A Clogged Drain and Mindful Living

“Mom, the bathtub is plugged.” 

Appreciation that it was not the toilet was short lived. 

I consider myself to be pretty tough in terms of gross stuff.  During an ugly flu that rampantly infected our family, three vomiting children, who somehow would never be able to make it to the toilet until they reached the age where they were involved in cleanup of same, would not affect my appetite in the least.  I considered this a point of pride until I realized that my husband who flew to the bathroom with sympathy symptoms at the sight of vomit had neatly found a loophole for avoiding being on the cleanup crew.

So, when my son told me about the bathtub, I treated it like any other household issue, donned a pair of plastic gloves, grabbed a coat hanger and went to work. 

My gag reflex is alive and well.

Without going into too much detail, wads of hair and conditioner seem to be able to render me nauseous like nothing else.  Vomit…ick, no problem.  Poop…disgusting, but fact of life.  Wads of hair and conditioner…gagging as I type.

After spending a period of 20 minutes clearing the drain, a test run with hot water ensued.  The clog was still present.  Multiple jugs of hot boiling water were thrown down the drain as the kettle was now part of my drain-unclogging arsenal.  Still clogged.

Admittedly, household stuff is a challenge for me in my journey to mindful living (see Himalayan Mindfulness).  The inconvenience itself is frustrating, but as I have trouble staying on top of the surface stuff like housecleaning and heaven forbid improving my asset to any degree, a step backwards in terms of fixing the status quo is infuriating.

Time for chemicals.  Ordering from a very optimistic supplier of chemical drain cleaner that promised both to unclog my drain and be good to the environment felt like the next good move.  After four days, my package arrived, and immediately, the powder was poured down the drain with the requisite hot water.  A positive (in my mind) puff of smoke emitted from the drain plug and a rather potent smell.  Good things were happening down there.  Enzymes were devouring hair and conditioner (gag). 

Twenty minutes later, time for the moment of truth.  I poured hot water down the drain again and watched it swirl down the drain and then back up again.  Clog still present and enduring.

The second attack was an overnighter, and a second powder treatment was applied to the clogged drain.  Enzymes once again got to work eating organic material.  This was not a fast food job, but a dining experience for my little enzymes. 

Flash forward to this morning, hot water again swirled back up the drain…still clogged.

After a period of meditation, the realization hit that acceptance and mindful living are easy when life is going well.  It’s the bumps in the road that really show your commitment to the process.  Apparently, mine is need of some work.

I’m okay with that though.  I would be insufferable if I was not a work in progress.  I am evolved enough to know that I would not wear perfection well or humbly.

While I’m working on acceptance, if you have any tips or tricks for unclogging a tub, please feel free to share.  It’s now between a plumber or purchasing a drain snake…to be discussed with husband…done with suffering alone.

Update:  Plumber came and conquered.  A good plumber is truly a gift.  Now back to mindfully watching the water swirl down the drain.

Money – My Back Story

My journey with money up to the last 10 years or so entailed a lot of optimism, naivety and avoidance.  All describing words you would hear from someone has achieved financial success (please insert sarcastic tone here).  Still believing it was the world of my parents, but with nicer home dĂ©cor choices, I made decisions from my heart, but very rarely from my head which when you fail to combine the two often leads to either cold, logical choices or warm, foolish ones.

These are the foolish things I believed:

  • We could be a one-income family and have a pretty good standard of living.
  • Slowly-mounting credit card debt was fine, I could pay off those extra credit card charges next month.
  • I was good with organizing money, and I could do it better than my husband.
  • Nickels and dimes didn’t matter.

These are just a few of them.  There are many more, but some are too raw to unpack right now.

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

How wrong I was. This is what I have learned to be true:

  • One-income without a financial plan is unfair to your partner and your relationship.
  • Credit card charge left unpaid is bad news and means you should not have a credit card.
  • I am terrible with organizing money.  I’m a pleaser.  Pleasers should never be allowed to manage money.  We just want everyone to be happy, even if that definition of happy is completely skewed.  My husband is way better at saying no, therefore, way better with money.
  • Nickels and dimes do matter.  If you have a handle on the nickels and dimes, you have a handle on your finances.

So, why am I even bringing this up?

My husband and I have been in the process of embarking on a new kind of financial journey which makes me excited about all things money. 

I want to blog about how much fun I have with money now, saving it, not spending and how the goal posts in my financial journey have changed from avoidance to fully embracing and celebrating my painfully-acquired wisdom.  Besides, blogger by definition means a writer who is too cheap to pay for therapy, so walk with me and let me get it out.

Note: It is not my intention to provide money advice.  There are others far smarter than I who are offering this.  Rather, I prefer to have coffee conversations and exchanges of anecdotal wisdom…really continue in the fashion of my past posts.

So, consider this the foundation laid.  Let the therapy begin.