My back fence is falling over. It is a bit disturbing because I had the fence done only about 8 years ago and the fence itself is in great shape (as it should be), but the posts are rotten and the anchor cement is broken up.
Yesterday, with the dual purpose of fixing the fence and doing some father/son bonding with my 15 year old, I started the project. I am not a construction type guy by trade, but I do ok, remodeled a bathroom a few years ago, plumbing, shower, walls, tile and all. My son and I came up with a plan for a fix without destroying the whole fence, bought the repair items and cement, and got started. Turned out getting the old posts out was tougher than expected, especially when my Dad’s old air compressor finally died, as we were using an air hammer to chip out the old cement. As we dug in, we also discovered that the posts were in much worse shape than we had thought, I became doubtful that the metal braces we had planned to use, even with new cement, would be adequate. Plan B did not go any better. Looked at detaching the fence panels from the posts so we could replace the entire post. It’s a somewhat fancy fence and I decided I couldn’t do it without destroying the good parts of the fence. So what now? Lance surrendered. Temporarily anchored the fence, returned the items to Home Depot, and make plans to call a fence guy.
Why is this a sobriety/recovery story you ask?
The Lance I knew a year ago would have never surrendered. Surrendering was weak and real men do not surrender. Through a haze of Budweiser fueled anger, I would have doggedly continued, likely alienating my son and the rest of my family in the process. I would have bought a new compressor, tools, sparing no expense to salvage my pride. My ENTIRE SELF-WORTH would have been wrapped up in successfully completing the fence project. Oh, and don’t you know I would be expecting effusive accolades, praise, and gratitude for such an amazing feat of determination and skill; if I didn’t get it there would be hell to pay for those who withheld.
So Lance 2013 just gave up, and was quite ok with that. My son said “Dad, that was an adequate attempt at a project” and we had a good laugh, kid is hilarious. I used up a half day and enjoyed the rest, without beer, without anger, and without a repaired fence. This year my emotional fence is not leaning quite so much, a willingness to surrender and ask for help has shored up a couple of my rotten fenceposts. Life is better.