2/27/13

life lessons from a toilet


I know. I just used the word toilet in the headline of a post.

I've mentioned before that I struggle sometimes with our little house.

We were very very blessed to buy it when we did because homes in Seattle are (too) expensive and they're getting even more so.

And because it's an expensive city, you don't get a lot of house for what you pay and the house you usually has some issues.

Issues like teeny-tiny bathrooms with toilets that do weird things.

Of course when you own your home, you get to make the fixes to the toilets that do weird things. 

So the husband and I got to play plumber. Neither of us have ever done major plumbing-- although the husband did take apart all the pipes in our basement last spring-- but no toilet plumbing to speak of. Yet the toilet desperately needed to be fixed.

The husband banged around on it, adjusted the flapper thing, googled some information (thank God for the internet in times like this) and behold, declared it fixed.

We flushed it seven or eight times, and it was fixed. But I didn't think it was fixed enough.

Was I being difficult? Perhaps. But I didn't trust the toilet. We'd been down this path before and I knew that it was tricking me into thinking that it was going to work but in a month it would be back to its old tricks.

I told the husband that we needed to fix it, fix it. We needed to replace that thing in the toilet-- the flush valve. He said that it was fine, it worked and he had never replaced a flush valve. (well neither had I.)

However, I told him that we needed to try it. Then I watched a ton of toilet plumbing videos on YouTube and told him we were going to replace it.

It wouldn't be honest if I said it was easy-- it was a bit frustrating and due to the size of our bathroom, the husband could barely find room to fit both himself and a wrench beside the toilet. But we fixed it.

After dancing up and down in the pocket-sized bathroom and flushing the toilet a million times in celebration (look! it works!) I was struck by something profound.

Sometimes things seem alright the way they are-- like the toilet-- it seems like it works. Maybe you've made a little fix, you've tried a little something new, but I believe that we were not called to just make these halfway attempts in our lives. We are called to replace big things in our lives, to step out and try big things if we want real, lasting results. We are called to replace the flush valve, not just tinker with the flapper and call it a day.

Just some things I've been thinking about.

Now, excuse me, I'm about to go wonder at the flush of my toilet again.

Do you ever learn life lessons in weird places? 

xo, erika

p.s. recapping the month or sharing goals or the next? join beth & for the list link-up. It will be on the blog tomorrow and you can grab a button from my sidebar.

8 comments

  1. So true. Sometimes (most of the time) it is easier to make a small fix or put a bandaid on a problem than to actually do what needs to be done.

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  2. We have a sink where the little plug is kind of stuck down, making the sink very slow to drain. Izzy thinks it's fixed but I'm waiting for something weird to happen.

    Silly houses.

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  3. I do all the time! I feel your pain on home improvements girl. Sometimes this is the way I learn to appreciate my life. I always think "at least I have something to fix". It's a good feeling.

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  4. i love this post! i too struggle with whether or not certain things are "fixed" or deserve to be "fixed-fixed." the toilet is definitely something that needs to be fixed-fixed, but, no matter how difficult it was, the solution was more tangible than fix-fixing things in life.
    great insight, girl!
    xo writeslikeagirlblog.com

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  5. It amuses me how you interpret things, Erika. How were you able to see something more significant from the superficial toilet issue? But you did a great job on it! :D Toilet plumbing doesn't need to be so complicated as long as you have that DIY attitude. Thank goodness the Internet contains almost everything to guide you with some quick fixes. -->Carmella

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  6. “Sometimes, the best life lessons come in the most unexpected places.” - I totally agree. Learning DIY repairs is one of the skills that I’m very thankful for. I know how hard it is to get a headstart in doing your repairs but then after everything I’ve tried, the experience was really fun. I also consult with a professional when it comes to plumbing, but I make sure that I focus on what the repairman is doing so that I can fix it by myself the next time the same problem arises. :)

    -Elia Lester-

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  8. Great insights, Erika! Though I never expected I could learn something from the toilet. Hmm.. I'm pretty sure your DIY skills will be a lot better the next time around. Next time, I'll ask some tips with the repairs that I may have. For now, I think professional help can deal with these. :)

    Chris @ Drain-UnBlocking.com

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oh that's so nice of you to say hi :)
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