Today I’m reflecting on things I’ve been taught, I’ve discovered on my own, and I needed to figure out how to do because I was stuck. With these thoughts in mind, I’ve compiled a list of fixes, tasks, and abilities, every woman should be able to know. Actually, every person, but since I’m a woman and I’m all about that girl power, I’d like to reflect that.
Home maintenance: Let’s not get crazy here, you don’t need to build a house on your own from a few pieces of lumber. If you can do that, I really need to be taking tips from you! If you’ve got some basic power tools, learn how they work. It’s helpful to replace a screw or drill a hole once in a while. Another thing to learn: where your fuse box is. When you’re trying to get your morning dance party on while blow drying your hair and making breakfast, you might blow a fuse. (I refuse to believe this has only happened to me) Fix tripped switches without calling your husband or your landlord.
Unclogging a toilet: We’ve all been there. You used too much TP. Your sweet child had a “moment” and thought play-doh would look nice in that white porcelain bowl. Someone pooped. There’s a million reasons and it’s always a hassle. Maybe I’ve just had bad luck, but every house I’ve lived in has had a toilet that wasn’t shaped for plunging. (Perhaps that should be an important factor in my next move). I recently figured out how to unclog a toilet on my own, WITHOUT getting myself disgusting in the process! This super important life skill will always be useful.
The technique: take a bowl of hot water (NOT boiling, you don’t want to crack the porcelain) and a few squirts of a good quality dish soap. Dump both into the toilet and wait about 20 minutes. Flush. FIXED! If that doesn’t work, try it once more. I’ve never had to do repeat the process more than twice. If it’s not working, perhaps theres something non-flushable stuck in there and you’ll have to fight the plunger battle. Good luck and I’m sorry.
Cook a signature meal/dish: I really enjoy making Penne alla Vodka. It’s simple, delicious, and most people can/will eat it. I will post the recipe soon! It’s really nice to have a dish that you can prepare without notice with things you have on hand. I find it takes a lot of the stress out of hosting a last-minute gathering when you can confidently prepare something you’ve made a bunch of times. In addition to a “go-to” meal, I think it’s also great to have a recipe or two memorized for potlucks or bake sales. I’m personally still working on these, I haven’t yet found a solid favorite, but I usually make a broccoli salad for potluck events.
Taxes: I was always afraid to do my own taxes. The online programs walk you through it, it’s truly as simple as following basic directions. Now to clarify, learning to do your taxes and actually doing them each year are two entirely different things. Everyone should learn to do them once. If you truly don’t enjoy it, or you don’t have the time; hire an accountant. This way you know what service you’re paying for and you can understand your deductions and refunds.
Basic car maintenance: The first time I put air in my tires should have been filmed. I was throwing quarters everywhere, had no idea what the gauge was for, and kept running out of time on the pump. I was a mess. Then I learned some gas stations have the fancy automatic sensors and I was so relieved. Now I understand the air pressure gauge, and I know to take all the caps off before I start the air pump. I’d call that a success.
Someone at the gas station should be able to assist you in learning how to fill your tires, the next time you see that dreaded “low tire pressure” message.
Also I recently learned how to jump a car battery and that’s so much easier than I anticipated. Have someone show you how to do this too, it’s so simple.
While the first tips on this list were entirely practical, the next three are even more important.
Travel: I’ve been blessed with my traveling experiences to go and see places that have helped me grow and learn as a person. I’ve seen amazing wildlife in Ecuador, genuine poverty in Nepal, and discovered a lot about myself in Australia. I truly believe that travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. It’s such an important part of connecting with yourself and uncovering your abilities. Finding a train in a country where you don't understand the language is a bit like hitting the confidence lottery.
If you cant afford to travel abroad, take a day trip someplace you’ve never been. You’ll learn a lot about a new town and yourself: what you like and don't like, what you’re good and and what you can work on.
Alone time: I think this is a skill naturally acquired with age, but I think I try to be mindful about time I spend alone and I’m learning to enjoy my own company. When you spend a lot of time with others, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish your own voice from the crowd. Do you really love every single thing your friends love? Probably not, and that’s okay. Enjoying time with yourself will help you to embrace what makes you different, which will help you to better enjoy the company of others, and foster friendships that compliment your personality.
Lastly, let things go: This is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I sometimes will spend hours contemplating if I made the right decision or if I said the wrong thing. I don’t think I can give any advice on this one, but I’m actively trying to be better at letting go. I think if everyone could be more forgiving, we’d have such a happier world to live in. So, I will continue working on letting go of things I can’t change, and forgiving myself and others for mistakes we’ve made.
Are there any other life tips that you’d say are more important or belong on this list? I’d love to hear from you!