How Learning DIY Ruined My Life

OK, that might be a little melodramatic. It hasn’t actually ruined my life but it does leave you with a filter that makes you see things differently.

I started thinking about this when a friend commented on my post where I examine the multitude of little things done crappily in my house. My micro-examination of details appears to have kicked in that filter as she looked around her home.

Up to hearing you point out your trim finishing flaws, I never would have paid mine a second glance. Now, I am overwhelmed with layers of incompetencies in what used to be my darling little home.

This made me feel a little bad. I’ve been to her house and it IS darling! But the moment I started learning how to do things around the home, I became aware of when it ISN’T done well. That can’t be helped. It appears, she now has this filter and you can never give it back. Sorry!

You all have a filter of this sort. Depending on what you do for a living or for a hobby, you all know how something is done well and when you see it being done poorly, you can’t help but start ticking off the things that are wrong.

For example, during a customer service interaction, I notice when they don’t acknowledge my feelings or offer a solution. I have a friend who sings and whose mother is a singing teacher and she notices when singers “noodle” to mask weak vocals. Have you ever worked retail? Empty shelves make me shudder.

We all have knowledge that gives us a peek behind the scenes.

This can get distracting. The DIY thing has been especially disruptive for me. Someone will be speaking to me and I’m focused on the crooked thermostat on the wall over their shoulder.


Today I’m sitting at my desk, trying to ignore the seam that runs down the middle of my desk. It isn’t the seam that bothers me, it is the jagged cut that keeps drawing my attention.

I just keep thinking, “if only they had used a finer blade on the saw or taped the edge, that chipping might not be that bad.”

What makes you shake your rage fist?



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7 Responses to How Learning DIY Ruined My Life

  1. Sue says:

    For me, it is like the breaking of a sound proof, glass wall. And I hear self-consciousness.

    You “hear” the shattering and then can see and hear all the little things that you didn’t before.

    My hubby, though he seems secure and self-confident, suffered greatly growing up with a learning disability. That, combined with infants for parents, made him feel very stupid in those important years. Now he likes to demonstrate his knowledge, and likes to use very specific jargon when it’s really not appropriate, in my opinion. I didn’t notice this at first; I really don’t know what I heard. After 12 years of married life and more in dating, I’m so tired of it. I don’t like that he tries so hard.

    I think I went overboard … but I guess I’m a psychologist at heart, and that’s my DIY.

    Also, I hate when people place nails in places and hurt beautiful molding. I love molding.

    • LoveThisSpace says:

      I’ve had a similar circumstance Sue. It’s probably why I’ve never been too sensitive around prickly people. I know what the origin of that behavior is. Also, for me, it’s staples. They just look lazy.

  2. Amy says:

    Meh, don’t feel bad! Have you seen the staircase trim? Seriously. They only put trim on the bottom three steps! At that, the trim is only on the top of the step! I’d pull off the trim but am afraid of dire consequences.

  3. Jana says:

    While I love/hate DYI remodeling — the worst thing about it is that you KNOW what you did wrong! No one else may ever notice, but YOU know it’s there and not perfect. Especially with those very early projects, when I was just learning, I wish I could go back and re-do them. One thing I have learned is that if you are feeling iffy about something when doing it, then take a break, take a step back, and re-evaluate. Because while it might be a bit of extra work or money to “make it perfect” — it’s worth it in the long run and will save many nights of looking at that flaw and beating yourself up for not fixing it when you could.

    That being said — I am also attempting to be more forgiving and lenient with myself. I saved literally thousands and thousands of dollars doing DYI jobs and, overall, they look good (a million times better than what they were before). I need to get better about giving myself a pat on the back and just enjoying those new living spaces.

    • LoveThisSpace says:

      It’s especially worse when you spend the money on a professional and they do it sub-par. That seems to be my experience so often. It wasn’t done well AND it I didn’t save any money.

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