Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"It's Always Something"

A day or two ago, the ice maker in my fridge door stopped working.  It is a new fridge in a new kitchen.  Since one of the decisions I made along the way was whether to get a fridge with water and ice in the door or not, it didn't go unnoticed.  As a matter of fact, I had just used enough ice I had decided I was really happy I chose that feature.

It's funny how my old, pessimistic, negative self struggles to be top dog again in those situations.  I was putting ice into two water bottles.  The first got just a little less than I had been aiming for before the ice stopped dropping.  It was hard for my mind not to recall the fridge my parents had when I was in college.  It was model with an ice maker in the door, but it was never hooked up.  My father was afraid to touch it and my mother couldn't tolerate strangers in her house long enough for someone else to do it.  Since even I could have opted against a model like that today, I'm not sure why they bought the thing if they were never going to hook it up.  Perhaps for the dismal joy of badmouthing it weekly.  Because, of course, everything ended up the non-functional ice maker's fault.  They were a "useless gimmick" that tended to leak and destroy your floors anyway.

I'm a problem solver.  While banishing the words "gimmick" and "useless" from my mind, I checked the water function.  It still worked.  I wondered who I should call if I needed to repair it.  I didn't think that was the territory of the the contractors who installed it.  I thought about it for a day, occasionally pushing the button to see if it was working again.  At the end of the day, I pulled out the appliance's manual to look if there was a FAQ about troubleshooting the ice maker.  A friend was visiting and together we took a look at it.  It turned out that portions of the tape that held loose parts from moving during shipping had never been removed on the door's interior ice tray.  Since the tray couldn't function properly, the cubes had fused together into one large mass of ice.  The fix?  Simply remove five strips of sticky tape and the blob of ice.  It was that easy.

The funny thing about growth and change?  Even as I sat back down to watch TV, drink with ice in hand, I could imagine what would have happened 20 years ago or so.  First, I would have been so ashamed, I wouldn't have told anyone the ice function wasn't working for at least a year.  Why ashamed?  Because I bought into a "useless gimmick," of course.  The odds were much higher that, by the time I discovered the sticky tape issue, it would no longer be the fix.  Some greater damage would have happened or a part no longer available would be needed.  The fridge would not only have ended up like a huge albatross hanging around my neck.  It would also be a monument to how I lacked deservingness to have nice things and that .... isn't funny.

On Facebook today, a friend countered one of my positive placards with the negative shadow point of view.  She was being funny and I did laugh, but at the same time, I kept picturing five strips of sticky tape.

It all comes down to the world in which you live.  If you live in a harsh and cruel negative world where $h/t happens and then you die, you probably believe it to be an unavoidable truth.  I've lived in that world.  I was always hurting.  I was always angry.  It was "always something."  It was like standing in front of a pitching machine shooting rapid fire and the best I could do was keep the balls from hitting me.  I lived in that world because it was my parents' world and the only one I knew.  Luckily I learned I have a choice.

I choose a magical world where good things happen and problems can be solved easily by removing five strips of sticky tape.

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