Alert the media! Stop the presses! Something went right today.
After multiple home improvement debacles, my gut is firmly trained to seize up and revolt at any mention of the word “handyman.” I actually expend quite a bit of energy trying to ignore situations that might require the services of a home repair professional.
Today, however, we actually accomplished something with minimal time, hassle, and expense.
Some time ago, the fluorescent light tubes over Max’s bathroom sink burned out. We replaced them. This involved climbing on stepladders, kneeling on the counter, and holding things above my head. There is no question that Max is the one who did the bulk of the heavy lifting. Even in my very limited capacity, I was graceless and ineffectual. However, we did finally get both the light tubes replaced.
A few weeks ago, Max again complained that the lights were flickering on and off. When he flipped the switch to illuminate the bathroom, the lights took his request under advisement. However, they were as likely to stay stubbornly unlit or to tease him with a hopeful flicker as they were to emit actual sustained light. When they did cooperate, Max would leave them on for hours just to avoid another confrontation later. While this strategy had marginal success for a little while, the lights eventually breathed their last.
Max mentioned the situation to me. He diagnosed the problem as a need to replace the ballast. He suggested that we call the electrician company we used a few other times. I agreed, in an absent-minded kind of way. I put it on my mental “to-do” list, but didn’t “do.”
For a couple of weeks, Max employed various workarounds for light in the bathroom. Like the trooper he is, he found ways to take care of his daily ablutions without benefit of overhead lighting while he patiently waited for the “call electrician” item to work its way up on the “to-do” list.
I finally decided to do something before Max became the victim of a self-inflicted shaving fatality. On Saturday, I called the electrical company we’ve used in the past. The dispatcher told me that he wasn’t sure the company still covered our area. He told me he’d check and call back. Amazingly, he did. But only to tell me that he was still checking and would call back in a little while. Come Monday, we still had not heard back. “Here we go again,” I thought.
I went trawling the internet for another highly-rated electrician. I thought I found one and called, only to have the dispatcher tell me their company didn’t handle our area for small jobs. Fortunately, she did give me a referral to another vendor, though.
I called electrician #3. Jackpot! He answered the phone immediately. He quoted an acceptable price. He stopped at the supply warehouse and appeared on our doorstep inside half an hour. Twenty minutes later, he was gone and we had light.
It is amazing how this event changed my metabolism. For weeks now, I’ve been dragging around barely getting through each day doing what I absolutely had to do. Today, after the light came on in Max’s bathroom, I was a whirlwind. I finally drove a couple of nails in the Florida room wall to hang a wreath that had repeatedly fallen to the floor after its suction cup hook stopped adhering to either the wall or window. I swept the Florida room. I stopped to get my mother a milkshake on my way to the rehab facility. I had an emotionally-charged conversation with a doctor at the rehab and then visited with my mother for a couple of hours. Then, I went to her mobile home and packed up stuff for an hour. On my way back home, I stopped at UPS to send back her satellite TV box.
It’s crazy that we tend to focus on what goes wrong when concentrating on what goes right generates such a power surge. It seems there is no more effective fuel for activity than success.
At any rate, I am all a-flush with victory. I am ridiculously happy about the completion of a simple household repair. But I’ll take it!
How about you? Do you find that even small successes can motivate you to keep trying? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope many things go right for you today!
Special programming note: Next week, I may be posting on Tuesday instead of Wednesday morning. I’m sorry I can’t be more definitive, but such is life. Thanks for your understanding!