As many of my "readers" know, I am a Property Manager. What is a Property Manager, you say? Well, really, it's a jack-of-all-trades kind of job. I'm a book-keeper, receptionist, mediator, party planner, lunch-server, auditor, cleaner, HUD manual quoter, meanie enforcer rolled into one. Most PM's will agree and maybe even add more titles to that. I've been doing it for seven years and I rarely get bored. Anyway....a woman came to the office yesterday because her key wouldn't turn in her apartment door lock. She had been carrying wicker furniture into the building and got up to the apartment and the key wouldn't work in the door. Before I could go with her to look at it (our maintenance person was an hour away at a training) she said that she had one more wicker chair to bring up from her car. Mind you, this is the senior housing that I work at. I walked outside with her to get the chair, expecting that it would be me to carry it up. (Add furniture-mover to the title list!) We get to the car, and she swings the chair up on her shoulders and starts walking to the building. Then she turns to me, and says the most profound thing: "I'm certainly glad that my mother and father taught me to do things for myself!"
Well, that is one statement I absolutely have to agree with! My mother and father too, taught me how to do things for myself. I'm fiercly independent, and it was really cool to see a senior this way too. I'm not afraid to try to do things myself (though I know when to ask for help when it's something I can't handle, there's a difference.) I've never been afraid to just jump in and be Mrs. Fix-It. I have my own set of tools, and no, they don't consist of a high heeled shoe and a butter knife. :) I knew how to do my own laundry and pump my own gas at an early age, when some kids in college had no idea. I'll think nothing of going down to the utility box in the basement to flip a switch if the circuit is overloaded. I know how to turn a toilet off if it starts to overflow, work a fire extinguisher if necessary or unclog a drain. Shoot, I've even changed my own car tire! In a skirt! (This was before I had AAA!)
Most of these skills come from being a "just in case" overplanner. I have tools and a first aid in my car "just in case." Special cleaning solution in the basement "just in case" our dog gets skunked a third time! And I know how to drive a stickshift. You know, "just in case." I carry a notebook in my purse, glovebox and work bag. You know why, I don't need to tell you. And on the days that "Mom Brain" evades, I keep one of Will's bathtub crayons in the shower in case I think of something I don't want to forget and I can scribble it on the tub wall.
Some people may find my overplanning and Ms. Fix-It as an endearing, yet annoying quality. But hey, don't knock it. Having a plan and knowing how to fix minor things yourself is a good skill to have and is a nice way to live. :)