The Fixers Manifesto

Automotive repair no matter how small is still something that freaks me out. So when a headlight went out on T2 I was worried and irritated that it was going take time and money that I don’t have to repair. So, in true Tiny House fashion, I went on Youtube, watched a video, got supplies, and $15 and 5 minutes of work later, my headlight was as good as new.

Over the last few years, through building 2 homes, a car camper, a school bus, and helping out with dozens of other projects. I have learned the value of just doing and not worrying about the little voice that says “but you don’t know how…”. When you stop caring about the possibility of failure you truly realize just how much you CAN accomplish.

To this day, when I start a new project or do something for the first time, I feel completely stupid and like all hell is going to break loose, then… at the end of the day, somehow the project is complete and (outside of typically a few scratches and bruises) nothing terrible has happened.

I’ve come to learn that over thousands of small tasks, my intuition knows what it’s doing even if my conscious brain has no idea what’s going on. This has taken time (and hundreds of screw-ups) to build up, but it’s amazing how now when I’m working on a new task things just seem to “work out like I planned them”… despite there being no real plan to begin with.

Nothing is ever perfect and striving for perfection will just leave you disappointed. Rather, I’ve learned to strive for beauty. There is beauty in function, but there is also beauty in flaws. I once had a volunteer help build. She had never used power tools before and was so worried about messing something up that she just about refused to try anything. I explained to her… It will be okay… first, with what we were doing, even if she completely screwed up  I would only be out a couple bucks in lumber. A small price to pay to help someone gain valuable life skills. Second, even if she didn’t install something perfectly, that little flaw would be a memory. A memory to me that would be much more valuable than the “perfect home”. That simple conversation had such an impact that by the end of the day she had learned 7 different power tools and was confidently cutting, nailing and screwing paneling up in the home.

I pride myself in being a fixer. A creative problem solver. And someone who is flawed – breaks things – and fails often. I’ve come to a point where I’m more comfortable cutting something to bits and rebuilding it than I am using an item for its intended purpose. I am proud that despite pressures from others and the little voice inside my head that says “can’t”… I keep moving forward day by day making beautiful things.

This freedom is indescribable. Being a fixer doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge, it just a willingness to try. So next time something of yours breaks. Rather than buying a new one. Take the time to try and repair it. Every fix tells a story and a fixed thing is a beautiful thing. Fixer_Manifesto_2.0_type_only

Leave a Reply