Today I set out to do something that would have cost me a lot of money at a local garage and that is change my own brake pads and rotors all the way around on my Kia Sorento. I always enjoy doing my own repairs be it on the house, car or at the church. In an age where there is so much information at our finger tips via Google and YouTube my philosophy has become why not give it a try. A professional is only a phone call away should things go south.
This project today reminded me of a comment I received last year when I decided to put new flooring in my basement. A friend said “your father sure taught you a lot. You seem to know how to fix most things.”. That statement got me thinking quite a bit today.
My dad did teach me a lot of things growing up. I think the biggest is stability. Stability in marriage, job or anything else I set mind out to do. There were times that we used a drill putting up a hand rail or something. In fact there were times when we used a hand saw but it was only to build something for Royal Rangers. There were so many things he taught me over the years but not a whole lot of it falls into the “handy-man” category and that’s okay. Not everyone is going to enjoy doing home/auto repair, etc. and let’s face it with the internet more people are able to do things themself. There were multiple times this year that I asked my dad to help with a project at church and home. He said quite a few times "I learned something new today".
Where did I learn these skills then? I think back to the first plumbing job I did after Tracy and I bought this house in Waupaca. My parents never owned but always rented and so plumbing was something I was never taught. In this house there was a need for a new garbage disposal so I went out and bought it. I opened the cupboard doors under the sink and cut the drain pipe out and told myself “there…now I am committed.” I was once described as the type of person who would jump off a cliff first and then figure out how I am going to land. That description is pretty spot on. Now I can sweat pipes and more.
This attitude has gotten me far in life. Friends like Ben who taught me how to do my own brakes is something I have never forgot and am so grateful for. Charlie and Josh are other friends that I can call if I feel I am getting in over my head on a car project. Knowing that I can do breaks lead to many other car repairs I never knew I could do until I tried like shocks, struts and more. I have mechanically inclined relatives but I was never asked if I would like to learn. In regards to home repair I just learned on the job. The first home repair Tracy and did (outside of plumbing) was to gut our basement down to the studs and brick. We then dry walled the entire thing to make it into a second living room. We were so grateful for friends and my brother because they helped a lot. It also helps to have a father in law that enjoys helping out as well. All these things are worth trying because (in my opinion) hiring a professional can be very costly but necessary at times.
My advice to anyone who says “I wish I knew how to do that” is TRY IT! You just have to know that you will make mistakes but a friend that knows how to do it is only a phone call away. You have Google and YouTube and worst case scenario….a professional is always willing to come and do it the right way. This same attitude has trickled over to the church I pastor. A willingness to try something or know people that would help has saved the church thousands of dollars.
One last tidbit…a few years back I took the strength finders assessment. My number one trait was “Activator”. An activator is a person who when he hears the words that something is broke and needs to be fixed; instantly comes up with a plan. It’s in their blood and that’s who I am. Many times that is a good thing and other times…not so much. I will talk about that in my next blog.