Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of praise for AA’s 12-step process for recovering alcoholics, often touted as one of the most successful self-improvement programs of all time. So, I was curious and looked it up on the web.
Now keep in mind that this old handyman doesn’t spend his days immersed in the world of big ideas. As they say, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And when all you have is a plunger, everything looks like a toilet.
So, it’s not all that surprising that when I read AA’s 12 steps, I was astonished by how well they fit the situation our home-owning customers find themselves in. Not that there is a perfect analogy between homeowners and recovering alcoholics, but I ask you to indulge me for a moment.
Let’s have Fix St Louis make some minor modifications to AA’s 12 steps. Imagine you are giving a pledge, and watch what happens:
- I admit that after living with the same home defects for months, I am powerless to get the repairs done, and my home maintenance has become unmanageable.
- I have come to believe that a Power with handyman skills greater than my own, or of my well-meaning spouse, can restore my house to order.
- I have made a decision to turn my home’s brokenness over to the care of a competent handyman as I understand Him.
- I will make a searching and fearless inventory of the shortcomings of my home.
- I will humbly ask an even humbler handyman to remove said shortcomings.
Not a bad fit, is it? Maybe Fix St Louis can help by making suggestions on that “searching and fearless inventory” of things that need to be fixed, especially before the holiday guests arrive. How about that bathroom door that doesn’t quite latch, so can never be locked for privacy? Or that folding pantry door that has fallen off its tracks? Or that ominous stain on your living room ceiling, just beneath an upstairs toilet? Or that mailbox that is leaning, or doorbell that hasn’t worked for years?
Now, let’s not take this translation of AA’s 12 steps TOO far. For instance, you probably don’t need to make a list of all the friends and family members you’ve hurt over the last few years by your lack of diligence in home repairs. Or apologize and make amends to each and every one of them. OK, so maybe it’s just an 11-step process.
But, however many steps there are, the last one ought to be “Contact Fix St Louis.” So, let’s get going. Let’s put your house in order.