What does "A do it yourself kind of life" mean?

The meaning behind the motto

Becca Smith

5/8/20233 min read

Well, what "a do it yourself kind of life" definitely does NOT mean is muddling through life and making it work all alone. I firmly believe that whether you have kids or not it truly does take a village to stay afloat. Lean on those support systems and communities you've made, you NEED them!

What I do mean is that nothing that you want in life and nothing worth having is going to be given to you, you have to work for it. Success doesn't just happen to people, they go after it. I have decided that having a fit and healthy body and hopefully a long life full of quality years is a top priority to me. I am not going to get the fitness and health that I want unless I go to the gym and put in the work. I am careful about what I eat and drink because I know my body needs certain kinds of fuel to achieve the goals I have for it and I need to avoid certain things because of the effect they have on my health (more on that in a later post).

I lost my sense of community during COVID. I had a newborn and a 2-year-old and I felt so alone. Don't get me wrong, I have the most amazing spouse, in-laws, and parents who have been more than supportive but the isolation this time around was different and overwhelming. I accepted it at first and just did my workouts at home, finished maternity leave and went back to work in the ER. Life became an endless cycle of work, home workout, kids, sleep and that was pretty much it. Yes, I realize that's pretty normal with young kids but there were no play dates, no kids activities, no hanging out at friends' houses like before where at least I could have an outlet with some adult connection. It took a long time but I realized my job was a big part pf the problem. I complained about it for a while and figured this is what I signed up for, this is my job until I retire. Then I decided I wanted more out of my life so I started looking around and what other people in medicine were doing, how others had blended multiple things together into a portfolio career and were unbelievably satisfied with their work and just plain happy. I went to conferences, took mastermind courses, networked, sought out the opinions of other women in medicine going through the same crisis of work identity. I decided that what would work best for me was a change in acuity. I love so many things about the ER but so much has changed in a very short period of time. Urgent care seemed to be the solution and my friend and colleague, Nicole, had just left the same job I had for many of the same reasons and found her similar solution. I am very grateful to her for letting me in on her plan because it saved me from leaving clinical medicine altogether at a time when I thought that would be inevitable.

I became interested in home renovation and DIY projects and began following a bunch of influencers on Instagram. I watched their content and tutorials and saved pages with instructions that I was interested in applying to future projects. I watched a bunch of you tube videos to learn how to do things and tried (and failed) at many things before figuring out my way to do them. I now stand back and look at the things I've built and created and am so proud that I did that. The creative outlet is so fun and different from anything I've done recently and the sense of accomplishment is on a whole new plane from my professional achievements.

My point is, if you want something, get after it! Longing and wishing isn't going to get you to that goal, you have to take action and put in the work. You won't always succeed but the challenges, failures, adaptation, and sometimes eventual victories are all part of that path to that ever-elusive personal growth. Sitting in that comfort zone breeds stagnation, push forward!