In my last post, Ah, If Only All I Had To Do Was Blog, I spoke about some of the stuff I’ve been doing around the home the past few months. I thought that I would use this post to tell you guys how I came to be such a handyman. You see I really owe it all to my dad. Dad has always been the type of guy to tell us stories about the old days. He’s the sort of bloke who would be the first to offer others a helping hand when there was a major job going on. Sure he loved helping people but he also had the urge to learn.

He was born in 1931 in a small Italian village the last of 10 children. They were a poor family and e had it pretty tough, the war not helping any. He didn’t have much of an education and had to work from an early age tending sheep. Apparently he was a bit of ladies man, finding it extremely easy talking to the opposite sex; too bad that part of him didn’t rub off on me. :smile2_ee: Maybe it would have if we had that old talk about the birds and the bees.

Sugarcane cutterAnyway, he decided to come to Australia with the intention of earning enough money so that he could return to Italy with enough to set himself up. It didn’t turn out that way as he decided to stay here. It wasn’t easy for him being in a country where he didn’t understand the language. He lived in a type of concentration camp waiting with all the other immigrants for the work that was promised them. He told of extremely hard times and how he finally moved to Queensland and became a sugarcane cutter. The work was difficult and it made his hands bleed from the burst blisters, but with time the skin became like leather and he was turned out to be one of the best sugarcane cutters around. That was another lesson he taught me, always give 110% when working for someone else.

He later moved to Adelaide and took out a loan to buy a house. It was a huge move, one that caused him to lose his appetite with the worry of having to pay back a loan but he did it with the knowledge that he wanted to raise a family. He wrote to a friend in Italy asking about the young girl, my mom, that he had his eye on and whether or not she was still available. He gave explicit instructions that he wasn’t to tell her that he was inquiring. Instead his mate goes up to her and tells her dad is interested in her. She married dad by proxy and then came to her new home in Australia.

So here’s dad, in a strange country with a new wife and a debt up to his eyeballs. He knew he didn’t have the education to better himself but he also knew he had the strength and will to work hard and to learn new skills. If someone was laying a cement driveway dad would offer to help free of charge so that he could learn how it was done. If there was plumbing or electrical work to be done dad was there looking on trying to absorb all that he could. Carpentry, no sweat dad was always there learning and helping where he could.
Not wanting his sons to lack these necessary skills he made sure when there was work to be done he would take my brother and I to give him a hand, whether we wanted to or not. Most of the time we were unwilling but you just didn’t say no to my father, he was the boss of the house and he made sure everyone knew it. Even though we didn’t appreciate it at the time my brother and I learned a lot from dad and that knowledge has been a real money saver, saving us thousands and thousands of dollars.

The thing is that anyone can learn, you just need the will to want to learn something new. I remember buying the Commodore Vic 20 when computers first became available to the public. I knew stuff all about computers, as did almost everyone else who bought one, and where most used them just to play games I tried to go a little deeper learning the basics about the basic programme language.

It was the same when I first delved into the Internet, it was all mumbo jumbo but I was determined to learn the basics so that I could do as much of the work myself as possible. I also learned that having the right tools, whether you’re building a cabinet or designing a website, like Adobe Dreamweaver CS5[OLD VERSION]Professional Design Software), makes the job a whole lot easier. The same goes with blogging, again I knew nothing about what was involved but with time, the will to learn and with the help of the Flexsqueeze theme I’m not doing too badly at it.

Life, is after all a learning experience and when learning one has to accept that mistakes will be made. Making mistakes isn’t a bad thing as long as you don’t let it get you down, instead learning from them and with that added knowledge becoming better at whatever it is you were doing when you made them. Imagine what it would be like if a toddler who upon making it’s first ever steps fell down on their behind and said, “shit man, that hurt, there’s no way I’m going to do that again!” Instead the child sees the possibilities of being able to work and keeps on trying until walking becomes a part of life and then he applies his efforts to the next hurdle.

As we get older many of us seem to lose that determination to succeed. They let fear of failure hold them back. Rather than fearing failure they should let the possibility of success dominate their life, never losing site of the goal they are trying to achieve. Keeping in mind that with every setback they are closer to their goal and with every failure they are learning a lesson that will strengthen their resolve to succeed.

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