People at work have tired of listening to me tell of my latest experience. It was not such a big deal however it seemed larger in my mind so it feels important. Trudge through the next 300 or so words and there will be helpful advice towards the end.
I am slowly installing a large overhead door in my shed. I began by sistering studs to the steel uprights at either side of the door opening. I was recently to the point where I was to install the header which creates a bridge from the top of these studs.
I am scared of heights, especially on a ladder. This shed has a dirt floor so footing for the ladder is never good which makes it worse. The two-piece header for this opening is 22 feet long and weighed a little over 200 pounds. Not a lot of weight but you consider the leverage of 22 feet, my fear of heights and a shifting ladder and soon the installation seemed an insurmountable job.
I even considered buying a forklift to place the header but that would eliminate all of the savings I would enjoy by performing the installation myself. It was Sunday morning and I was at full stop.
The desperation of a week-end quickly disappearing forced my hand. Sunday afternoon, with only 1 ½ hours left before supper, I made my attempt to raise the two layers of header.
I already had the vertical studs in place so I cut some 2×4 boards and mounted them onto the studs at either side of the opening at 2 foot intervals. These would be steps to suspend the 22 foot length of glue-lam header. I lifted the header onto the first step then went to the opposite end and did the same. I kept moving either end up to the next step until I was ten feet in the air, on a shifting ladder and triumphantly slamming that header into place.
Okay, life and work are very similar because a productive person spends a lot of their life working. There are lessons to learn that make life easier. First off, don’t start a project late in the afternoon like I did last week-end; start about 9:30 in the morning. You will have good energy as breakfast will have digested plus there’s plenty of day left to allow for mistakes. Perform a couple of simple tasks prior to your major project. Make these very simple tasks that you know will end quickly and successfully which will give you momentum and confidence for your project.
Here’s where life and work cross paths; do everything in small, complete steps. Even huge projects are really only many small projects. Break down a complex task, which you cannot complete, into several small tasks which you can complete. Break down the tasks and then break them down again. Make them so simple that they seem almost silly in their simplicity. This will make you confident and your confidence will be well-founded because the tasks will match your ability. Here’s another life/work lesson; any “friends” who undermine your confidence should be booted from the worksite immediately. Same goes for their place in your life; if they undermine your confidence then let them feel the propulsion generated by the toe of your boot as final punctuation to your relationship.
I am not sure whether this was a DIY column or a philosophical discussion on life. Anyway, I hope you got something out of it. I can offer no more this week as I have work to do and life to live.