For many years I didn’t consider myself a handy person. Using a screw driver was about as extreme as I got and that might be a stretch. Then, I went and married into an extremely handy family. They did all kinds of stuff DIY. I had no choice but to learn.

My first memories of considering myself a DIY kind of guy was when Marixa and I bought our first house. I did a sales job on her to get her to buy that house in the first place. It was very rough and ripe for some improvements. For some reason I thought we could do it. Never mind the part about not being handy at all.

I remember that several fans and light fixtures needed to be put up in the house after we moved in. I had zero idea of how to do it, so Marixa asked her dad to show me how. As he put the first one up I remember thinking to myself, “Is that it?!” It wasn’t long after and I was installing everything myself. So thankful for a patient father in law who showed me the way!

Fast forward a few years and we are in a different house and we wanted a bench for a breakfast nook. I had come far enough by this point that I took measurements and built it from scratch. I was really proud of that one. It was built into the wall and gave us a lot of extra seating, but the coolest thing was it was a permanent addition that I had made to the house…and it looked really good.

A few years ago we went with Marixa’s family to get wood from the old family farm. There was a cool old barn that had to be taken down and we went to harvest the wood off of it. One of the things we found out there was a panel from an old wagon. We don’t know how old, but from looking at it it had to be very old. We didn’t know what we would do with it, but thought it would be a good piece to keep for later.

Last year, after a few years of it sitting around we finally figured it out…a potting bench. So, we went to Lowe’s and got the needed wood for the body of the table. I designed and measured it out and we used the wagon board as the table top. In the end it was a very sturdy, and heavy, table that Marixa will be able to use from years to come to create beauty in our back yard. It is also extra special because it is part of her family legacy that we were able to turn into something new.

Being handy for me come fairly natural now, but that is only because I decided to start with something small and work my way into it. If you had told me all those years ago that I would have built several pieces of furniture and fixed many things around the house I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Now, I feel confident I can take care of most anything I face.

I am certain that the approach I took with this applies to so many other parts of life. We aren’t naturally good at much. It takes loads of practice and failing to get better at things. It takes trying and trying and trying to get further along the path.

Is there something you want to learn to do? Go start doing it. Those little steps you take will turn into bigger steps tomorrow and pretty soon…you will be able to build things that look good even though you used to have concerns about properly using a screw driver.

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