Turn your “Can’ts” into “Cans” | On the Banks of Squaw Creek: Turn your “Can’ts” into “Cans”
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Turn your “Can’ts” into “Cans”


For many of us, our dreams are just that – dreams.  We have a million reasons why they haven’t become our reality. 

I dream, daily, of a beautiful, organized house with character, and built-ins and clever storage solutions.  I have saved pictures for years – ripped them out of magazines, saved them to my computer, and lately, pinned them by the dozens to my pinterest boards.  I spend hours thinking about how to make our home work the best and look the best for us. 

Over the past few years, I have shared these ideas with my husband.  And at first, he was totally on board.  But the physical and mental exhaustion that comes from long hours of manual labor and stress of owning our own farm has kept him from carrying out all of my plans.

So, for awhile, I got frustrated.  And then I got to work.

projects1. Barn Wood Shelves 2. Landing Zone 3. Pull Out Pantry Tutorial 4.  Clean Laundry Closet 5. Bookshelf Dresser 6. Stuffed Animal Zoo


At this time last year, I had very limited experience with power tools, definitely not enough to be comfortable building something on my own.  I wanted to learn to use our compound miter saw, so I did one of the things I do best  - I googled it.  I watched a video on youtube, read our manual online while sitting next to the unplugged saw, and prepared to make my first cut.  I will admit, it was a little scary, because it was something new (and sharp and noisy) but I had my dad supervise a few cuts, and kept my trusty best friend Karen by my side for the first big project. 

Now when I dream up something new, I KNOW that I can make it a reality.  I may not have the necessary skills right now, but I can learn. 
Lack of knowledge will no longer be one of my limitations! My friend, Kim, is also a great example of this.  A few months ago, she made one of these for her husband, and when I asked if her red frame would “match her décor” she replied that they didn’t really HAVE any décor.  Now, after discovering pinterest, she is hooked on making her house beautiful and functional.
She wanted to cover a basket with fabric, similar to what I did here, so she bought a glue gun, even though she had NEVER used one before.  In fact, when I told her that I plugged it in the kitchen, she asked, “It has to be plugged in?”  Lack of knowledge and experience with DIY was definitely one of her limitations, but she is NOT letting that stop her!

So what are your dreams?  What are your limitations?  Dreams of a beautiful house may be insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but they are an excellent example of how continual learning and willingness to try something new can help us do things we never thought possible.

9 comments:

  1. I think this is an absolutely brilliant post! So applicable to many aspects of our lives. Thank you so much for sharing and I can't wait to meet you on Thursday! Yeah!!!!!!

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    1. Can't wait to meet you, too! Looks like the weather will be beautiful!

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  2. You are so awesome! My excuse is time. That's the number one excuse right? I know, I know....if I REALLY want to do something, I would make it a priority.

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    1. Time is a pretty good excuse, especially when you're working and have a little one! But when my students told me they didn't have time to do their homework, I always asked, "You didn't HAVE time? or you didn't MAKE time?" We make time for things that are important to us! Sometimes though, I've found that people expect me to make time for things that are important to THEM, and that's when the "not enough time" excuse comes out!

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  3. LOVE,LOVE, LOVE the two sayings on this post. Congratulations on your determination! My farmer is exhausted most of the time and I should learn to do some of the things myself- cause they don't get done.

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    1. I can totally relate! But we are thankful for our hardworking farmers!

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  4. I loved this post! I started attempting to build our own bathroom vanity, and then I gave up. I might just start trying again...

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  5. Love this post. Some of the times I felt the most empowered were the times I started using power tools (and didn't chop off a finger). I was scared to death of them for the longest time; now I'm saving up to buy a compound miter saw. I'd love to have a table saw, too, but we might not have the space for it. Maybe I'll just keep using my dad's.

    My dreams are definitely to finish my house and all the other projects I've started or planned over the years. At some point I'd like to have a small business selling what I make. My limitations are definitely myself. I have the time if I choose to use it (for now; pretty sure the baby will demand quite a bit of time for a while after she's born) but I procrastinate something awful. I'm also a perfectionist, which leads to a lot of projects that I don't start because I'm afraid they won't be perfect. It's something I'm working on getting over.

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  6. Great looking urban art. I am so glad to get a peek at it!

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