Sunday, September 9, 2012

Assembly Required

Shortly after I married I found myself standing in my new living room with a hammer in hand about to bellow for my husband to come help me hang a picture. Then I thought: Just because you now have a ring on your finger does not make you incapable of pounding a nail into the wall. So I hung the picture myself.

It's easy to fall into traditional roles and to make a habit of being helpless. As a disabled stroke survivor, I have to remind myself to try  before I call for help; sometimes I surprise myself with what I can do.

Last week I assembled a new nightstand for our guest room. The last two steps were hard. I thought of asking my husband for help, but I wanted to be able to blog that I had done it ALL BY MYSELF.

To attach the wooden knob, I worked with the screwdriver in my good right hand while holding the knob steady in my affected left. I had to take breaks after every few turns of the screw because my left hand would slip and grow tired. But that knob is on tight now; I dare it to come off!

Hammering in the 12 little nails to attach the nightstand’s back required some creativity. I could not hold those tiny nails in my left hand. I tried holding them with my right and hammering with my left, but my left hand had neither the required aim nor power to wield a hammer. Finally I used one of my wax earplugs to hold the nail steady. Once the nail was started, the wax peeled away without a trace, and I pounded those puppies home.

That’s right, people, I  built it!