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Waking Up Your Senses

November 17, 2011

I have been “hanging out” with a friend of mine the past couple of days being a sort-of apprentice. I wanted to learn more about repair work so I have been following around a fellow handyman doing things that I would normally not do myself. I have:

  1. Climbed a 32ft ladder onto a roof and worked in a junction box with high voltage electricity (okay, so I watched over his shoulder – I felt like I was working as I handed him tools and gave helpful hints). We had to climb up and down three times going to Home Depot for parts. The climb was the terrorizing part for me. It was high up and I am not fond of ladders, heights, or hanging on to a cold ladder while the wind blows. (I prayed a lot.)
  2. I learned how to test for hot wires – BEFORE turning off the electricity. I did NOT get zapped – even once. I even earned myself one of the little tester gadgets for my tool bag. It was like earning a Girl Scout badge.
  3. I learned how to use a new tool to cut through heavy gauge wire. I also learned what the different colored wires meant. No sense in explaining here since they are for jobs that homeowners would never encounter. Just exciting for me to go beyond my normal scope of work.
  4. I learned how to “fit” pieces of pipe together to make connections so that pipes would go into a space where normally they would not fit. We had to measure them, figure out the configuration, figure out what pieces were needed (male, female, nipples, couplings – all sounded a little sexual to me). Then we had to go back to the site and put them together. It was a bit like engineering.

I know you are probably wondering why I am telling you all this. Because I can. No, really, it’s because I want you to know that every day is a day that you can learn something new. Be open to adventure. Follow someone around, ask questions, be bold, and step outside the box. I am a business owner and a woman who works in and on her business but I DO NOT know everything. I want to learn. I was like a sponge. I LOVED working in the field those couple of days with someone new and learning new skills. I can’t wait to do it again. If you have not done this, DO IT. Trust me; it will wake up your senses.

To women holding hammers (and, learning new things),

Jo Ellen Soesbee, The ToolBox TomGirl

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