A Cautious Courage

Kelly means brave warrior.

I was well-named. Bravery has always been a goal for me, but it doesn’t always come easily. I hate failing. Or even feeling like I could fail. I have had to be brave and even war against myself at times when my natural inclination was toward protection instead of adventure.

But I’m becoming more brave. I share more of my heart with others. I’m willing to travel and have adventures, without knowing the whole plan. And more and more lately, I’m willing to be brave and attempt to repair appliances in my house!

I have had more than my fair share of troubles with appliances. And I have no formal training in electronics, plumbing, or mechanics, but nevertheless, I am choosing to be brave! Recently, after a series of snafus regarding the purchase and delivery of a new dryer, I was left to wire the plug myself. I could choose to be irritated at the companies responsible for the mess, but instead I chose to be brave… and cautious!

dryer sweat
Oh, a lot videos and a lot of sweat. I forgot to mention that !

I investigated the task at hand and decided the best course of action was to watch a dozen YouTube videos prior to grabbing my screwdriver to get to work. I watched the big box instructional videos and a bunch of independent electricians who kindly made videos. I learned the best ways to wire the plug, and some tricks to avoid. (I also learned that one of the big box videos was wired incorrectly! The neutral and ground wires, which are not interchangeable on a four-pronged model, were incorrectly swapped!) After watching enough videos to feel confident that I knew what to do, I wired the plug, balanced the machine, turned on the breakers, and had a brand new dryer to enjoy!

I shared this story with my dad, including the number of videos I watched before starting and he commented, “I like that. It’s a cautious courage. You’re willing to be brave, but you are not foolhardy about it.” I really appreciated how he worded that: a cautious courage. I think both parts are important. Caution without courage restricts engagement in life. It makes us fearful, anxious, and restrict ourselves from living to the full. Whereas, action without consideration can lead to unnecessary heartache. I want to strike the balance between being brave enough to fail, whilst also ensuring that I know enough to have a chance not to fail! When it comes to electrical work, and life, a cautious courage seems like a good place to start.

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