Finding The Tool Kit Of Independence

My toilet needed help as it wasn’t working properly.  The chain that connects the stopper to the metal arm had broken.  It broke awhile ago and I rigged it with a safety pin which worked great for awhile until it rusted.  I guess they don’t make safety pins out of stainless steel?

So I went to the store and bought a new chain.  Even though I’ve never done anything like this before, I thought it could be easily fixed.  Heck, I’m an independent divorced woman now and I have nobody to turn to, so I’d best figure it out.  I mean, how hard could it be?

Well, I wasn’t able to detach the original chain so I rigged it to the new one.  But I couldn’t get the toilet to stop running.  So I turned off the water underneath.  I was glad I remembered that there was a shut off valve there – thanks Dad in heaven.  Because at 11pm at night, I wasn’t in the mood to deal with the frustration of the situation.

So this morning, I checked the stopper to make sure that it was closed and after further investigation, I realized that the original chain was getting caught occasionally under the stopper., causing the toilet to run.  I will have to somehow detach the original chain today.  But I’ve since figured out how it works and I’m pretty proud of myself for doing it.  I know it’s really simple, but to me, it is a small victory.  There are still times when I wish I had someone here to help me, but that’s not the case.  I was never that woman who knew how to do simple house repairs because my former husband either did them or hired someone.  I never learned the basics from my own Dad either.  It was far faster and easier for them to just do it and for me to get out of their way.  So I did.

But no more.  The learning curve is steeper at 50+ years old, but I know if I put my mind to something, I can accomplish it.  It just takes time, patience and the willingness to learn.  I can do it and so can you!

Thanks for reading.

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12 Responses to Finding The Tool Kit Of Independence

  1. I think we must be twins separated at birth 😳 I too had to learn so much, I remember trying to put up wallpaper for the first time listening to music with tears running down my face 😩 I made a damned good job of it actually 👍 yay, go girl x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TJ Fox says:

    I grew up with some pretty specific gender roles of mom cooks, cleans, does laundry and takes care of the kids while dad mows the lawn, fixes and builds things while playing sports with the boys. I realize now that, even at a very young age, I was pushing hard against those roles. I loved to cook, hated to clean and adored taking anything and everything apart just to see how it worked. I sometimes drive hubby up the wall because I want to be the one to do most of the typical “man” jobs of fixing stuff around the house. He is fully capable, if not snail paced slow because he has to read the instructions 5000 times and again one more before he even thinks about starting. I dive right in, reading along as I go (sometimes) and we often joke that I have parts left over (hey! they ALWAYS give you extra parts!)

    Knowing how to do those things, being capable of them, or even just learning how (no matter age) can give you this kind of feeling of accomplishment and pride in yourself that you don’t always find in other things. I had never mowed a lawn let alone started a mower before my ex and I split. It took a while to figure it all out and get the hang of it, but when I finally did, it felt amazing to be able to take care of my tiny little house and my tiny little yard without having to call for help (in most cases). It helped me to know, deep down, that I didn’t NEED someone else for the majority of things, that I was capable and functional and independent.

    It is an awesome feeling, so keep it up and congrats on your DIY project!

    Liked by 2 people

    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you TJ! I am really impressed by you! 🙂 I grew up with specific gender roles although my Dad did teach us how to change a tire (b/c he wanted our help), but I’ve never mowed a lawn and hope to never have to! LOL But I do agree that it’s empowering to know how to do simple things and to keep learning how to do whatever needs to be done when needed. Thanks for sharing! Good for you by the way. I’m more like your hubby because I tend to read the directions before beginning anything! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      • TJ Fox says:

        It is a long running joke between us (so glad it is something we laugh about rather than argue). By the time he is done reading through, I could be done with the project and he is saying “sure, because you left out half the parts!”.


      • janieleeds says:

        LOL! I love that you have such a great relationship! That makes all the difference in the world! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my daughters just remarked this week that I had a thing for “handymen” now that I was divorced. And it’s true- since divorcing their father (who isn’t at all handy), I’ve dated only guys who can fix things. And I stayed in a relationship with one of those guys for longer than I should heavily because he was so handy- and not being able to fix things makes me feel helpless at times.

    You are right- we don’t NEED someone, and we can learn!

    Liked by 1 person

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