I imagine that we all think of ourselves as doers – people who can do what needs to be done to get where we want or need to be. It starts with the encouragement that most of us got when we did something simple like pile of couple of blocks on top of each other at an early age. (That felt good, I want to do that again.)
My father was a doer – he made his lists, he planned, he checked tools and supplies, and one by one he checked off the points on the list until it was time to make a new list. He had many skills that are useful for a homeowner and each of the houses that we owned showed some result of his carpentry, electrical, plumbing or other abilities before we put that house on the market and moved to the next one.
Growing up watching him and sometimes helping, I thought I was a do-it-yourself-er. Despite his flashes of irritation, he made it look wonderful to craft a new thing or fix something up. It seemed very industrious, and clearly this was something to aspire to be. But, I have come to the conclusion that while I might be an itinerate helper of a do-it-yourself-er, I am not – myself – a do-it-yourself kind of person. At least in relation to work around the house. I am very good at admiring a finely done piece of handiwork and I have picked up a bit of knowledge about the right way to do some of the tasks which is helpful when I hire out.
Mom, while more of an imaginer – an excellent idea person, was a doer in her own way. No lists, well maybe a jotted thought here or there or a cut out article. She too had handicraft skills because of her fascination with creation. She learned to sew, knit, and crochet. She tried her hand at gardening and drawing (stick figures). I whiled away hours watching her turn a length of fabric into an article of clothing. She was a better teacher than dad, but there could be flashes of impatience if a question was ill-timed.
We never talked about the difference between talking, dreaming, planning and doing. The difference between short-term effort on a project and long term industry to create a life and support a family. The fact that some doing leads to a greater thing and some isn’t so effective. Does anyone really talk about these differences?
How well we each are at creating our own success is dependent upon how well we internalize the lessons we experienced in regards to doing. There is much to the doing of it.
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