And I realize that what I’m about to write are totally First World problems, and yes, I am keenly aware that there are others who have it “far worse” than I do.
So there’s my disclaimer.
Upon returning from my awesome adventure in California, I experienced post-vacation blues like I had never anticipated. Add to that, I managed to catch a cold from the asshole seated behind me on the airplane that kept hacking all over me. I probably should’ve taken the Airborne I had purchased prior to leaving rather than keeping it stored in my pocket, “just in case.” I don’t know what in the hell I was waiting for…I think the purpose of it is to take it before you leave to enhance your immunity. But, hey, I’m not an experienced traveler, so what the hell do I know?!?! Point noted.
On top of all of that, I’ve been having some plumbing issues in my house as of late, and they came to be an eminent problem this week.
For the past two years, I’ve never taken a shower that lasts longer than five minutes. And it’s not because I’m some tree-hugging water conservationist. No, I cannot say that my short showers are that noble; it’s merely been because the hot water in my shower never seems to last for longer than those five minutes.
I’ve had the thermostat in the water heater replaced once before, some time last year, but it turns out that there are two thermostats on my water heater and the second one had gone bad as well. So I had that fixed.
But it didn’t seem to help. In fact, it seemed to get worse.
My showers could still not last longer than five minutes, and the water pressure was getting worse and worse. My brother-in-law had given me some suggestions and told me of some potentially costly repairs that might be required. His suspicions included corroded pipes (expensive) and the potential that the water heater setting had been set too low (something I didn’t even know existed, but certainly an inexpensive fix. It would only cost a screwdriver and my time).
I attempted the setting thing first. That didn’t seem to help. The pressure– and the heat– still kept getting less and less. And then… today, I had no water at all.
Of course, I panicked. Called my dad; got in touch with my manfriend, freaking out to him as well. Googled the hell out of what could possibly be happening. Even called the water company. Had them come out to the house on an emergency call because I didn’t know what else to do.
In an irony of all ironies, the water guy who serviced the call was named Jeff.
I had to laugh.
But the even bigger laugh came when he diagnosed the problem.
The water shut-off valve had been turned on to merely a trickle. Apparently, when the water heater guy came, he didn’t turn up the water enough to allow the water to flow freely through the entire house.
I felt like an ass.
The stupid knob had not been turned up all the way.
And so I’ve been living with limited hot water and low pressure for two years. Figured it was just “the way it’s supposed to be.”
But this long story isn’t the reason I’m sharing this with you…
It’s because of what happened afterwards…
I came home from the gym after a sweaty leg workout and headed for the shower.
And for the first time in so very long, I felt hot water envelope my entire body.
I stood under that showerhead and let that water flow down over my hair, my face, my entire body, the water’s full pressure easing my aching muscles and soothing my pounding head.
That water, that full blast of nearly scalding-hot water, felt like it melted the stress of this whole week straight down the drain.
I began to cry. Not just a few tears. Guffaw tears.
Not because I was sad, but because I realized how grateful I am for such seemingly small things.
For hot water.
I stayed in that shower for 20 minutes and just cried and cried and cried. It felt so good. It was a release.
It was a cry of thanksgiving.
It was the most cleansing shower I have ever taken.
It’s the little things.