Those who know me well, would say I have an independent streak a mile long. It might come from being an only child, but I suspect when I examine certain members of my family tree, I come by it through my DNA. I have been known to take on installing tile, wood floors and light fixtures on my own. I also loathe spending money on things like car repair or appliances. This may come from my Scottish heritage, it is my understanding the Scots are thrifty, practical and hold tight to the purse strings. It also comes from the circumstance of being an educator and despite holding a Master’s degree and many graduate hours past that, my income is on the lower end of the spectrum. Not complaining, love teaching enough I would do it for free most days, just stating fact.
So when my washing machine broke, I investigated the cause. I was able to determine it was the inlet valve, so armed with that I contacted a repair person who informed me I would still have to pay $75 for the diagnostic in addition to the cost of parts and labor. Needless to say I balked at that. I knew what the problem was, surely I could figure out the solution. So with the magic of the modern world . . . the internet, I googled my quandary. Just like that I found what part I needed and a video on how to replace it. I sourced the part locally for $65, but found the same part on Amazon for $28 with free shipping, it would just be a bit over a week to wait for it.
Fast forward ten days and I was beginning to get nervous, I had actually been over two weeks without doing laundry and had four pairs of unmentionables left in the drawer. I did have several friends who offered their laundry facilities to me and I did take one up on it and did a load of bedding during a Christmas party at her house. So I was thrilled to find the part waiting for me after work. this didn’t seem more complicated than the time I replaced the thermostat.
Armed with a wrench and a screwdriver (full disclosure I only had flat and Philips and needed the star shaped one called, torque? I had to borrow that from a neighbor) I took apart my machine with confidence, I had watched a video after all. Twenty minutes later, part was replaced and machine put back together. I am now happily doing laundry!
I tell this tale to remind all the girls out there, you can do most anything if you put your mind to it and invest a bit of time in learning. We are not helpless females or the weaker sex. We are capable, intelligent and resourceful women. We ask for help when we need it, but we are brave enough to take on tasks like washing machine repair, adding another skill to our repertoire. My character Addie, the heroine of my trilogy is like me in this respect. There is a sense of accomplishment and a boost to confidence from these experiences. I also enjoyed basking in the glow of my daddy’s “Atta, girl” reaction to my success, independent or not, I like to make my daddy proud.
So next time girls, when something breaks or you just want to add some chair rail or crown molding (I have done that too) don’t reach for the phone, do a bit of research and see if you can do it yourself. I can’t guarantee your success, but I can guarantee you will grow from the experience, improving your confidence and creating your independence.