A week ago today we replaced the water heater. We were refunded the full price of the broken one, so with a little bit out-of-pocket, we were able to get a brand new water heater with a new 12 year warranty. My dad came up and helped get the old one out & returned and the new one installed.
Later in the evening we started receiving freezing rain, changing to sleet on Sunday, and then over Sunday night & Monday it snowed. I stayed home from work, the kids were out of school. It was nice to have hot water for a long relaxing soak.
I went back to work Tuesday, while the kids were still out of school. I get a call from Lachlan around noon saying “We’ve got a problem. I hear water rushing & the dining room is flooded” I instructed him to turn the water off to the house (so nice that the main valve is in the garage) and to call David. I used my lunch break to rush home to see how bad the flooding was. The dining room is where my ‘art studio’ is and we have to really watch the spring storm season to make sure the gate is open so water flows out and down the side of the house. I’m hoping the new drainage they’ve put in behind our house helps that this spring.
Of course, a pipe leading out to the backyard spigot had frozen at a joint and cracked. I’m so thankful Lachlan was home and woke up when he did. The flooding was minor and a plumber was out that afternoon to assess what repair would be needed, and came back the next day to do the repair.
I hope this is the end of the stress inducing house repairs.
Sunday evening as I was doing laundry, or changing cat litter, I heard the plunk of water dripping. I opened the door to the hot water heater and saw the drip pan was filled with water. There’s a drain sticking up off center of the drip pan so luckily nothing has flooded. Yet the water has dripped almost continuously for the last 4 days, at least.
So maybe that’s why my Shower Challenge didn’t show any savings but that’s not the point right now.
David, my husband, called the manufacturer since its in year 7 of the 12 year warranty. They told us to do the hot water heater equivalent to “turning it off and back on” again. Which was basically, turning off the pilot light & burner, letting it sit for a few hours, and turning the flames back on, to see if it may be condensation. A full drip pan isn’t condensation but we humored them, and when David called them back yesterday and said it’s still dripping, they said it’s unrepairable and gave us an authorization number to get it exchanged.
We purchased it at Home Depot, 7 years ago as I said, but I cannot for the life of me find the receipt.
I’ve found the receipts for the other appliances we bought that same year, but nothing on the hot water heater. I’m not sure if they’ll need the receipt to do the exchange, since we have the authorization. My husband said they’re the only place that carries this brand of heater, but still, having worked in retail, I know the power of the receipt.
I feel the stomach twinges of anxiety beginning, and I start to criticize myself as quickly as the water is dripping. Why aren’t you more organized? You should have saved all your credit card statements. Now how are you going to prove you bought this at Home Depot?
This happens at the time we’re getting a bit of extra money to spend on fun stuff, and I had planned on getting the family new cell phones. That’s haunts me too. You can’t spend money on frivolous things when you have repairs to do. You don’t REALLY need a new phone, and the boys can just deal with the crappy ones they have. If you didn’t have so much credit card debit this wouldn’t even be a problem. You know you need to have a savings account for emergencies.
Then the cherry on the self-depreciating sundae is the fact that I have started attending a Science of Mind church. “Change Your Thoughts and Change Your Life” I’m intrigued by it, but at the same time very questioning. It seems any type of problem or challenge is because you’re not ‘thinking right’, and I’m trying to figure out which of my thoughts caused my hot water heater to drip. Of course, it couldn’t be faulty manufacturing, a weak seam, or anything structural. It’s MY fault, because I had a wrong thought. Because I don’t have right understanding, and if I did, I wouldn’t have this problem, so maybe if I believe the hot water heater will stop leaking, it will.
WTF!? No wonder I’m experiencing anxiety and of course, anxiety is my wrongful thinking too
Today I feel like I can’t win.
Back in the fall, I purchased Thrashing About With God by Mandy Steward at a book signing. I had seen her name and had earlier in the month helped another friend out with an art show to raise money for Oklahoma Mothers Milk Bank where she had some art showcased.
After purchasing a signed copy and saying hello to Mandy, I went to my favorite tea house to relax and begin reading.
i didn’t get very far. I read a bit when I could but it was painful, it was like a mirror being held up and I wasn’t ready to look at the face reflecting back. I set the book aside for a while.
With the new year, I’ve felt drawn to authenticity. I’m tired of living for other people, and I picked up Thrashing About With God. It’s still hard, tears well up and I easily cry at some point in each chapter. Now the book is reflecting to me a face with wild eyes. The eyes searching to break out of a prison of my own making.
Even as I try to write this post, my youngest son is wanting to make some hot tea and is yelling at me from the kitchen he doesn’t know how. The instructions are on the label and he makes himself iced tea all the time. As I try to write and answer him, I get words mixed up and he starts teasing me. I just want some quiet time to write but I have to put his needs first, and I’m mocked in my confusion. He’s a extrovert and thrives on what I see as chaos, and I ask him to please be quiet, as I’m trying to write. He goes into a teenage angsty tirade on stapling his mouth shut and having to drink through a straw like a mosquito. Tears are welling up in my eyes, and I text my husband I’m experiencing sensory overload. As my son walks past me to his room, mug full of tea, I tell him that I love him… Silent treatment as response.
I’m having a very difficult time putting my needs first, when for as long as I can remember I try to make everyone around me happy and comfortable, even if I’m not. I have such a difficult time saying what I need or want, and when I do, I’m not prepared to deal with the reactions of others who are used to my compliance.
My son just came back out of his room, explaining his tea wasn’t sweet enough and we have a bit of a chat. Things are back to normal.
I should finish the book within a week, at the pace I’m reading, and I’m reminded of the Eight of Swords tarot card. I’m trapped in my own cage, created by the habits of past behavior. In conjunction with working on expressing my needs and thoughts, I’ll be prepared that other people will react differently to me as well.
Last week, on the last day of my vacation, I painted my fingernails. I don’t usually paint my fingernails, only my toenails, especially if I chose a wild color like blue. My toes can be hidden in shoes, and safely worn to work without drawing attention to myself.
The company I work for is very image oriented. Or it was with the old guard. So many things have changed in the last 8 months, I think the image police have other things to worry about. Still I’ve never been one to stand out from a crowd. I’ll easily go with whatever everyone else is doing, as to not draw attention to myself, and then I feel sad and a fraud for not being authentic.
So when I grabbed the blue nail polish and started to paint my toes, my brain screamed “NO!!! Paint your fingernails! Let the blue remind you of your love for color, and the paint you get on your hands when at the canvas, and to remind you to GET YOUR ASS TO THE CANVAS, or art journal, or sketchbook!” I may be a number cruncher 40 hours a week, but in those little bits of time between making sure numbers play correctly and balance, I can doodle, I can write a poem, and I sit serenely with the universe and feel the connection between myself and all things.
At times, it’s fun play dress up and go with the “Corporate Ladder Climber” image. Of course, that’s not ME, it’s not authentic, but when I bellydanced, wearing my bedlah and gossamer flowing skirts, with silk veils floating like butterflies with my movements gave my image as a dancer more “umph” . I could dance the exact same choreography with jeans and a tank top, but the dance costume gave me credibility . The bellydancer me is more authentic than the corporate me.
Tomorrow I have to give a presentation, so it’s the Corporate Ladder Climber costume, to be credible in my part. I’ll even take off the blue polish. I’m going to switch it for a really dark purply-black. It’ll more easily go with my black slacks & jacket, but it will still remind me of the Artist Soul Heart beating within me.
Today is my last day of PTO for this month and I’m working really hard to not plan the day out. The rest of my vacation time was pretty well planned, or I had some type of appointment on each day, so today is absolutely nothing I HAVE to do.
However, I’m finding a lot of things I want to do, and I’m not sure I can cram it all in.
Yesterday my son & I went to the zoo, and I decided to log into the Geocaching website to see if there were any caches in that area. I found a few, loaded them to my GPS, which would then not turn on. FRUSTRATING!! I’ve problems with this GPS off and on since I got it, so I tried to calm down, knowing I can always use my phone to play.
I discover that my GPS software (firmware?? What’s the difference?) is ver 1.7 and I could update it to ver 2.15. So updating begins, which takes a while and once it’s finished, I throw the GPS in my bag, while I wait for it to restart after the updates, and off we go to the zoo.
The GPS will still not come on and never restarted. Deep Breath I pull the battery out 6 hours later praying I’m not messing up some update it’s still trying to run, and it finally comes on, saying the brand new fresh batteries were in the red zone. I shut it down, put newer new batteries in it and it seems to be happy again. The ‘red zone’ batteries tested good so I don’t know why the GPS was being cranky. But I load it up with caches around my house, in various parks, including the one cache I’ve searched for 3 different times and could never locate.
I did plan to hunt that cache today, but discovered the park it is in is closed on Mon and Tues. Deep Breath So I’ll save that for Friday after work.
I’m back to really not having any specific plans but things I want to do. It’s supposed to be a beautiful day outside and would be perfect to get out for a bit, do a tiny bit of caching. I’m forcing myself to not rush into it. I’ll get dressed & get out later but I don’t have to rush through the day trying to shove fun into every single minute, before I go back to work tomorrow.
Deep Breath, No Rush.
Today, I received an email notification that my water bill is ready. I was anxious to see what savings my month of limiting my relaxing baths in exchange for more water saving showers earned. So I logged in the city website to view my bill with the squinty peeking through my eyelids expression…
The savings? Not a damn thing!!
The bill was exactly the same dollar amount, and same water usage as last month.
I started thinking, maybe I’ve used more water elsewhere. I’m not doing any more laundry, or dishes than normal. Plus our washing machine is an efficient front loader, and I don’t think the dishwasher uses more water than my nightly nearly full to the brim baths had.
While I haven’t (yet?) seen any water or money savings on my bill, I have discovered when I do splurge and take a bath, it’s more enjoyable. I linger in the water, reading and relaxing, for 45 mins or longer. I am somewhat looking more forward to the showers. I’m not as averse to getting my hair wet, and have began to enjoy letting the water run down my head, massaging my scalp and enveloping in a water bubble of warmth & steam.
Maybe next month I’ll see a savings on my water bill.
Today starts my the 1st of my vacations I have scheduled so I don’t lose my PTO days. I have 4 days off of work, not including the weekend and I had originally had planned to fill the days with activities, cleaning & artwork.
Then I realised, I’m trapped and the unexpected throws me for a loop. There are some things planned, that are non-negotiable. Lunch with a friend, dentist appointment, going to the zoo – the things I have planned & thought about doing for the last few months (except the dentist, I really don’t want to go to that!) But why fill the other hours with cleaning out things, organizing and sorting unless that’s what I feel called to do at whatever time I begin to do it.
Schedules really kind of suck.
So after I woke up, still early for being off work, to get the kids up & ready for school, I was happily surprised with the fact I can watch Olympic hockey LIVE. I didn’t plan to watch hockey at 6:30am. I was looking for curling, and expected whatever I found to be taped due to the time difference. If I stuck to the plan of watching curling or turning off the TV since it’s not on, I’d miss watching my favorite players on the Russian team get the 1st two goals of game.
This vacation will be free-flowing. WIth the exceptions of my two scheduled appointments, everything else will just fall into whatever happens mode.
I was just struck with the thought that schedules provide security. Knowing what will happen at what time can be a comfort.
I’m tired of being safe and comfortable, in my rut of plans. I want to be spontaneous and wild.
And not just for my days off.
I just had a bit of an epiphany. While waiting for the 4 mins of my tea seeping to be up, I did some stretching and caught myself holding my breath. I reminded myself to breathe through the stretches, allowing my body to experience a little deeper range of motion with each movement.
When my tea timer beeped, I moved the strainer from the cup, thinking how our bodies can go without water for a few days, without food for a few weeks, but only a few minutes without breath. If we try to hold our breath, our bodies will take over after we pass out and continue breathing on its own.
Our minds don’t need to breathe, breath is totally for our body. Our vehicles in this incarnation. Our brain organ need breath, but not our thoughts. Our Thoughts are entities of their own being, our gifts to the Universe. They are pure energy.
Yesterday during a mediation with one of my spiritual support groups, I ‘heard’ (more of a feeling than actual words) that “You are not your body. Your mind is what you are, and you can be so much more than what you’ve experienced in life so far”.
Of course, I don’t take this as permission to treat my body like crap, eating junk food, drinking chemical mixtures of poison (aka diet anything), or sitting on my butt mindlessly watching TV. My body is the vehicle I need to travel in this Life School, and like my metallic transportation (which is a Kia Soul… Which I bought in 2009, before I began this spiritual journey) or anything mechanical, it needs care and maintenance. Leaving something mechanical outside, unused, for months on end, chances are when you need to use it, it won’t start or need some refurbishment before it runs as ‘good as new’.
My body is finite, my mind is infinite.
I feel like I’m rambling now, and cannot express into words what I’m feeling at this present moment. So I’m going back to drink my tea and reading before the family wakes up and my quiet time becomes less than quiet time.
I’ve always been the one who kept things to myself, as to not upset others, or “make waves”.
Back in June 2013, I participated in Pixie Campbell’s 7 Journeys. One of the intentions I held during this week leading up to the Summer Solstice was to “find my voice”. I’m learning it’s a challenge (even now, I thought “no, don’t post this, it just doesn’t sound right….” and nearly ended up deleting my file), and I KNOW I’m still keeping things to myself as not to upset someone else, but it’s been a learned condition.
Trying to unlearn something is more difficult than learning something. I know that from dance class. When you learn & drill a choreography wrong, the muscle memory of the incorrect move keeps you going in the wrong direction, spinning the clockwise instead of counterclockwise, stepping off with your right foot instead of your left. Muscle memory is some strong shit!
This past week, I’ve caught myself keeping my true feelings to myself, to keep the peace.
There will be a lot of changes in my life in the next 6 months, and I believe when things are shaken up, it’s a good time to put in place new habits and ways of doing. So I’m opening up to be more authentic, to speak what I feel and to point out when I’m told my thinking is incorrect.
Growing pains, man…. growing pains.