I am a big fan of a do it yourself (DIY) lifestyle. I try to do most things myself instead of calling in the troops. A lot of this can be traced back to my father. Growing up with him I replaced toilets, installed hardwood and tile floors, put up drywall, fixed plumbing, simple car maintenance, etc. He was always busy and always fixing everything himself. He thought me a lot about getting things done in life.
So as I grow older, I maintain some of these traits. Sure some things, like changing my own oil, have fallen to the side lines, but I still love a good home improvement or self improvement task. This comes down to today’s post.
At the beginning of the year I went on my phone and typed in a few goals for the year.
- Cut my own hair
- Stretch regularly
- Go to the gym a few days a week
- Restart kung fu
Not very lofty goals, but this is all I set for myself to be successful. I think setting small, manageable goals for the short term will help you reach big long term goals. So I started down my path for the year.
As you can see, three of these goals are health based. I had been doing White Crane Kung Fu for 2 years prior moving to the North Bay in California. With the move, I lost my routine. My health habits faded and I knew I had to get back into it. So I determined I should get to the gym and restart kung fu which will help my flexibility. These goals have been met. I am jogging or lifting weights 3 times a week, stretching at night 5 times a week, and going to kung fu once a week. Success! Short term gain for a long term goal of a happy, healthy body.
Then there was the hair cutting. Many personal bloggers and FIRE types talk about saving $15 cutting their own hair. For me, it is less about the cost and more about the experience.
I was getting my haircut at SuperCuts and while the cut was fine, the ambiance was not. It seemed silly to spend $15 to sit in a waiting room with other people and then go make small talk as someone cut my hair. I talk to people all day as a doctor, I did not want to talk to people when I had my hair cut.
I could choose to go to a fancier place and spend $50 with a nice shampoo, conditioner and head massage. The ambiance would definitely be better, but that would not improve my happiness. So I decided at the end of last year to cut my own hair.
So April 29th, 2017 I picked up a pair of clippers. I had these clippers for a while and when I made my first pass with the guard on, they were not working well. So I took the guard, rubbed some oil on it, and put the clipper back to my head.
Quickly I had realized my mistake. I looked up and low and behold a chunk of my hair was missing. Two options were available to me. I could go to Super Cuts and pay someone to cut my hair or just shave it off. So I shaved it off. Not too pretty.
So now a few months have passed and I gave it a go again. Round 2 was smoother than round one. I did make one mistake, but nothing too noticeable. Round 2 was not that smooth, but I suspect Round 3 will be even better.
So what is the point of all of this
DIY is fun if you have the personality for it. Don’t be afraid to try something out of fear of failure. You can always call in the professionals (like Supercuts or the electrician). You will be surprised how good doing things on your own can make you feel.
Also as a dad, I want to teach my son (and any other future progeny) that they should try things. Last week I changed the light switch in my son’s room. Easy to do, but I had him watch and use a screwdriver on his toys. He too is learning to be a DIYer.
What is your experience with DIY items? Anything weird you do that others may not expect?
P.S. If you are into doing things yourself, check out the Makers Faire. This is an annual event with some really cool people making some really cool things. I am looking forward to my son turning 4 and bieng able to attend annualy with him. Who knows, maybe he will find his ccalling in this group.