Every day, actually, every night when I go to the end of my driveway and open the faded black mailbox I notice it. I see the green metal T-Post with the silver top that I drove into the ground one Saturday afternoon. I even sometimes see the round gold deck screw heads that I ‘socked’ through post and into the cedar 4×4. I laugh at my redneck ingenuity.
My mailbox post, used to be a constant problem. Waay back, when I first bought my house, when I was 23 years old, we threw a lot of parties. A lot of people would come to these parties. A lot of people, meant a lot of cars. And trucks too. Often, at the end of the night, we would find the mailbox, or the post, has been ‘bumped’ as someone was trying to snake their way of the tiny packed ‘parking lot’, AKA my driveway. Once, the entire setup was smashed completely flat, post, mailbox and all, with bills and letters still in it. To this day, that mailbox is mounted to the garage wall as a memorial to the casualty of one fun night.
Anyway, I remember the day that I needed to work on my mailbox post… again… and I decided to sink a T-Post next to it. I had recently bought a ‘better’ version of the whole setup, instead of the super cheap flimsy black metal, this one was a big chunk of wood. Well, it was leaning over too. The design used a spike in the ground that the heavy wood post mounted to, and it was a poor arrangement as well.
Looking around the back yard, I noticed a few T-Posts. I set to work by dropping the end of the tee as close to the wooden corner as possible. I started to hammer down with my sledge. While driving them too close together, I wondered how I would connect them. At some point, after thinking about a strap-wrapping, I settled on trying to drill a hole and use screws. It went much better than I expected. The green metal was soft, my gold screws held tight, everything was pretty solid and perpendicular to the ground. Sweet.
Except, that I thought it looked trashy. I didn’t like it. After I had installed the brace, I thought I ‘should’ have put it on the other side, less noticeable from the corner of John Brown. I just knew that I wanted this to be a temporary fix, and not a permanent mailbox holding solution. I thought that I wanted to live in a house, and be the kind of person, who didn’t have such a redneck way of doing things all the time. I would fix it soon, and make it look better…
That was several years ago. I notice that post every day. Probably no one else does. Not only does my mailbox post have a slapped-together, jerry-rigged appearance, but lots of things in my little world are like that. Inside the house, I have too many things like this to count. Ways that I have done things, on the cheap, with what I had on hand, that I always ‘intend’ to do ‘the right way’ later, but really never do…
Lots of things. My desk I am typing on, is a wooden top set on a plastic table underneath. My ‘bookshelves’ are grey rubbermaid modular shelves that I have cut and fit to make into a baby library case. I reuse or reclaim stuff, and none of it matches. I just don’t like buying new, or spending a lot, when I can make something work for me, on the cheap.
So what is the big deal about this T-Post at my mailbox. Well, it is a reminder, a hallmark of how I tend to do things. I want to ‘make do’ and always think ‘someday’ I’ll fix it. Someday will come and all of my household and my life will be magazine quality showhome, exquisite…
My mentor, and world-class coach, Steve Chandler, says ‘How you do some things, is how you do everything.” I believe him. I see that in my little world.
I guess the question is: what is more useful for me? To see that mailbox post and regret that I haven’t done better? Or to notice that I have my own way of doing things, accepting myself, and then moving into the next best action, instead of dwelling on my faults…
The sooner I can relax, breathe and say, all is well, I am good, the way that I am, then I can decide from peaceful neutrality, the next forward motion I would want to take. Maybe it will be to finally fix my mailbox up real nice. But probably it won’t.
I will most likely jump into a new project, another more interesting endeavor, and leave the jerry-rigged stuff, just like it is.
Just like I am.
Just like it is okay to be.