Have you ever had something that didn’t work they way you wanted it to? I have. I recently made a list. It’s a long list. There’s the light switch in the laundry room that often needs wiggling before the light goes on. And the door of the mailbox has come loose on one side so closing the mailbox becomes a juggling act. And, and, and.
And there’s the mug I bought. I thought it was quite unique and beautiful. However, the first time I used it, I discovered that it didn’t function as well as I wanted it to — my tea got cold too quickly because of the mug’s shape. And so it sits on the cupboard shelf.
The mug isn’t broken. It is beautiful. Yet I don’t use it because I like my tea to be hot.
This mug isn’t terribly problematic because I have others. I only have one mailbox though, so that’s a different story. Every time I collect the mail, I think “I really need to fix this” and wonder if Cam, the mail carrier, also gets annoyed. Every time I hold the mail under my chin so that both hands are available to close the mailbox, a little bit of my energy gets drained. A little bit of me begins to feel that this is normal.
On its own, the mug, the light switch, or the mailbox isn’t that big a deal. But there’s rarely only one thing that isn’t functioning quite right. As the list lengthens, it’s easy to grow accustomed to the annoyances and forget that life doesn’t have to be this way.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
It’s okay to have things that function properly. In fact, not only is it okay, it’s important.
Last August I noticed something was up with the water pressure in the shower. It had never been great and it was definitely getting worse. It got to the point where I started to dread taking a shower. Rather than a quick, pleasurable experience, it had become a slow, arduous chore. Since this is the only shower in the house, something had to be done.
My partner bought a new showerhead, one with a flexible cord and an adjustable head with five different settings. Once properly installed, we turned on the water and voila! Water flowed like I’d never experienced it in that shower. My showering experience was transformed and my life got easier.
There’s a certain beauty to something that functions well, regardless of its physical appearance. That beauty comes from the ease and joy you experience when you use it. When you have the beauty of function and visual beauty, especially in everyday things, then it is, to quote a friend, “better than going to the spa!”
My invitation to you: Choose one thing in your home that doesn’t work the way you’d like it to. Imagine how you’ll feel once it’s fixed— whatever fixed looks like for that thing. Can you set aside time to make that happen? If and when you do fix it, I’d love to hear about it.