If you’re a parent or have ever tried to help a toddler, you have heard this, “I’ll do it myself.” All three of my now-grown children are different, but they all declared this many times.
It’s just the stubborn, trying-to-learn nature of the little human.
And apparently, the nature of bigger humans too. Well, maybe you’re not like that, but it is true for me.
I enjoy learning to do new things, and getting things done around the house on my timeline means that “I’ll do it myself” rolls off my tongue readily.
So, this summer I embarked on a renovation of my downstairs. My builder and I agreed I would replace all the brass doorknobs with new brushed nickel handles. After the workers were all gone, I procrastinated for a month or so.
I’m not sure that procrastination is an integral part of this story, except it was a bit cooler when I got trapped in the bathroom.
I’d already replaced the bathroom closet knob handily (pun intended) so I kept going. During the installation, I let the door close. Big mistake. Unable to open the door, I struggled, poked, and hammered, to no avail. Living alone… there was no one to call for help.
That’s when I opened the window. I examined the opening, wondering if I could fit through. I recalled the glory days when I weighed a mere 100 pounds. Of all days, my neighbor wasn’t working outside with his music playing. Not that he would’ve been any help. Was he going to catch me coming out rear-end first?
I returned to the handle to poke and prod a little longer, helpless and hopelessly thinking of dropping out backwards through the window to the ground over six feet below. Would I bounce back into the deck railing and knock myself out? Oh, the medical calamities I contemplated!!
You see, the larger issue was… my cellphone was plugged up in the den. Mistake number two. Without a phone, I couldn’t call someone to try to open the door from the other side. Nor did I have the assurance that a neighbor was only a call away if I broke a bone on impact with the dirt.
Getting myself through that window was no fun. From my strangely angled exit, I could not see the ground below. When only my right foot against the window frame held my full weight, I let it go and dropped. The thud jarred my sternum, but by the time I got around to the front door, the pain had subsided.
The slow slide over the window frame and sill created enormous eggplant-colored bruises on my right calf and both thighs. It was painful to sit for several days. I can’t remember now which arm was thoroughly tattooed with bruises.
I stop what I’m doing now to get my phone before embarking on any project. “Project” means going up in the attic, messing about in the garage, working in the yard, and walking the dogs.
Calamity is just around the corner. Or so it seems.
This story first appeared on Medium.com. If you’d like more story access on Medium (no paywall!), consider joining through my membership link.