Getting A Handle On It

“If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly,” my mum told me, many times.

When we moved into our new house at the end of last year, we spent days doing jobs and evenings drawing up long lists of more to be done. Fixing or replacing everything that needed it, and trying to leave it better than we found it.

Last Saturday, four months after our first day through the front door, it was the turn of the door knobs. They’d originally all been handles, but were replaced with knobs, which weren’t far enough away from the door frame when you closed it. Every door in the house was a finger trap waiting to happen, and had to be closed by thumb and forefinger. It drove us nuts, and it was time to do something about it.

Losing my Sense of Humour?

I won’t bore you with the details of the job (I became obsessed by the handles being perfectly horizontal when “at rest” and didn’t have much of a sense of humour for about four hours), but I did enjoy the feeling of making something better. Only thing was, it had been just one of about three jobs I’d given myself for the day, and I felt a wee bit disappointed that I hadn’t achieved more, despite working from 9 until 8 in the evening.

The end of To-do lists?

Do we expect too much of ourselves sometimes? Probably. A broadsheet columnist wrote something to this effect about New Year’s resolutions. By populating our lists with everything we’ve ever wanted to achieve, we’ll be upset when we don’t measure up. That’s not to say we should just abandon aiming to achieve anything, but just that we should curb our tendency to “expect” – say, to expect it to take 5 minutes or to expect it to solve all your door-opening problems (the latches are also a bit loose). Just make your list of jobs and get on with it when you can. Work hard, work diligently, and just see what happens.

I like the sound of that – and with a long to-do list still to conquer, it sound like the best way forward!



Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.