Mike Cantrell wrote:For me and my wife-and-three, I think you'd sum up the subjective feeling as, just do things the hard way.
That seems to form the most effective decision-making criterion for us.
For example, this summer, my chimney leaked and ruined the wall behind the woodstove. I put this roof on, but I've never taken a piece of the roof off and replaced it. I've never built a chimney flashing. I've only done a tiny bit of drywall work. I've never installed rockwool insulation. This was intimidating, and the easy route would have been to hire somebody. But we don't do that. We do things the hard way.
So I tackled it. It was hard and it was stressful, but now I've reset a standing-seam roof, now I've built a chimney flashing, now I've done more drywall than before, now I've installed some rockwool, and before this is all the way done, I will have built a beautiful sheetmetal heat shield behind the stove.
That's what works for me. Whenever I face something where there's an easy way and a hard way, I mostly do it the hard way. It stretches me, and I gather up skills, one little piece at a time. The kids see me and copy it. They do things the hard way, too. They're not old enough to be on roofs, but my daughter does have a decent little egg business. She saved up birthday money and bought some hens. She borrowed money from us for feed, and promptly paid it off once the hens started laying. Now she's setting aside $30/week or so (which is real decent money for age 8, if you ask me).
So, as far as a practical approach, how exactly do you DO it, learning life skills... that's how we do it. When we have a choice, we do it the hard way.