I stood there standing at my kitchen sink washing pots and pans, looking out onto the beautiful sugar coated house tops while water gushed out onto my feet. My head instantly responded by checking off all the damaging water adventures I’ve experienced lately:
August 2018…Bathroom flooded due to negligence from five floors above me.
-A quarter of my bathroom gets torn out and put back together again.
September 2018… the mass air conditioner debacle of 2018 that had me packing up my entire house, living without a bathroom, kitchen & all around sanity for the last quarter of the year.
-Home back together, but I continue to wait for the last bits of trim to be installed. Check.
November 2018… wall around bedroom window cracks open revealing massive water damage, rust and general disgusting-ness due to the breakdown of trim around the outside of the old, and very much needing to be replaced, window.
Two days before Christmas… water starts to seep through my kitchen ceiling and quickly turned into a romantic waterfall that cascaded onto my newly installed floor. Yet another negligent neighbour from above causing havoc on my home.
-Five days ago kitchen ceiling replaced.
January 2018… I have to empty my busting storage unit of all my Christmas bliss due to water pipes that need replacing.
-Project still in progress, and I look forward to removing the festive contents from my den and returning it the basement unit where it belongs.
My head returned to the present and the only phrase that came to mind was… about right. This was followed by an eye roll and the second thought which was, “just another day”. I took a deep breath and then opened the cabinet door to unleash the mini-tsunami that was anxious to be released.
And I saw it there, mocking me; a gaping hole in my my pipes that had given out under my sink. Foiled again by water.
It’s official, I’m feeling waterlogged and a personal target of this transparent liquid.
Yet, I couldn’t help but notice that I didn’t respond in my usual, ‘drop everything, rush to Home Depot as I cursed every other word and bulldoze my way into fixing it before really losing my marbles’ familiar way. Instead, I experienced a simple calm. I turned off my water, cleaned up the mess it created with my recycling bins and kitchen floor, then took a step back. I decided to finish eating my dinner that I was only half way through before discovering this mess and just marinate with the question, ‘now what?’. And my answer didn’t involve anger, or to irrationally call my real-estate agent to put my house up for sale; it was to just wait.
Space allows me to see situations with a clearer lens and keeps the creative part of my brain open so I can problem solve instead of shutting down and storming around like a three year old.
And in this case, space helped me to realize that I had no idea what I was dealing with; so I knocked on the door of my wonderful neighbour to get his two cents on the matter. I just needed to know whether this was something I could fix (I love an excuse to play with tools) or do I need to call ‘the guy’. Funny enough, he ended up being ‘the guy’. He fixed my pipe without breaking a sweat and and I instantly started baking him fresh ‘thank you’ scones to have with his evening tea.
After he left, I started to appreciate the power of space and how asking for help made this situation more quickly remedied than if I had driven over to Home Depot in attempt to find someone who actually knew what they were talking about to possibly help me. Over-reacting and making something bigger than it needs to be used to be my first course of action, and most times ended up making my life more complicated.
I believe that I have no control of what happens to me, but I sure as shooting can control how I react and how I feel about it all. And giving myself space to choose what that will look like, makes everything much more figure-out-able.