I have long wished that I was good at DIY.   In my imagination I am that woman in a torn but very fashionable pair of dungarees painting walls, upcycling stylish furniture, and proudly announcing, with paint smeared on my cheeks, that ‘I did this myself!’

Sadly despite many feeble attempts I have come to the conclusion that DIY is not for the faint-hearted. Let’s look at the evidence!

Attempt 1 –  decorating.  After an analysis of the all the necessary tools one needs for painting (I refer to them as brushes and spongy accompaniments) my attempt to paint the walls in my tiny flat, resulted in a rather squiggly line of paint on one of the said walls and the thought that I couldn’t even get that one line of paint right.

Attempt 2 – construction of flat-pack storage.  More research…….resulting in a keen trip to a flat-pack store of renown.  After walking around for some time and ending up purchasing a ‘Benny’ or a ‘Bobby’, I headed to the delivery and assembly department.  Informed by previous attempts, I realised I needed some help.  However, I was met by a rather incredulous look when I asked for the home assembly service for said ‘Benny’ (or ‘Bobby’).

I was helpfully informed that I would spend more than the item itself employing someone to put it together.   This well-intentioned advice was followed by that omnipresent word ‘just’, as is used in ‘You just have to follow the instructions….’    Yes, easy if you are keen on DIY, but if you quantify the frustration component of putting these things together, and the idea that ‘time is money’, well  I’d say that employing someone is my preferred option.

Now I do realise that some of my Striped Sisters might say that being into DIY is a sign of emancipation, showing that women can do anything.  Yeah, OK….. get that, and remember I wanted to be that woman in dungarees,  but for me my emancipation manifests itself in earning money (when we are not in a pandemic) so I can pay someone else to do this stuff.

Naturally, this dislike of DIY is not shared by my community of Striped Sisters. In fact, I bow in awe to my Striped Sister who has always had a somewhat miraculous and superhuman skill in this area.  Tiling a bathroom?  No problem. Painting a whole flat?  Pedestrian.   Sanding floors?  Everyone does that don’t they?  In fact, this particular Striped Sister learnt how to knock down walls, put in a loft conversion and plaster like a pro.  She got so good that she was employed to do this professionally –  special skill – precision painting, being an artist herself.  Now she renovates houses in Spain.

Now thinking of this Striped Sister, she’s always told me that a crucial part of decorating is preparing the walls. My response has often been a fake authoritative and knowing nod, masking my eyes, which have already glazed over.

However, bizarrely, for some reason lately, I’ve been mulling over this advice from the DIY pro and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a great analogy for preparing for a new chapter in your life.

As you may realise Striped Sister Community,  as I muse and ponder, I am obviously still ‘under-employed’.  Yes still searching for that next role so in some sense……. I am ‘preparing those walls.’

My rather sledge-hammer manner of leaving a job has been in some sense a knocking down of existing walls and preparing for the new.  So, as I trundle along, peering at workshops, engaging with LinkedIn, chatting to different people, maybe I am in fact preparing the walls, taking incremental steps one by one and before I know it that wall will be prepared, plastered and presented just to the design that I love.

© stripedsisters 2021

Thanks to Yoann Siloine for the image.