I like to jokingly tell people that I’ve been a DIY person long before Pinterest came around. More specifically, I was a DIY person before “do it yourself” even had a convenient and commonly used acronym. As an only child, and an independent personality, I’ve always felt like I can do anything! Power tools never scared me, big projects did not overwhelm me, and creative ruts only pushed me. Like many, I have had a few different places to call home through the years, and in each one, I’ve aimed to make it feel like a reflection of my family and me. Life has seasons of plenty and of little, and in each one, I’ve learned how simple changes can make a home feel brand new.
Beyond the beauty a DIY project can add to a home, there is also a newfound sense of ownership and pride that comes along with putting your hands to use, and working with what you’ve got. Whether you are starting from scratch with a brand new idea, or you are sprucing up a piece of furniture you’ve owned for decades…DIY projects have the potential to give you new eyes for corners of your home, and show you that you can do anything you set your mind to. One of the main reasons I believe people are intimidated by the idea of DIY, is because they are afraid they will mess it up. Why spend the money and time on a project that could end up being less than perfect? Well for me, the process has value. Learning more about my capabilities, focusing on a single task, tapping into my creative side, and letting myself have fun, are all reasons enough for me to “take a stab at it.”
In an age where most of our interactions are short and digital, and the busyness of life keeps us running from soccer practices, to meetings, to errands, etc. – there is something genuinely human and dare I say therapeutic about pausing it all to add a coat of paint to a chair, or building that shelf you’ve been talking about for all of those coffee mugs. The demands don’t disappear forever, but just for a little while, you get to remain in the present moment and create. You get to use your brain in a different way, and you can even include friends or family in the process! DIY offers us the opportunity to not just move through life at lightening speed, but to engage with it. Will a project’s results be less perfect if you do it? Probably. Will it be something you are proud of anyway? Absolutely. Not only that, but most of my DIY projects have special memories tied to them…memories that make me smile every time I take a moment to look at them.
Taking on DIY projects also teaches us and those watching, how to be content with what we have. My husband and I have five, beautiful children – and each of them understand the value of not quitting on a day’s work until you’re proud. They all have strength in the areas of handiwork, creativity, and excellence. Our kids have seen us give the same dining table more than a few paint jobs, and they have seen us take something old, and make it new again with a few modern additions. They understand that simply replacing something the minute you don’t like it anymore just does not teach you the same lessons tweaking it will. They’ve seen us work hard for what we have, and work even harder to make it all last. DIY is not just for the crafty, and it is not just something to tackle on rainy days. Doing things yourself is a way of life, and has the power to add value to the one you are living! So what in your house needs a fresh coat of paint? What could you do with an hour, some elbow grease, and a new perspective? Join me in taking projects on with confidence and joy, ready to learn the lessons DIY has to teach us.
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