How To Develop Skills And Build At The Same Time
Living The Dream The WA Way!
There's a large rectangular hole in the ceiling a little over four metres above my head. I have no idea how I got here, nor how the hole came to be in the ceiling. Instinctively I know there's a chest full of treasures up there and I have a feeling that someone has been there before me and filled it up.
I've no idea where that thought came from; it's a leap of faith!
I take the phone out of my pocket and search for "How to reach a 6m high ceiling". I didn't know what to expect and found that there are 4,790,000 results showing up in Google!
One on the first page that catches my eye suggests building a staircase. So I search for "how to build a 6m high staircase"; this time I get 2,280,000 results.
I read a review about "Building Skills" from a site called "bs dot com"; hmmmmmmmm!
So I look at a few more results. Then I find "Building Equipment And Skills Training" (aka beast dot com); it sounds like a good name to me and I check out a couple of reviews. Reviews are by people who've used beast dot com and they suggest I can develop all the building skills I need while building a real staircase.
That's just what I need!
They're great value for money and the cost of materials, rent of all tools and training for the skills needed are all included. I sign up with a credit card.
I turn around and magically a pile of wood has appeared against the far wall. So I presume I'm using wood to build the staircase. I've never done this before but want to learn how to do it for myself.
I start sorting through the wood. I have no idea what I am doing. Long bits, shorter bits, planks and thinner panelling type sheets. I have no idea where to start ...
Alongside the woodpile appears a workbench and some shelves containing all the tools I'll ever need. I've no idea what some of them are for but guess that the instructions will clarify everything. Then I notice a drawer on the bench and I discover there's a blueprint... more than a blueprint... a step by step guide along with help desk contact details to call if necessary.
I read the first couple of steps in the guide.
I start the construction on the solid concrete floor. First, I set out to build a framework, rising to the height of the floor above. The instructions tell me precisely what goes where and how to use the tools as they are needed. It feels chaotic for a while then it all begins to make sense.
I work on the lower structure, which feels solid enough at the start but as the structure rises above where I can reach, it feels less stable; it's only secured to a height that I can reach.
It includes many of the short struts and some very long supports, a couple of which reach all the way from the floor to the ceiling. I test it again. It feels distinctly wobbly.
I call the help desk. I'm told if I follow the step by step instructions that it'll all work out ok. Reassured I get back to work.
The heavy lifting is hard work; I persevere and overcome challenges as they arise. I have no idea what's on the floor above. I'm just keen to get up there to find out!
I get to a point where I'm happy with the framework as it stands and I know I'll need to reinforce it as the steps get built, but all is going well now.
I lay the first two steps and discover that filling in the sides as I go, as guided in the plan, makes the framework stronger. I lay a couple more steps and again fill in the sides. The framework is getting stronger. I also find I'm getting used to the hard work. What started off hard is getting easier.
Now I've got to a point where I need to start climbing the steps to lay more of them. I read through the next few stages of the plan; I've already laid four of the steps. If I climb two steps I'll then be able to reach to lay numbers five and six. I do that and go back down to the bottom to fill in the sides.
I'm becoming comfortable with the tools now. As I climb the steps again, I secure the sides as I get to the points I can't reach from below. It's become a process, a routine. I pass the halfway mark with steps seven and eight and feel great. I realise my building skills are improving fast!
As I climb higher though, the structure suddenly feels less stable under my weight and wonder if the design will hold up?
I keep on, back down, up again, securing as best I can as I go. As I lay the tenth step I look down. I really hadn't thought about how high I'd be until that moment. It's a little scary.
I'm not really scared of the height but as I shift my weight I feel the structure wobble! I am scared of falling! Cautiously I creep back down to the solid floor. Looking up from the floor, at the gap yet to be filled above my head I'm no longer sure if I can make it.
I talk with my favourite advisor, discuss where I've got to and how it feels. She tells me that everyone goes through this stage. Everyone finds a height at which they lose a little confidence.
She checks that I've been following the construction plan well, and then assures me that I'm doing great. She asks me to keep on trusting the process!
OK, ok, ok...
... it occurs to me that it's time to take full responsibility for my own progress. I look up and realise I'm already two-thirds of the way to the hole in the ceiling! I've learned everything I need to do, how to use all the tools and just need to keep going a little longer!
With renewed confidence, I place the next two steps on my right shoulder and climb again.
This time I place the 11th and 12th steps, secure the sides and reach up almost to the hole now. I know that on the next climb I'll be able to secure the whole structure to the edges of the hole! Again I climb down, and up with steps 13 and 14. From this height, I finally secure both sides and the top of the structure. Just the last two steps to go.
I can't get down fast enough... I almost run back up carrying the last two steps and lay them in place. As I secure the 15th step, my head pops up through the hole. I avoid looking to see what's there as I secure check the placement of the final step. I secure the last step!
As I reach up to place my hands on the floor above for the first time I hear it. The ringing is distant at first and quickly gets louder... I feel as if I might fall as I reach out to my left to turn off the alarm!
It's time to write.
It's rare for me to remember anything of a dream when I wake up. As with most dreams, the memory is chaotic. Today is rare. I don't remember all the detail but there's enough to record the gist of the experience ...
It's the start of another new day.
If you've read all the way through, I thank you!
Some might like this story, some might not. In either case please feel free to say what you think!