Two Small Things That Were Big

“I don’t read directions,” I have proudly said all my life. “I just don’t. I don’t understand them.”

When I got a new coffee maker, I had my son set it up.

When I got a new air conditioner, I had my ex-husband read the directions and put it in my window. This year I got my son to do it.

The other night I sat looking at my dead home phone. I didn’t know what to do. I knew I could go to the store and ask for help, but last time I ended up spending $145 on a whole new phone set.

What if it was just the battery? I pried the phone open and took out the batteries. I went on Amazon and tried to find the same ones. No luck. I checked my phone model and picked the closest thing I could find. If I was wrong, I only wasted $15.

The batteries arrived yesterday. I put them in the phone. I was shocked to see the dead phone spring to life. I fixed it. All by myself. Without a man. For the first time since my divorce 5 years ago, I felt different. It’s hard to explain. I guess part of me had silently suffered over this. I could only fix or install or set up something if someone helped me. I was helpless. Like a little child.

Even though it may seem small to someone else, this felt like a big deal to me. And that it was so damn easy.

I should end this here, but, ……I have another example.

My coffee pot stopped working Sunday morning. It wouldn’t brew. It said clean. I didn’t know what that meant. I had an 11:00 course starting that would last all day and it was 10:40 AM. I couldn’t last without coffee.

I drove like a maniac to the dunkin donuts, putting my order in as I drove so it would be ready when I got there. I ended up ordering 3 coffees instead of one, AND, had to wait 10 minutes when I got there. I ended up being late for my course very stressed out.

At 2:30 AM the next morning, I couldn’t sleep. I tried to get the coffee maker to work again, unplugging it, shaking it, and running water through it. It still didn’t work. I had had enough. I went on Amazon and ordered a new Mr. Coffee for $24.95. I couldn’t stand the stress of having to run to Dunkin Donuts for my coffee again.

Monday, however, after my phone success, I decided to try again. I looked at the directions. It said to use vinegar. That just seemed too disgusting to do. I filled the thing with only water and pressed clean. Nothing happened. OK, fine. I poured vinegar in the bucket part. I had nothing to lose.

It started cleaning. OMG. I did it. It was working. I finally did what they said to and it worked. Wow! Where else in my life was I arguing with the directions and making life really hard? This was incredible.

Except for my first pot of coffee tasting like vinegar, I felt great. OK, so I’ll have 2 working coffee makers once my new one arrives. It will be good to have a spare. (I paid WAY more than $24.95 during COVID when my last one broke. I wonder if vinegar would have fixed that one – oh well – too late now).

I am thrilled that I can change the way I think and act. I CAN read directions and I CAN fix things. All by my little girl self. It seems like a HUGE triumph to me. The world has opened up.

Thanks for listening.

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