Monday, July 14, 2008

Tools Of The Trade

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about tools.

Power tools and coping tools. Blueprints, blue moods and the importance of using the right tool for the job. You can’t put a screw in with a hammer, people. Believe me, I’ve tried.

There’s been very few things I haven’t been able to fix with my Catboots. One swift kick in the ass is usually all that’s needed to straighten out even the twistiest of problems. See, I don’t kick unless I’m sure I’m in the right.

Hard to believe, but my Catboots are not the proper tool in the battle of my daughter’s eating disorder (a.k.a. TED). TED is high up there on the anxiety producing scale and with my existing anxiety problems, it’s taken on monstrous proportions. For that reason, I have decided to give it a name.

When we finally kick it’s ass, it will know what to put on it’s tombstone.

Coincidentally, I swear, my first boyfriend was named Ted. He didn’t have an eating disorder, but he could have used a kick in the ass. I hadn’t discovered my Catboots back then, so this will serve as a double whammy.

Obviously, Catboots and power tools weren't going to kick Ted’s butt. We also needed a different kind of tool. Enter Eating Disorder Programs, Therapy and positive methods of dealing with anxiety.

I’ve learned that pulling out your hair and having panic attacks are not the right coping tools. Who would have thought? (Ok, I admit I did already know that)

In order to get my darling daughter to stop her negative behaviors, it would be most helpful to stop mine, too, because my anxiety is triggering her. We both need better methods of dealing with anxiety issues.

We needed a plan, a blueprint, if you will, and of course, the proper tools. We also needed to find something that Sam would enjoy as much as we did so we could all do it together.

If you have any experience with 15 year olds, you know this is a feat in itself.

First things first. Eliminate stressors that you can control.

Clutter. My garage was packed with crap and completely unorganized. You couldn’t even walk through it and it was irritating just to try to drag a hose through the garage to water my now luxurious gardens. I'll take a picture. Even I can't believe it!

JW and I dumped everything we really didn’t need, organized all of our tools and even put in a workbench. Holy smokes! It’s almost like we have an extra room in the house now!

Digging out the garage led to an amazing find, too! A scroll saw. Years and years ago, JW was interested in doing some woodworking. He cut a few Halloween decorations and I painted them and then life took over and all of that was forgotten.

I'm normally a little afraid of power tools, but I decided to give it a try. As it turns out, I seem to have a talent for the scroll saw. Within minutes, I was making pieces that amazed me and floored the hubby. I’m normally a little afraid of power tools, but I can rock this thing!

As I was scrolling a zoo of animals (I don’t know), an idea came to me. My daughter loves designing and decorating. Re-do our house? No. I had a better idea.

A doll house.

I found some plans online, got 2 sheets of plywood and got busy. Sam thinks it rocks and has come up with a whole bunch of ideas for decorating and insists on hand making everything ourselves.

It’s amazing how the right tools and a little practice can help you turn a useless chunk of wood into something positive and enjoyable for everyone. It can provide an outlet for anxiety as well as a permanent object to enjoy and take pride it. With the right tools and the right set of plans, I’m becoming more and more convinced that you can make anything happen.

We are finding those tools, practicing and learning to work with them. We are making it and eventually, we will construct the exact set of plans to kick TED’s ass. No measuring required.

We are making it. There is no stronger power tool than that.


Crystal said...

Sounds like a fun project.

Good luck kicking ted to the curb. :)

PopArtDiva said...

I'm a big power tool advocate - I use them in creating my painted sculpture fusions - brad guns, huge table saws, a 26" RBI hawk scroll saw. Love them tools - you can make great crap with them, lol.

But I have retired from art shows just this month and now have to figure out - do I keep my tools for a future hair brained design idea or sell them off???? Oh, what to do!

Give me a pneumatic power tool anyday over a fancy toaster or sweeper!

Jessica Morris said...

How cool!
That sounds like a great team project! Make sure to post pictures of the doll house. :)

JAM said...

Best wishes on keeping the family train on the rails.

I wish I had a magic answer for all of life's ills, but I don't.

The scroll saw is cool. Years ago, before my Dad died, he bought one for my Mother for Christmas. Man, we picked on him for that even though it's exactly what she wanted and asked for. We still laugh about that now, and the threat of power tools for my sister for Christmas keeps her in terror.