23/100 Days of Seeds of Light

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Day 23/100 #100daysofseedsoflight

Reframing, a story.

Once upon a time in mid-February, we had a flood in our basement.  The sewer line between our house and the septic tank underneath the yard became clogged and the water from the showers, toilets, sinks and the washing machine couldn’t flow through the pipe into the tank so it backed up into the basement through the base of the toilet down there, the lowest point in the house.

As you can imagine, this was surprising and unpleasant.  And I am going to tell you all of the good things about it.

The water that poured into the basement was from the inside of the house, NOT backing up from the septic tank, which would have been a whole lot worse.  We caught the flood pretty early, the only thing that was ruined was the carpet. There was a lot of water (we had run the showers and the washing machine before we knew about the clog) but there was nothing smelly or brown involved.  We found a plumber to come out that same snowy Saturday night, he was able to resolve the problem in under two hours (the minimum fee), and our plumbing was up and running before it was time for bed. Our neighbors had fans and dehumidifiers to lend us.  Our basement has a door to the outside so Dave was able to remove all of the old carpet without hauling it upstairs and through the house.

These are really good things.

I share this story to illustrate the point that we get to choose our perspective on a given situation, and on the world.  We get to choose our stories. We get to choose where we place our attention. Not everything is a good thing – we certainly know that to be true – but there is almost always a point of light to be found in the darkness, if we are looking.

Yes, the flood was aggravating and unfortunate.  It would have been super easy to focus my attention on the frustration – the inconvenience, the expense, the hassle – of the whole episode. But if I had let myself sink into those feelings, I would have been in the exact same situation – wet basement, lacking the ability to flush or wash dishes, big plumbing bill, having to replace the carpet – and I would have been mad and sad to boot.

Instead, by looking for - and giving my attention to - the bright spots in the midst, I was able to focus on how lucky we really were.  How lucky we are.