What’s the best way to gain sixty seconds of peace of mind and a happy life? Keep on reading.
As any homeowner will corroborate, there’s never an end to the laundry list of projects needing attention around the house. From mysterious water leaks, to ceilings and walls needing a fresh coat of paint, to outdoor maintenance such as shoveling snow or manicuring shrubbery. While owning a home is a rewarding experience, it can often feel like a second, full-time job – the difference being it costs you money to work there.
I’ve resided in my current dwelling for the last nine years and during that time I’ve gained a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the art of household repairs. After all, in today’s challenging economic environment you almost have no choice as the cost of painters, landscapers and repairmen can often drain your monthly budget. And while the savings are certainly welcome, the continuous burden can be overwhelming at times – such was the case one particular weekend.
As my wife and I stood preparing dinner, our seven-year-old refrigerator began making the most bizarre noise – similar to that of a small, single engine aircraft preparing to depart the runway. Looking at each other, I could tell we were both thinking the same thing – calculating down to the last penny the financial burden purchasing a new refrigerator would bring. Knowing very little about repairing appliances, I figured it was at least worth diagnosing the cause of the horrific sound in the hopes that maybe it was just a loose screw.
After poking my head in and around the unit, I discovered the sound was coming from a tiny fan in the freezer, which blew cold air throughout the interior. Assuming it might be the motor, I lubricated it generously and to my surprise it seemed to rectify the problem – for fifteen minutes anyway. After a brief period of elation, having beaten the odds, I was left defeated as the noise regretfully returned.
And so with a freezer in pieces and a tub of ice cream melting on my kitchen table, I became enraged – ranting and raving about the seemingly endless household repairs which unexpectedly pop up. I even went so far as to pathetically blame my wife for the appliance’s mechanical failure as though she had any part in the design or construction of the unit. Completely frustrated, I put everything back the way I found it and walked away in a huff.
The following afternoon, I came across an insightful message, which truly put the events of the previous day into perspective. It was written by renowned author Ralph Waldo Emerson, “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” I was guilty as charged.
So many of us are driven strictly by emotion rather than logic. We waste much of our valuable time angered by occurrences that many times aren’t deserving of the energy we afford them. If only we could stop before the anger leads us to say or do something we’ll later regret to ask, “what are we really getting so mad about?” To see a situation from a realistic perspective rather than easily succumbing to emotions which only worsen the circumstances – in a sense, to be slow to anger.
A few months have passed since the incident above and I’m happy to report that my refrigerator is still alive and well. And while the strange noise still occurs briefly every now and then, admittedly I’m glad it does. For every time I walk through the kitchen and hear what sounds like a single engine aircraft ready for takeoff, I’m reminded of the lesson I learned that day and try to perpetuate daily – especially when playing the role of the maintenance man. Besides, who wouldn’t find comfort in gaining another sixty seconds of peace of mind?