This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
THE WEIRS TIMES & THE COCHECO TIMES, Thursday, December 29, 2011


wish to hold in your life. Sinking into the beauti-

by Dr. Debi Warner Contributing Writer

Dear Dr. Debi, I want a good New Years

resolution so that I will stop slacking on things. I have so many unfinished projects because I am so busy. I run errands for kids and everyone, plus I work long hours. Then something breaks and it is all I can do to fix that. I never get into my shop for the cabinets I am building, or the shelv- ing in the den. My family just rolls their eyes with my projects which makes me feel worse. I want my reso- lution to work. How should I start? Signed, Deep Down Frus- trated

Dear New Leaf, Life in a family can be

pretty full. Then when you have handy skills, you may expand your desires for a better home. All of that is good; DIY projects not only bring us nifty conve- niences, but also lessons too about being your own boss for a part of your life. When you have so many demands certainly the solutions become chal- lenging. Will a resolution change all that? Let’s see. First off, those cabinets

and shelves sound like very special projects you have undertaken to ex- press your style in a way that enhances your home and satisfies you inside. Making instead of buying a prefab store version is a statement of achievement, perhaps a standard you

ful wood, the variations in box construction for each cupboard and the careful refining of a uniform finish, all bring a transformation to the person, a connection between imagination and solid reality that cannot be paralleled. The personal enjoyment is thrilling and the outcome is appreciated by the family. Yet how does it balance with the rest of the many tasks already underway in your home? You respond to the press-

ing needs of the family as a responsible parent. It is amazing how much time can be spent hunting for a missing library book. How do you figure in those unlisted demands with a schedule that is already tight? Well, actually if you have other adults in the picture, you may decide together to have an on-call schedule that will spare the other for concentrated attention to chosen tasks. This can even work for divorced parents, who can list such duties in their split schedules too. So, then we come to pri- orities. New shelves ver- sus plowing the driveway, versus driving everyone to Nana’s, versus going shop- ping, making dinner, help- ing the neighbor, fixing the brakes, and working late? Many of us tend to respond blindly to our demands

rather than setting priori- ties. Yes life itself happens, but when we have no say in the next move, we can feel tossed in a storm. It can just help to get on top of this by standing back and taking a look. You can talk with your

partner about the demands and reflect together on the urgency and practicality of the balance. A few minutes stepping back to observe and chat can give you a perspective on the scene, reducing the blur, and also improving understanding in your Home Team, which increases consideration too.

Now we get to time man-

agement. This is a name for something other people think you should do be- cause they are not as busy as you are. Well anyway, there is some cool stuff to be learned about this di- mension. You have handy skills, so are good with 3 dimensions; and here is the 4th – time. Really? Yes, you can fit 17 types of toy bins into a 3 by 8 foot space and make it easy to reach and use. You can make structural joints with supports from three directions that are smooth and sturdy. That fourth di- mension, time, is just an- other component in your planning mechanism. So consider the variety of pieces in that time joint you are designing. Elements

Generation Hand-Down Jewelry

One-of-a-kind modern inlay jewelry

designs made with hand cut Southwestern stones and set into old coin silver. Call or find me on facebook.

603-455-1146 “generation hand-down”

Phil Hubbard

of the DIY project clearly are important, but step- ping back to see the larger picture of your time, the hazards of family life are to be joined in that schedule too. It may be awkward that those elements pop up or move unexpectedly. Perhaps that is why it is just more fun to do a proj- ect that sits still when you leave it aside. Kids don’t do that. Maybe you can visit your shop and appreciate the wooden pieces that do not jump off the shelf when you leave the room. Even though the non-

shop factors are change- able, your multidimen- sional skills still can ap- ply. Relax. Talk with your family about their needs and take a little time to mull over the shapes of these pieces in the joinery of your time schedule. You may be very surprised at the solutions you find and

also the change in attitude inside yourself because you have a vision of the overall blend. The occasion to talk to-

gether also gives the family a chance to understand the background of work it takes to run a home. This can make their requests more realistic if they con- template the impact on others of their demands, which you can ask them to reflect upon when they arise, teaching them simi- lar problem solving as well. As you learn to surmount this schedule problem you will by design teach them also of the ways to see the terrain, to weigh the pur- poses involved, and to fit the pieces together. Those lessons from your projects are building your team stronger. Happy Home Team!

Dr. Debi Dr. Debi Warner is the Founder of Renovation Psychology® and

author of Putting the Home Team to Work, available now online. Dr. Debi provides advice for greater domestic harmony to folks who are renovating their home – for True Home Improvement. This column is offered for enjoyment and enhancement and is not intended to replace your personal medical care. Photo by Bob Jenks, St. Johnsbury, Vt. Dr. Debi has a con- sultation practice, visiting home sites all over New England from her studio in Littleton, NH at the Tannery Marketplace. © 2009 Renovation Psychology® Questions are welcome.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32