Life

Gratitude amidst a wake of chaos

I’ve blogged here a few times on having an attitude of gratitude, which can be challenging especially when the unexpected happens. Like your pipes freezing and your plumbing deciding to have issues at the same time.

To make a long story short, I’ve been having some plumbing issues in one of my bathrooms that my landlord thought he fixed with a new toilet. Not so much. Then we got hit here with -15 degree temps for three days in a row. Those temps, despite my best efforts to keep those pipes warm (constant drip, heat up, cabinets open) were no match for that bitter cold, and so my one working bathroom was no more. And the septic people wouldn’t be free for at least two days. Oh, and my kids were with me.

Two days without running water or toilets with three people? Um. I don’t think so. I called my kid’s dad to see if they could stay there instead and I was planning on staying at my work. Not ideal, but at least they had heat and a bathroom. But then the ex-husband said I could crash with the kids if I wanted. My ex and I have a good relationship so I took him up on the offer and brought my air mattress and slept in my daughter’s room.

It would have been so easy to be grumpy about being displaced. To wallow in how annoying it was to pack a suitcase and travel in the bitter cold. To lament that I wouldn’t have my comfy bed to sleep on or to stress about the pipes bursting and causing damage to my home while I was away.

Instead, I pulled out my gratitude journal and wrote down three things I was grateful for.

  1. I am grateful that I have a warm place with running water I can stay in with my children.
  2. I am grateful that I rent and have a landlord who is tending to the frozen pipes and plumbing issues.
  3. I am grateful I am not experiencing a UC flare at this time.

That simple act of focusing on gratitude shifted my entire mood about the situation. It made me appreciate all of the things that I did have so that when I got the call the next day that the pipes were thawed and that the septic people would be there the following day, the kids and I packed up and went home, grateful for water and one working toilet.

I now have two working bathrooms and a mandate to only use single-ply toilet paper until an elbow pipe can be replaced this summer. Could I moan and complain about the annoyance of using the literal worst of all toilet papers? Sure. But I could also be grateful that I now have the use of both bathrooms back. You don’t realize how much you use a bathroom until you can’t anymore. So, I’ll choose gratitude and endure the single-ply.

Danielle/Dani Bannister, writer and grateful single-ply tp user

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