Fixing something entails the perfect mix of concrete and abstract thought. Plumbing works a certain way. So does a car engine. But within that framework comes a good deal of trial and error. Tightening. Loosening. Using a chewed up Tootsie Roll to affix a broken tail pipe. True story. I grew up living in houses that were in the renovation process for on average about 2-3 years. My parents never bought a house that didn't need work and most of that work was not only cosmetic but structural. Looking back, we were an HGTV show before there was HGTV. My grandfather on my dad's side, Fa was a carpenter from Norway. He could build and fix just about anything. He always had a workshop behind the house or in the garage. And whether it was plumbing, electrical work, woodwork, brick, cement, roofing, you name it, he knew how to do it. When my dad and his brother would goof around and break lamps, put holes through the walls, break windows, they had to fix everything. Fa would hand them the tools and say, ""get to work."" From the time I was a toddler, I knew how to work a drill, hammer a nail, and hold a wrench for my dad as he was working on a leaky sink. I was the first to show my friends how to use compound wax to buff out a dent on their parent's car, patch up drywall, and convincingly glue back breakables after a raging party. I've called upon all these skills as the Dude and I have had places of our own, all of which have required a lot of work. Turns out the Dude excels at plumbing! When it comes to home repair, we all have our specialty. Having an understanding of how things work, and basic home repair has been not only invaluable, but has made owning a home a lot less nerve wracking. While we all can't learn first hand, there are so many resources available from books, to YouTube videos to walk you through basic home repair problems. I'll say this, don't mess with electric yourself. Promise. I've seen my dad get shocked and it's not great. Hire someone for that.
I'll share three different fixit based daily practice ideas with you today, along with a more standard These Three Things prompt related to home repair. All ideas can be mixed and matched. Carried on consecutively, or out of order. Just start somewhere.
1. Learn a System. Get to know how an entire system really functions. This can be done with a car, motorcycle, sink, toilet, stove, even something simple like a door hinge. Research a little bit each day about how each part functions. How they work together, and where vulnerability in the system can exist. Wouldn't it be fun to help out a friend the next time they have car trouble? My guess is your popularity would soar.
2. Master one small thing. Chose something in your home or apartment and learn how to fix it. Whether it is holes in your drywall to a leaky sink, figure out how to make it right from beginning to end. There is no telling for sure how many days this could cover. Maybe 2, maybe 20, but when you figure out one problem, move on down to the next.
3. Maintenance. Did you know that household fixtures require regular maintenance in order to work their best? Most of us don't do it, but that's really the best way to keep all of our appliances, woodwork and furniture looking its best. Small acts of regular maintenance go along way in promoting the sustainability of our surroundings. One by one, choose something in your home and learn how to maintain it. Wooden cabinets should be cleaned and oiled at least twice a year. Mattresses turned every few months. Hardwood floors soaped and oiled twice a year. Keep on track on a calendar as you move along. Martha Stewart has some great resources on this kind of stuff.
Fixit Related Prompt
Name three things you would fix right now. They can be reality based or magical. I'll begin.
1. Coronavirus. Duh.
2. Inequity. Duh.
3. The sink in my studio bathroom. I've tried a million times to get it to stop leaking. Time to get a new sink.
What did you learn today? Join me by using the #thesethreethings and commenting below with your own These Three Things. I want to hear what you are learning, laughing about, and living through.