One day, a few years ago, I finally got tired of how slowly the bathroom sink was draining and decided to explore the issue. I gathered my supplies – a bucket and a wrench – cleared out the underside of the cabinet, and prepared to take apart the pipes.
Quick twist of the wrench and the U section came out easily. At first glance, the whole thing was clear, meaning that the clog was further along the pipe.
Completely undaunted I went to grab a wire hanger to see what I could fish out of the wall. And that’s where things went a bit south.
Straightened wire hanger in my right hand and flashlight clenched in my teeth I leaned into the cabinet and grabbed the pipe in my left hand.
The thing… crumbled. Instead of firm cold metal, I had flakes of rusted metal in my hand.
I opened my hand and more of the pipe crumbled and just kept crumbling. It felt like I was trying to hold on to a cloud.
These days that’s what my life feels like.
Three months ago I was in total control. After years of floating on the uncertain waters of parenting young children I finally felt like we were back on a track where things not only made sense, they were predictable and manageable.
It was so nice to have days that went the way I expected.
Do you know how much you accomplish when you don’t constantly have surprises jumping out at you every five minutes? It’s amazing. And inspiring.
The last three months have felt like that moment with the crumbling pipe.
Every day brings unexpected and undesired surprises.
Nothing is the way it looks at first.
Nothing turns out the way I’d hoped.
On top of various family health issues, the car’s transmission is dying, Little L had to have a tooth pulled because of a fall, and I just can’t find the time or the energy to get my work done.
Just like that day when I had to find another sink to wash my hands, write a “Please Don’t Use!” sign for the sink, and call a plumber to fix my bathroom catastrophe, I feel like my control has been stripped from me.
I pride myself on being able to handle light plumbing issues. It makes me feel powerful and capable.
I hate not being able to cope on my own. It makes me feel hopeless.
And unlike the plumber who came the next day with a brand new PVC pipe that fixed both the crumbled pipe issue and the slow drain, there isn’t anyone I can call who can fly in and just fix everything. I just have to keep getting up every morning and try to cope as best as I can while new surprises keep right on jumping out.
It’s somewhat exhausting.