m not afraid of landing when I fall. I’m afraid of falling in front of my neighbors. I’m afraid they’ll rush over to see if I’m OK (because they are nice people and would be concerned). I don’t know if it goes back to that British-ancestry-stiff-upper-lip that has gotten me in so much trouble before. “Don’t mind that bone sticking out of the skin, I’m fine. I’m just going to crawl over here and shake it off. Please don’t make a fuss.”
Finding Something Hideous – fear of the unknown is pretty common and probably a pretty good survival instinct. I can also admit that if I opened something up and found a nest of spiders (it’s awful to even TYPE that!) I’d probably just move out. What I seem to be afraid to find is a goofy work-around someone else screwed up and hid within a wall or floor. I have enough of my own knots to un-tie, I don’t want to tackle anyone else’s knots. This fear is very closely related to Getting in Over My Head except that it is a stupid fear because I can totally blame someone else and then you have everyone else’s sympathy.
Making People Shake Their Head – this is related to the fear of Making it Worse and Getting in Over My Head which are all valid fears. However, I am not as afraid of the latter two as I should be and more afraid of the first which is just silly. It all comes back to that, “Oh God don’t let anyone notice and talk about me!” isn’t it? A sensible person would ask, “Why do you blog about all this then you fool?” Well sensible person, thanks for being kind of harsh, but actually, I’m a believer in facing silly fears head on. If it doesn’t have a rational core, such as keeping me safe, then it is just preventing me from experiencing something new.
Loosing Steam – I love to plan projects and I love to have projects done. I’m not a huge fan of all the work. I think that is a perfectly reasonable way to think. It does mean that projects are sometimes very hard for me to finish because I’m just not motivated. The desire to have it done isn’t always stronger than the desire to go watch a Doctor Who marathon. I realize this is a character flaw. I’m working on it. Right after this episode of Doctor Who.
Sharp Things – I guess I’ve gotten poked enough I’m really nervous about doing anything that might make sharpness like breaking a mirror. I don’t even like carrying knives across the kitchen when anyone else is in the kitchen. This scene in Mad Men is what I’m always afraid what will happen when I’m holding anything sharp.
Fear of Not Realizing it Sucks – this doesn’t really make sense because if I like it and it is what I was trying to do then it should be considered a success. There is this nasty little voice though that says, “You did something goofy and no one is telling you.” I hate that nasty little voice but I also hate when it is right.
Fear of Succeeding – I relish the pleasure of a job well done but have you ever had those people who act like your success is somehow due to a flaw in your character? You know the type, “Wow, I wish I had extra time to spend on my floors.” “Geez Laurie, you need to get a life.” Because these are ridiculous ways to tear someone down and they don’t deserve to be given any energy I don’t take what they are saying to heart. However, sometimes I just don’t have the energy to ignore them and I just don’t even want to admit I’ve accomplished anything. Some of these people are so good with these backhanded compliments that you don’t even realize what has happened until you find yourself apologizing for doing something well.
Fear of the Tools – I’m not saying I’m afraid of all my tools, I’m just creating a generalized tool category. I’m a little afraid of power saws in general because the phrase “kick back” is a very scary phrase to try to understand. My most irrational tool fear is my fear of axes. Fortunately I don’t see axes used very often in DIY because I’m genuinely very nervous around them. You can thank “Where the Red Fern Grows” for that one. If you don’t know the reference, you can Google it. It looks like there are even YouTube videos but I’m not watching them.
Anyone else have irrational fears of DIY? Tools that you give a wide berth? C’mon. Don’t leave me hanging out there alone.