STEPHEN THOMPSON: What if's ... yes, but's ... and gotcha!

Ginna Parsons, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo
·3 min read

Feb. 28—I collect memes. My favorites have themes of positive encouragement like this one ... "My therapist told me anxious people have a tendency to only explore the scary 'What ifs' and challenged me to remember that there is also a flip side. 'What if you excel?' ... 'What if it is one of the best experiences of your life?' ... 'What if it changes you in a beautiful way?'"

I love that last question. It's so much more affirming than "What if I fail or what if something goes wrong?"

I really admire DIYers who've embraced the positive What if's of life. They've learned home improvement/home repair skills and do things like hanging and finishing Sheetrock, painting, laying flooring, hanging ceiling fans, or building a deck. By their own hands, they make their homes more beautiful and enjoyable.

"Yes, but" you could be thinking, "that's admirable, but I never learned how to do any of those things." But what if you had? Which skills would it take to do a DIY makeover of your home? Honestly, every DIYer and every professional tradesperson was once a novice. They left their comfort zone, embraced the challenge, and at least once, had someone teach them how the work should be done. You can learn, too.

"Yes, but" you might say in exasperation, "I don't have anyone to teach me home improvement things!"

"Gotcha!" If all that's holding you back from trying a DIY project is having an expert to teach you, then grab your gloves, put your work clothes on, and grab your smartphone. YouTube can teach you any skill you'd like to learn.

Trust me. It doesn't matter what the skill or task, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of YouTube videos that will walk you step-by-step through whatever home improvement project or repair task you want to tackle.

By the way, I learned every one those skill mentioned earlier the hard way. Mistakes were made. Tempers were lost. Things were said. Egos were bruised. But last year when I needed help with two projects — draining my gas hot water heater, and installing a glass storm door — rather than turning to a friend for advice or reading my trusty Time Life book "How Things Work in Your Home (and what to do when they don't)," I turned to YouTube for help. Its videos patiently showed me step-by-step what to do and exactly how to do those projects.

I know some of you reading this will likely give YouTube videos a try on your next home project and go on to become successful DIYers. Congratulations and good for you! Others will watch the same videos and realize, "I'd rather pay someone else to do that!" If you're one the latter, then on behalf of all the professional tradespeople who make their living doing skilled work for the public — I thank you.

Live well — live in beauty!

STEPHEN THOMPSON creates tasteful interiors in north Mississippi. For consultations, comments, or questions, contact Designer Connection, P.O. Box 361, Tupelo, MS 38802.