Sometimes all you need is a different angle (18/07/2020)


My original plan for today and tomorrow was to focus on writing posts, because I had a feeling that next week I would be too busy to do any writing. But an unexpected event forced me into a different direction. Instead of writing, I spent quite a few hours on house work, and have learned some important lessons along the way.

Here’s what happened.

At about 9am, just before I started my day, my husband asked me for a little help. ‘It would only be a couple of minutes.’

The task was very simple. We measured the length and width of our garden shed. When I asked him why we were doing that, he explained that the roof of the shed was in a very bad way. It was leaking heavily and part of it was becoming rotten. If we didn’t do anything, it would not be able to survive the winter.

I knew about the leaking issue. Every time after the rain, we have to keep the shed door open in order to dry the damp floor and roof. I’ve been doing this for quite a few weeks. It’s become part of my daily routine.

So I agreed. But after I learned about the cost, I changed my mind. Because the cheapest option was about £300, which is more than our grocery shoppings for a whole month!

Without thinking, I said, ‘We don’t need to repair or replace the roof or the shed. I’ll rearrange the garage, so that we’ll have space for the things from the shed.’

When I said that, I had no idea if it was achievable. I just believed that somehow I could do it. To ensure that I will do it, I decided to take action immediately, rather than wait until tomorrow. Because I hate manual work. If I gave myself time to think about it, I probably would never do it. Because I have plenty of work to do without this extra thing.

So I asked him what items in the shed must be kept dry. He explained. Then I went to the shed and estimated how much space I needed to make in the garage. Then I went back to the garage and started selecting things which could go to rubbish.

I threw out a lot of cardboard boxes, which I saved for our next move. But now we had to get rid of them to save that £300. Next, I cut those boxes into reasonable sized pieces, and put some of them into our rubbish bins, but did burn most of them in a metal burner in our garden. The whole process took me about 3-4 hours.

When it was finished, we had a quite big space in the garage. And the garage looked much tidier and nicer than before.

When I had my lunch I felt extremely tire. So I decided to have a little sleep. When I returned to work, I moved all the things which had to be kept in a dry place into the garage. After all was done, the garage actually looked a little more spacious and much more tidier than before.

And we have saved £300! To me, that’s quite an achievement considering the future is so uncertain right now.

Other than the big saving, I have also learned two important lessons from this process:

First, sometimes all we need is a new angle, which enables us to get to a different solution without any financial costs;

Second, I have discover some of my personality traits which I didn’t notice before: decisiveness and quick to act when need to be, and flexible thinking.

Oh, I also notice a big improvement in myself. Before, whenever there was big spending involved, I normally became quite emotional. But today, I stayed calm throughout the whole process. I guess it was that calmness which enabled me to see things from a new angle.

You see, costs can be avoided if you approach the issue from a different angle.

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