A pause, a deep breath, before the new life. It took some reckoning, and I'm still piecing it slowly together. But basically, I'm going to become a handyman, and I'm going to spend a few years doing things as cheaply as possible. We're living quite cheaply now, but we're making no headway, and we're not going to make any headway if maintenance expenses keep periodically dinging us for hundreds, or thousands, of dollars at a time. I have to learn to do my own work maintaining the house, to fix the place on the south side of the house where shingles are coming loose; dig out the earth & possibly pour a little concrete to keep the house walls up out of the dirt & of course to scrape and paint, scrape and paint, scrape and paint.
I will enjoy this work, I think, if I go into it mindfully and deliberately. I've always liked working with my hands. I only ever shied away from it out of embarrassment, a conviction that as a man I ought already magically to know how to do all these things. But with the glory of the internet -- how-to videos about everything under the sun -- and the recently-discovered resource of ancient hardware-store guys, who basically know how everybody in the neighborhood has rigged everything, from boat-dolly wheels to curtain rods, for the past sixty years -- I think I can get over that hurdle too. What's the point of being a whiz at learning things if you can't learn to do what most needs to be done?