On the Tinker Mentality

Sometimes this approach (LINK) is right on (tinkering/self reliance). Other times, I’ve found it is better to think “group” or “team” and let someone who already has expertise do the work. Specialization can still be useful in a Post-Whatever world. Still… I think the message can be the same. Find a person fix something rather than tossing. I’d rather pay for someone’s time than pay for some material junk.

Examples:

1. We just had a storm door installed. I could definitely have done it, and am not afraid to do it, but I think it would have taken me 4 times as long and it didn’t cost too much to have it done.

-vs-

2. Lawn work. One could “calculate” that my time would be better spent coding rather than mowing or spreading mulch or compost. But it is satisfying to me to at least be able to do a certain amount Organic Lawn upkeep. Plus, the kids love love love helping. Something REAL! With tools! And dirt!

-vs-

3. Busted GFCI circuit replaced by electrician. I’ve done these before, but it’s also quite inexpensive to have electrician’s help. I’ll take the help! Changing the oil in a car is another. Done it a million times, but can’t say I much care for it. Jiffee Lube.

I don’t think there is a clear rule of thumb to this — self vs help — but I think there is a place for both. Probably depends on one’s interests more than anything. Some “self reliant” tasks will appeal more to some people than others.

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