Just When You Think You Can’t, You Can!

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It was this time last year when a challenge finally nipped me in the bum. I had been procrastinating for a few waiting on the warmth to hit. Mind you, this project was long overdue.

After you get divorced, you’ll find there are things that normally would be taken care of, but now, it’s all, you girl! If you’re fortunate enough to have a nice bank account, then you can pay to have it done. However, if you’re like me and live paycheck to paycheck, you’ll have to find other means to take care of your needs.

Listen to me when I say this, Do not for a second DOUBT yourself!

just when you think you cant

Just When You Think You Can’t, You Can!

I had to break down and do it. I wasn’t sure how or if I could, but I had to. My beloved deck on the front of my house was in desperate need of an overhaul. The boards on the top (where you walk) were loose and getting a bit scary to walk on.

I couldn’t afford to have someone fall through a board, including myself so I set a game plan in motion.

I was going to be the one to fix it!

I got out my measuring tape and figured out how many boards I would need to replace the flooring. The steps seemed to be fairly good so I wasn’t going to worry about them. However, the railings were rotting and warping and would need replacing as well.

Step 1

Know you can!

Figuring out how I was going to get the 8-10 foot lumber to my house was another thing. Did I pay to have it delivered? Did I burden a friend with helping me pick it up and dropping it off? Is there any way possible to fit it into my Jeep Renegade?

Where there is a will, there is always a way.

Before I go any further, let me share some pictures with you of what I was dealing with. I’m almost embarrassed to show you!

Seriously, I am embarrassed! But just wait to see what happens!

Step 2

After calculating the material needed (lumber, screws, power drill, batteries for drill, crowbar, circular saw, saw horses, and borrowing a SawZaw from my boss), off to the store I went.

I decided that I could fit the lumber in my Jeep even if the ends had to stick out the passenger window or the hatch. I’m not totally stupid.

I got the material home, backed up to my shed, and unloaded. My biggest job, I thought, was going to be using a circular saw for the first time since a teenager. Little did I know, the biggest job would be pulling apart the piece of crap deck that was already there!

Board by board I pried them up. I sawzawed. I hammered. I cussed. I quit.

I worked in the evenings a bit at a time and the weekend. I eventually got all the floorboards up and all the railings were gone!

Remember, this deck is also 20 years old. The nails were rusted and screws just wouldn’t come out. The boards were hard to pry even with a crowbar. Thankfully, I managed without really injuring myself. 😉

Might I add with all the physical labor and learning how to do this stuff, there was also an emotional battle within me. Pushing myself out of the “doubt” zone and into the “I can do it” was quite difficult in itself. However, hard work, sweat, a few boo-boo’s, and some tears paid off in the end.

Step 3

After all the anguish (lol) I went through to repair and replace the majority of my deck, I was so happy when it was completed. I decided to stain it in a dark brown color. Thought it was more “earthy” looking and matched my siding and shutters. I eventually hope to paint my house shutters too! 😉


Not so bad for a rookie, right?

I even decided to put those paving stones around the deck and eventually will plant some real flowers where those cute little metals ones currently stand. Overall, I am happy with the job and best of all, IT IS SAFE!

Moral of my Story

Sometimes we are forced to step up to the plate and tackle something we’ve never done before. We may be scared to death but once we can push past that feeling, it’s time to start doing!

pinin just when you think

I am proud of my accomplishment and although it may not look like a professional job, it is hella better than it was. I love the stain color too!

What I learned is, even if you don’t know how to do something, find out. Google it! Ask friends or family! Research it! Chances are you may be able to do it! And knowing that you actually did do it leaves you with such an awesome feeling that you’re ready to tackle the next project!

This is the first of many projects that I have to do at my place. My home is 20 years old and we all know, things go. Hopefully, if I can’t do something, I’ll have the funds available to have it done.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What kind of things have you achieved where you doubted yourself so much that you almost didn’t try?

Let’s chat about it below!

33 thoughts on “Just When You Think You Can’t, You Can!

    1. Awww thanks, Corrine. I was amazed I could do any of it! LOL I actually did feel really good and took pictures at every breaking point just so I could look back and say, I did it and by myself. It’s truly a great feeling. Thank you, gf!

    1. Oh, you got funnies, now huh? LOL Sorry chicky. Love ya but I’m not for hire. And trust me, if I had other options at getting it done, I would have utilized them instead. LOL

  1. Well done, Bren! I agree that whatever we need to do we find a way. I was never concerned about a project that needed hammer and saw… my big fear was electricity – I would check, double check, triple check the breaker to make sure the power to my project was off before starting it. I had a good laugh at myself the day I was replacing all the receptacles in a renovation project and got zapped – I was so comfortable with electricity that I had forgotten to double check the breaker box!

    1. Many thanks, Agnus and power to ya, girl! Oh gosh, you just reminded me that I have been procrastinating checking an electrical outlet that crapped out on me over the summer. A year later isn’t bad, right? But yes, electrical. ACK!!! I’m VERY nervous about doing this one! But, if you can do it, I can do it, right? We inspire one another! Thanks for sharing with us here. Definitely put a “can do” into my tiny head. 😉

  2. Congratulations! My divorce was a great teacher. I learned how to drill things and even bought my own drill. I was lucky though because I had some really great male friends who would come over and fix the plumbing or the roof for the price of a home-cooked meal. Just a bunch of divorced friends all supporting each other the best we could.

    1. Hi Jennifer. Oh, girl, I hear ya on that one! Lucky for you and your male friends! Yeah! I need to find some of those. Mine are all married and well, you know. They can’t always come out to play! LOL I guess it also helps when you have a dog that isn’t antisocial and won’t eat anyone that steps inside your house! LOL Keep up the good work, girl! We CAN do it!

  3. Well done you! You certainly show by example that we can do anything if we put our minds to it. I think we all have self-doubt but you are right sometimes we just have to step up to the plate and do it! Yes we can! Have a great week and thanks for sharing at #MLSTL. xx

    1. Thank you so much, Sue. Mind you, I was defeated with my shower fixtures but that’s another story. LOL You’re right, we all get self-doubt every now and again. The best thing I can suggest is to just try and push yourself through it. We have to at least try, right? Loving the link up and everyone is still is fabulous as I remember. Muwah! xoxo

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Claire! If I’ve inspired just one person, my mission has been accomplished. 😉 I love that you shared it as well! I’ll be over to check it out, girly! Remember, we had the power all along. 🙂 xoxo

  4. Your deck looks fantastic! Isn’t it great to realise that we CAN do it! It doesn’t even have to something as big as replacing your deck (and that IS big), but even the small things are successes. Well done, you’re right to be proud and show it to everyone! Visiting from MLSTL and pinned. 🙂

    1. Awww shucks, thanks Cheryl! You said it, even small things are successes and we should certainly be proud of them! Appreciate the pin and the comment! Thank you!

    1. LOL I am to please (myself), Christie! Thanks for the props, though. I really had to push on certain areas, especially that circular saw! But I did it and think others like me can too!

  5. What a woman! I think you might need to be Supergirl Barbie/Bren from now on. I am in complete and utter admiration of all that you accomplished alone. I see myself as capable and independent, but there are lots of things like DIY that I leave to my husband and operating a circular saw is way out of my comfort zone. If I ever need advice, I’ll know who to ask! You did an amazing job and it looks heaps better.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    1. haha Leanne, I think you’re giving me too much credit now! Trust me, I bounced many ideas off the men at work. Thank goodness they are rather good handy-men and have tools available that I don’t have. I appreciate your props and you hosting the link up! So happy I decided to come back to midlife blogging!

  6. I have to laugh at your story because I have been there and done that a couple of times. My car was a small sports car so I rented a U-Haul truck to get my things to the house. That cost me $20 which I thought wasn’t a bad deal. Now that husband is sick I am back to taking care of all of these things myself. I don’t like doing them but they have to be done and I can do anything I put my mind to.

    1. Ahhh kudos to you too, Victoria! Isn’t it a great sense knowing we can do what we put our minds too? Even if we screw it up after the fact? haha I do hope that your husband feels better soon. Sending prayers his way. You got this girl!

  7. Bren, this is fantastic! HIgh five that you can handle construction of a deck! I am lucky I am married to a master carpenter and I watch in awe as he does what you described in your project. If you ever watched the old I Love Lucy episode where Ricky built a beautiful outdoor brick fireplace then Lucy, fearing she had lost her wedding ring on the cement while “helping,” took it apart then put it back together, it looked like something out of Dr. Seuss! That’s what anything I might build would look like! Congratulations on your accomplishment…you are inspiring! Visiting from #MLSTL!

    1. Thank you! Aren’t you lucky? I would love to be dating or married to a carpenter. The things I would have him building! OMG, you brought up that episode and I know exactly which one! LOL I’m sure, after watching your husband, that you could do more than what you actually think. You too can do it!

  8. Hi Bren,
    This is indeed a motivation for others. I like your spirit since many would shy away from taking on such a project. In fact, I love doing things myself; thus, I have bought lots of tools for any eventuality. However, sometimes the things I want to do may seem daunting, but once I get on it, it becomes convenient than I had thought. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    1. Thank you, Moss! The way o see it is it had to be done and I couldn’t afford a professional to do it, so I just had to give it my best shot. I’m glad I did. I think if we can do it ourselves, do it. Some lack the patience and prefer not to spend time learning. I’m a firm believer and learning how to do something, trying it, and them deciding if I can or can’t do it. Good to see you here again!

  9. Great stuff! There’s tons of stuff I can’t do but I’m always shocked when there’s something I didn’t think I could do that I took a shot at and got done. Luckily I haven’t messed up anything too much when I failed, but I’ve had more successes than failures; whew! 🙂

    1. Hey Mitch! What a surprise to see you here! More successes than failures is definitely a good thing. I must admit, I did fail at replacing my shower fixtures. Merely because they were 20 some years old and stuck on there. Thankfully, the plumber wasn’t too harsh on me. 😉

  10. Wow Bren! Way to go!!!! You did it!!!!! Thank you for sharing, as it is great lessons for us all readers. You say not a professional job? Wow, to me it looks great! I am so impressed. Also, you are so right that the Internet now has so much that we can research and learn, sometimes its scary but other times is great. Can’t tell you how many times I take my phone out in the car and Google something I see and question on. Yep, that’s me. My relatively new blog is something I thought I could NEVER do, yet step by step I am trying and learning. I am no techie, so the big step was getting a site. Then little by little I started to learn things, yes….Googled. lol

    1. Thank you, Mari! There are so many times I doubt myself only to find that I can achieve what I want. It may take me twice as long, but at least I did it and did it my way. Creating your own blog and being successful at it is definitely an achievement. Be very proud of yourself, girl!

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