Thursday, May 12, 2011

Life's Irritations

We have had some trouble with our electricity off and on since December.  The main breaker would occasionally go off at random times.  We were not sure why and, as a result, were more unsure of a potential solution.  One of us (usually me because Denise could not reach the breaker) would just go and turn the breaker back on.  After a minute or so, our Internet router was restarted, and we were back online again.  (That's one of our most important pieces of electrical equipment here, don't you know?)  Sometimes we would turn off the washing machine for a while "just in case" that was the problem.  It could go off a couple of times in one day or we could go for a couple of weeks and have no problems.  We would think, "Oh, good.  Maybe that's behind us."  But the problem kept coming back.  Yes, it was a nuisance, but we learned to live with it.

A couple of weeks ago, the electricity starting going off many times in a day and even overnight, when we were using very little electricity.  I would get up to turn it back on several times before I went to sleep and again early in the morning before I wanted to be awake.  Some of the people who could have helped us were very busy at this time, so even though we wanted and needed help, it did not look promising.  Why hadn't we pursued a solution earlier?  Maybe were afraid of what others might think?

After a week of this, I was really getting frustrated - and irritated.  During lunch time one day, it went off - AGAIN!  So I got up and turned it back on.  Before I even sat back down, it went off again.  This happened several times.  We had to do something.  NOW!

We do not have many connections for this sort of thing here, so here we "phone a friend" when we need help.  (Side note - what a blessing friends can be!  Am I there to help out when my friends need me?)  He knew someone who could help us, but because of the holiday, he could not help for four days.  I did not think I could take another hour of this, let alone days.  There was another option, so he made another call.  Someone could come today to help us out.  As we waited, and the breaker went off several more times, Laura told me to go for a walk.  When I asked why, she reminded me that there were no breakers outside to go off (and frustrate me!).  I listened.  I'm glad I did.

Very shortly after I got back from my walk, someone was here to help us out.  He took one look and said "Oh, I see.  That is very, very bad."  He had the right parts with him and within ten minutes, our problem was fixed.

That is how life goes.  Life goes along quite smoothly when, all of a sudden, we are face to face with one of life's challenges.  Where did that come from?  We make it through and are glad when it is over.  Another challenge hits us.  And another.  Many times, those things are completely out of our control, but sometimes we need to do a better job of looking over and maintaining the things around us.  Why do some people walk around the car and check the tires or check the oil before they go anywhere?  Probably because they have learned that knowing about a possible problem is better than trying to fix it after you've driven on a flat tire or without enough oil.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, "they" say.

I'm really not much of a car person (they are a necessary evil - though one we are living just fine without right now), but here's another example.  We know that tire on our car needs to be replaced, but maybe we can get a few more miles out of it.  When you have a flat tire at an inconvenient time or place, should you really be frustrated?  You gambled and lost.  (Just for the record - I believe gambling is bad.  Sometimes I choose to gamble things like this, even though I would never go into a casino.  I need to be reminded of what I just said - gambling is bad.)  It would have been so much easier for everyone if you had taken care of that tire when it was more convenient.  Right?  Has anything like that ever happened to you?

Do we have things "going off" in our lives, just like our electricity did?  We get irritated because they are an inconvenience. They mess with our schedule or our plans. Sometimes they are a warning that we need to change or fix something.   Do we look, listen, and make a change - or do we just go on being irritated?

What was the problem? Our breaker was going bad and was getting burned out. We saw some of the signs of burn marks by the wires, but it had always been that way.  Maybe that is normal here?  I guess not.  The solution was to replace the breaker.  From the moment it was turned on, replacing the bad one, we have had no electrical outages. Zero!  Tell me again why we didn't take care of that sooner?

The other day I was thinking (it happens once in a while!). What things have I let into my life that I should be dealing with now - before they are a bigger problem? What should I change now when it is easier, rather than later when it is much less "convenient?"  Lord, help me be more observant and fix the things that I can.  There is a lot of wisdom in the serenity prayer, isn't there?

Do you have irritations that you choose to live with instead of changing?

1 comment:

Phil Reed said...

I was reading a post on Facebook this morning and another example came to mind. We need to keep our antivirus and other protective software up-to-date on our computers. If we do not, eventually we are very likely to get a computer virus and could infect others around us.

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