ideation / Meandering

Meandering Monday about Do It Yourself

I’ve had a few times in my life when I tried to handle something myself because IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DONE RIGHT, and I thought I could. Naturally, there were difficulties, so the next time I ran into the same sort of situation, I looked at what I’d done the first time and weighed the problems against the other method I could have chosen and went the other way. There are no perfect solutions in life, and every choice you make has its own pros and cons.

That meandering gobbledygook was pretty confusing, wasn’t it? Examples would be better.

About 30 years ago, I was rear-ended in rush-hour traffic and suffered an annoyingly traditional whiplash injury – traditional in that it impacted my ability to function so that I could not safely work my machine-shop job, yet there was no visible evidence of an injury. I lost employment for about half a year while trying to recover with the aid of a neurologist and various medications.

I dealt directly with the insurance company – partly because I saw no reason to involve an attorney (who would take a third of what seemed an obviously easy claim) and partly because the people who hit me had the same insurance I did, and the same adjuster was handling their liability who’d already handled my PIP – so we had a good relationship – right?


The adjuster – who’d been so reasonable about my injuries while paying out my medical on my plan – NOW didn’t believe I was injured when he was handling the claim for the people who hit me. Instead of the 150% of losses I was led to believe I would get, I struggled without legal assistance to not quite recover my expenses. And I had A LOT of stress and frustration dealing with the insurance company.

Fast-forward a few years. My wife suffers a similar sort of injury in a store, with obvious culpability on the part of one of the employees. Knowing then what I knew about my own past experience, and assured that a lawyer would get us no less than 150% (and then take a third, so we’d at least regain our expenses, so it would be just as good as my D.I.Y. settlement) we got a lawyer so we wouldn’t have to experience that frustration and stress again.

Instead, it turned out that dealing with the attorney was AT LEAST AS FRUSTRATING (he didn’t seem interested in fighting for us – just wanted to play golf and get his cut) and I wound up doing just as much work to get him his cut and us our costs. The next times we were injured (sadly, a common occurrence) we went back to D.I.Y. – why add an extra layer of stress?

I find myself in a similar situation today. Over two years ago we decided to remodel our house for sale. A contractor estimated the work at an amount of money I didn’t want to part with, so I decided to do it myself. We took care of the initial demolition (wallpaper, etc.), but then life happened (those annoyingly frequent injuries, among other things), and D.I.Y. just wasn’t happening. When our flood occurred, it presented us with an opportunity to restart. Another contractor’s estimate was remarkably similar to the first one, but this time we decided to have someone else do it themselves. Finally, the work would be done and our house would be in better shape without so much effort and frustration on our part.

Except… now we’re dealing with the frustrations of that “other” doing it. Delays. Mistakes. Unresponsiveness. Almost to the point where I forget WHY I engaged them in the first place (because you weren’t getting it done, Bill.)

I have to remind myself – there are no perfect choices – each one has its drawbacks, and there will always be difficulties to navigate. You just need to decide which ones you are willing to accept, suck it up, and deal with it. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, life will always be DO IT YOURSELF.

Just saying…


collection3coverThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND – my third short story collection, which contains the following:

“In Robert’s Memory”: An interplanetary tourist ship runs into its own version of an iceberg; it’s up to R0B3rt to ensure its passengers’ survival. Careful – you spend enough time around people and they’re bound to rub off on you.

“My Reality Show”: The voices may be in your head, but that doesn’t mean they’re not real… Convinced that there’s something else going on in there, a man decides to lay down the rules of engagement for his own First Contact.

“The Body”: A long-suffering, social-climbing son deals with more than the usual embarrassment of misbehaving parents, hoping to find acceptability in the certainty of their demise. If some things would just stay buried…

“Choosing the Right Time”: Who hasn’t thought about how different their life would be, if only they had made this choice instead of that one? A young man finds out that no matter how amazing a technology can be, there are no simple fixes.

“The Sheila Wulf Chitinoid Sessions”: Fresh from the University, Sheila Wulf thinks she’s made her mark when she discovers an alien species, but her fifteen minutes of xenopological fame seems to be wasted on a tribe of uncooperative crabs.

“Thank You for Your Interest in XenCorp”: In this perpetual economic down-turn, who in their right mind would restrict their job search pool to local employers only? Consider off-worlding!

Use coupon code ZM35Z to get an additional 67% off the newly reduced cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until October 15th. Here’s the link:


My next release will be “Hard Times” (Detective Jimmy Delaney #6); I still have to format and create cover. Release date is October 21st.


killingthemsoftlycoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication “Killing Them Softly”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri



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