Dare to be smart. Sounds almost dangerous, doesn’t it? I think of times as a kid when I was dared, double dared and then there was the ultimate, DOUBLE dog dared. It was SO hard to turn that challenge down sometimes. Thank god at times my intelligence and wit took over as I’m sure I should be missing body parts or at least maimed myself at some point in my childhood. I got the consequences of my actions when I chose to tune into those taunts. When I was in kindergarten, one time I took a classmate’s challenge at recess and defied the playground monitor’s rule of the day to stay off certain equipment due to rain. In my dress and Mary Jane shoes I spunkily crawled to nearly the top of the playground’s vintage styled jungle gym to prove a point. I slipped and hit my head on nearly every rung on the way down knocking myself out. Next thing I remember was waking up in a dimly lit room with my mom and teacher leaning over me with an ice pack on the back of my head. Learning things the hard way is painful (understatement).
While sitting at my table this week writing, my heart felt like it stopped and skipped a few beats as I watched the backhoe start digging scary close to my house. Watching my house sewer line plumbing replacement, I considered writing about the things I learned working with Interwoven Studios filming pick-up shots for Wuthering Heights or how I’ve been on the go bouncing to set locations acting and assisting with filming, balancing my day job, and enjoying family being in town.
This month, it’s been cool watching the construction project unfold. I’ve spent months researching contractors, getting estimates, learning the lingo, process and steps for replacing it, asking friends for advice, and talking to the bank (this is super expensive). I also talked to my homeowner’s insurance; I didn’t know if it would qualify for assistance from insurance. It didn’t.
It’s REALLY surprising how many different strong opinions and questions people will weigh in with, sometimes with NO knowledge and often with little experience. The biggest question being how do you EVEN know it needs replacing? I felt like I was being dared to climb in the rain up the jungle gym again as certain statements and questions smacked at me, only this dare made me feel like questioning the evidence I’d seen and research I’d done.
I explained that I had my main house pipe roto rooter’d to clear out roots and debris once a year for the past ten or more years. As of the past three years, I’ve had to do it twice a year. Back in November I sucked up the extra cost to have a plumber drop a video camera down the pipeline. The camera moving though murky water looked liked like an ultrasound I had when I was pregnant. There were ghostly chunks of stuff floating around, long filament fingers of tree roots waving at me, standing water in the pipe, and darkly colored spots along the topside of the pipe. The plumber gave it a three to eighteen month life span before it would back up or worse, possibly collapse. As I garnered and researched information from many different resources, I received a range of responses from indifference, fear inducing, do it myself cheaper, and helpful/supportive.
As you know, it’s hard not to punch back verbally when challenged so you can defend what you know, your space, or what you feel you can do. Because of excess information, I was left with a nagging worries that perhaps the plumber was wrong, perhaps I only needed to replace part of it, or perhaps I could get it done cheaper.
Letting all the chat go, Lamaze breathing still comes in handy sometimes, I took deep breaths as I proceeded. As I trusted my gut instinct and gathered facts, I allowed the feeling of being cool to be proactive to take over. I did not want to wait for that unknown ominous day when sewer water and debris would be backing up into the crawl space of my house. I could visualize the mess oozing up from below the house, the stink, and oh, the HUGE spiders that would come into the house as they are fleeing from the sewer gunk (yup, my overactive imagination had a party with that visual)! The plumber described the facts, just like the playground monitor, and the consequences. This wasn’t the I dare you from my childhood, this was an I dare you to be smart in present day time based on what you know to be true. I liked this second dare.
As you can see, the plumber was right. I put on my flannel shirt, hat, smile, and even though I won Roshambo, they still didn’t let me help drive the tractor ;) Months of follow through resulted in pipes that are up to code. Barring no disturbances from Mother Nature, they will be good for a very long time.
I strive to keep finding ways to dare myself to grow, trust my gut instincts, listen to good advice, dismiss the fear, and execute good plans of action. Accepting this second dare inside myself allowed me to stay out of fear based action and choose better. Daring to be smart is cool. It helps build my confidence in my abilities and skills at life and as an artist. Cheers to another month figuring life out and moving forward!
One encouraging voice can mean so much.
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