Monday, June 27, 2011

Toilets and Tribulations

Yesterday I brought Trevor home with me after my trip to Salt Lake City to visit Carl. We got home at about 2 pm. At 9 pm there was an inch of toilet water mixed with poop covering our bathroom floor and soaking the carpet in the hallway. The toilet didn't look plugged up and it didn't seem like anything was wrong with it, so I flushed it to see what would happen. The toilet water came bubbling up quickly through one of the bolts on the side that secures the toilet to the floor. My first reaction was to be frustrated and upset. To have raw sewage dumped on my feet after a long, tiring trip was very aggravating. After we called the management and left a message I called my dad and asked him for advice. I was almost in tears after we talked. It sounded like it was a more serious problem than we thought. The toilet would probably need to be re-sealed or there could be a serious clog farther down the line. But then I remembered something important. God wanted me to have this experience. He was allowing it to happen. It is important for me to go through this trial because there is something that I need to learn.
It gave me peace to remember that God knows what is happening to me and that He has the power to fix it but even though He didn't intervene, He still gave me the peace that I needed.
Trevor and I walked about mile to get to and from a public restroom in a nearby park. A plumber came by when we got home and said the problem was beyond his ability to fix it. There were at least three more people in the complex having the same problem because the sewage system is interconnected. The water has seeped from the bathroom out through the carpet. We tried to keep it from getting out of the bathroom until all of our towels were soaked in the toilet water. It traveled about 8 feet and made it to the carpet that leads into the kitchen. This is one of the reasons I'm glad we don't own the place. It won't be our responsibility to pay the plumber or to replace the carpet. We called to let the manager know the carpet was soaked and she sent a person to test the moisture in the carpet. He told us that we should find somewhere else to sleep because it is a health hazard to sleep with all of the gray water everywhere so I asked grandma if we could spend the night at her house. I guess if we stayed here it would be like sleeping in a carpeted sewer. The apartment smelled terrible, especially the bathroom.
The story does have a happy ending, however :)
Last night a carpet guy came over and disinfected the carpet that had grey water and and then tore it out. He also mopped the bathroom for us. The sewage system had been fixed somewhere down the line and everything works well except for a tiny leak in the seal on the base of the toilet. The apartment manager is going to give us rent credit so maybe this is actually a blessing in disguise. I have been worried about paying for summer tuition and a break in rent could be a miracle for us. I told the manager that we were able to do the laundry at my grandma's house but she still gave me $6.25 in quarters to reimburse me for having to wash all of the towels. In a week or two we will have brand new carpet and it will seem like it never happened.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about the things that have changed since I got married. I am a lot happier about everything and more importantly I feel like a better person. Maybe feeling like a better person makes me more happy or maybe feeling happier makes me feel like a better person, its hard to tell.
I like to think that I am not an optimist nor a pessimist. I am a realist. In the argument over whether the cup is full or empty, I see it as someone is going to drink it in 5 minutes and you two won't have anything to quarrel about anymore. But rather than look at it negatively by saying "the water will be gone," my attitude has shifted to where I say "someone gets to have a drink of water." The helpful dictionary gadget on my computer says that realism is "the attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly."
As a kid I always thought that being optimistic was the right way to live. I tried as hard as I could to think positively about things but because I don't have an innate optimistic personality, I would cover my true feelings with the "blanket" of what I was supposed to feel as an optimist. It really didn't work out for me because I felt like I was a bad person if I was unhappy with the way things were in my life. I don't think that optimistic people are bad, in fact I really like them. That's why I wanted to be one. But it hurt me to force myself to bury my problems so I could look at life in a positive way and so I abandoned my pursuit of optimism. I was really unhappy with my life for a long time. I told my mom once (at a very young age) that I wanted a new mom, "one who doesn't make chicken pot pie all the time." I was obsessed with the idea of a nicer car when I turned 16 and my parents gave me a car to drive and payed for the insurance to include me in their policy. When we got married, I wanted my husband to have a nice "cushy" job (one with decent pay, vacation, time and benefits). I also wanted a nicer apartment, one without mold or noisy upstairs neighbors. But I already had a wonderful mother, a good car, and Michael did have a part-time job in addition to our apartment. It just wasn't good enough for me.
Something has changed for me. It could be the increase in endorphins since I have been biking to most of the places that I need to go. Or perhaps I am just deliriously happy to have a kitty again. Whatever the reason, I am more satisfied with everything in my life. My mom is my hero and I hope I can be just like her someday. We have a car and I have the freedom to bike where I need to go when Michael needs the car for work. I have found that living on a budget can be fun because we have to work together to stretch the money to fill our expenses.
I accept my life the way it is in every aspect and I am prepared to deal with it accordingly because I am at the place that I need to be in my life.