perspective

Fail to Learn

Learn to fail.

Fail to learn.

Fail early.

Fail often.

Failure is the name of the game.

Life is like a series of mazes. Choices. Opportunities. Deadlines. Direct/indirect paths. So many options. With each choice in life there is an opportunity to fail. When you fail there is also an opportunity to learn. Capitalizing on learning through life’s failures is often a missed opportunity.

Sometimes we fail mentally. Sometimes we fail emotionally. Sometimes we fail physically. We can even fail socially. In today’s digital age social failures can have long standing impacts if not recognized. We all have a journey or a path in life. Each unique to the person. Some paths change in time while others stay constant for one reason or another.

I’m a trailblazer or sorts. A pathfinder. One that learns through discovery. A curious mind that enjoys exploration. The mundane is of no interest to me. The volatility of a day/week with constant change fuels my soul. Failure is a part of my daily game.

I fail as a parent. I fail often. The maze of life ensures my failure, in hopes I will learn along the way. Life isn’t perfect by any means. People are messy each and every day. Hope. Opportunity. Adventure. I seek it all. I encourage others to do the same. Living life to the fullest. The motto of my mom. Engrained in me. I choose to be different most days. I choose the less traveled paths. 

I don’t ask for approval. I ask forgiveness when needed. I stretch more than I’d like some days. I refrain on other days. It’s a delicate balance. I can’t ever change the world we live in or the people we mix with. I can however encourage others, spread joy, support and shine through my life experiences. Some written. Some portraits. Some live. Some even taped.

What are you doing to be a trailblazer in your own life? Do you encourage others? Do you choose to fail? Will you learn when you fail?

I dare you to think about this post and how it fits into your life. I dare you to have the courage to look deep inside for your own answers. For this is a maze of sorts for you. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s more of a self discovery exercise. The more you do it the more growth you will see.

Keep thinking.

Keep dreaming.

Keep changing.

Keep an open mind.

You can grow today and in the future if you think about the process in the form of a constant maze. The challenge of your life. You do the work. You set the parameters.

celebrations

It’s Finished!

The little project has come to an end.

No more measuring.

No more cutting.

No more blisters.

No more sawdust flying around my face.

The cleanup was pretty quick. Kept some scraps for the next project. Returned extra materials to Home Depot. Emptied the trash. Ran a quick vacuum and packed up the tools. Snapped a few more photos. Finished. 

Time to use the newly updated 120 square feet of space. Finished in the time allotted. Somewhat within budget. Recycled materials were used. Ideas were reworked many times. A little helper provided some labor along the way. Many songs were listened to while jamming and working. Evening and weekends spent hustling in a different way. Rain days got in the way a few times, but not too many.

Two trips to Home Depot. A few cuss words. No emergency room visits was a plus. Some tools were borrowed. A small power saw was purchased but will be reused on another project. Winter will require a small space heater for warmth (see above). Spring and fall will have a nice breeze with windows open. Summer will have a small Room air conditioning unit. Built on a budget. Built to be used. Built by me. Not perfectly designed but it’s perfectly useful. A great experience to learn and see the fruits of my labor. 

As I wrap up this DIY project, I definitely have a new appreciation for the construction industry. I also understand why there are specialized trades such as carpeting, painting, ceiling work, trim work, electrical, plumbing, etc. It’s hard to be good at everything. So many chances to get injured with a momentary lapse in judgment. 

From nothing to something. Building away. Lots of different types. Carpet. Metal. Trim. Walls. Insulation. It sure was a fun experience to knock out this little project. Two more projects to go. One planned. One unplanned. Just the way life goes I supposed. DIY trims the budget and allows one to do more with less. That’s where I am at on these little fix it jobs. Elbow grease and positivity will get you far in these kind of projects. A willing helper goes a long way, too.

I didn’t even mind cleaning at the end. Gave me a sense of completion. Happy 2023 to you!

challenges, change

Stand Back

Hands off.

Stand back.

Let things take their course.

This is hard for many of us when we are watching what could be a slow motion tragedy unfolding. It’s especially hard for helpers (see my enneagram for more). I want to help. I want to fix. I want to make it all better for the people I care about.

I have been a helper for as long as I can remember. Being a helper is alive in my profession. It’s alive in my volunteer positions. It’s key to how I shape my days. So telling me not to help is like telling me to not be myself.

I have grown to understand that I have to fill my own cup first. This was a big step for me. I can’t help others if I am empty myself. But this is different…In the past few years, I’ve heard the cries of friends telling me that sometimes doing for others really isn’t a help. It robs them of the chance to gain their own power, self-esteem, self-worth. Still, I had a hard time stepping away when people asked for my help. Heck, I even offered help when it wasn’t even asked for.

Push finally came to shove in a situation and I had to step back. The bridge to help was too wide to cross, so I somehow let it go. I worked through the guilt. The shame. The pain. And just let others take the reins of their troubles and their successes.

This enabling isn’t always an easy pattern to break, especially in the beginning. There is time and energy to redirect. All the feelings and urges have to be tamped down. It may sound a little self-serving to say it hurts not to help, but it’s true.

It has taken time. What has surprised me is hearing from loved ones that they don’t hate me or disapprove of me standing back. That secret worry has not come to pass, at least not to my face. If there are people out there who are disappointed in me, close up, far away, or even not with us anymore, they have not shared with me.

And after some time and restraint, it has been rewarding to watch people begin to take control of their lives. Is it an immediate success? No. There are bumps and setbacks and disappointments. I can try to be there to support during these times and listen. I can think about what is truly necessary and try to provide some of that. But I really default to staying back and letting the person sort it out themselves. They are strengthening their own muscles whether they like it or not.

I find myself becoming more self-reliant and independent in the wake of these decisions. I also feel a little less me, but I am living with that. I am learning what boundaries work for me and my resources…time, emotion, financial, and more.

challenges

Construction Time

This fall I have some action Items on the to do list that seem to fall under the construction umbrella. Small upgrades to some spaces I need to repurpose. I figured I’d document the process to show others how upfitting a property or space can be done by the inexperienced but willing person(s).

First up is this 120 foot gem of space. Today it’s hollow and empty. The only purpose would be storage in today’s state. Soon to be A little office or other type space. Power is run already making this job seem pretty easy on the surface. 

Opting for carpet squares to keep costs down and really it’s all that’s needed for this space. I thought I had my square footage accounted for but the framing took up some space making me have to cut the edges of the carpet squares. I was focused on perfection. But didn’t need to be as the trim work would cover any near perfect edge.  It was a pain, but I did it and only ended up with one blister from repetitive stress on my pointy finger cutting that damn carpet. I was happy with the patchwork outcome. I really think it made the space unique.

Next step was the trim work. I opted for some barn Like wood I snagged at Home Depot. The cost was within my budget but kept with the look and feel I was going for in the end. Day one had me using a nail gun, staple gun, box cutter, hand saw, heavy duty clipping sheers and elbow grease. Carpet was down. Trim work was complete and the insulation process started. I had to cut my day short after the itchy feeling from the insulation got to me and my blister was a small hinderence.

now I am going to wrap up this post as day one comes to an end. I feel a lot was accomplished but so much more is still to come. The next step is going to test me with cutting of metal but I am very excited to be repurposing some barn metal into this project that I was holding on to at another property. More to come but I will give you a sneak peak for now.

Only time will tell what it looks like in the end and how I tie in reclaimed items with new. Stay tuned for my next do-it- yourself (dyi) update. Taking 120square of nothing and making it into a usable space with a little personality in a short period of time and little to no experience.

Once I practice on 120 square feet, I definitely have some bigger spaces to tackle. I guess part of me staying true to myself is to keep growing as a person and testing out what I can and can’t accomplish. Sometimes I may need a little help or guidance but in the end I can say I made this, my way. It’s also good to know I may inspire another to try their own dyi project.

adventure

Sand For Days

As part of my coastal Oregon series, this particular writing is dedicated to the amazing experience I had on the Oregon Sand Dunes. So much fun that I had to write about it in just one post. All by itself.

I really didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t visualize the beauty of the dunes or the depth of how far the dunes stretched. I did however catch a glimpse of the dunes roadside where there was an enormous hill of sand with a four wheeler going down it. I silently thought to myself no way. That is way too high for me.

We were lucky to get on the ATV tour as that was the best way to see the shore and the dunes in what I called the safest option for our trio to navigate the dunes as first timers. 30-40 mph on the climbs and the descents were so fast I didn’t even check the speedometer. 26 miles we rode round trip. Nobody flipped. Nobody got stuck. It was a success. This Bay Bridge photo is hard to capture in a photo meaning the in person view seems 1,000 times nicer. 

So much beauty. Such a thrill ride. One of travel buddies said this is definitely a top 10 experience. I would have to agree. I will definitely find my way back to this coast to tackle the dunes again. Not sure when but I will make time for sure.

We had a great guide and we even did some bowl rides at the end. It is hard to explain but you ride the dunes sideways up and down like you were in a bowl. You have to hit the right speed and maintain or your could roll! Just an exhilarating experience. This is also very different from the straight up climb to the straight down descent where you actually can’t see what is ahead of you when you then begin this descent.

This adventure covers the dunes and plenty of play time riding. From the natural bumps or jumps on the main road trail to the coolness of passers by. Everyone added flair to their personal rides with cool flags, political flags, neon lights, and so on.  Our adventure also covered the trip to the ocean to ride along the water. This was another breathtaking sight to see. The large ocean waves were just feet away pounding the shore while you zipped by. There was a fog in the air making the visibility low but the air was cool and crisp off the water. 

This adventure comes with a few $$$ on the review but if you take into account gas prices, the equipment used on the terrain and the guide it is well worth it. The family that owned our rental company was super focused on customer service which I also appreciated.

Can’t wait to come back to this coast and hit more spots along the way. Such a beautiful place to spend some time off the grid.