Thursday, September 24, 2015

Report from the 30 Day Happiness Challenge

It worked. Trivial problems confirm important lesson.

First: Maybe that "challenge" word was not such a great idea. Let's go with "30 Days of Happiness" or the "30 Day Happiness Choice." Here's what happened, what do you think?

I ordered a sofa, love seat and ottoman online after actually sitting on them in the Pottery Barn store in Seattle. The ottoman arrives with chips on 2 legs. I call and send photos,  pack it up again. Then I realize there may be more. I take it out and see one seam is puckered. Of course they want to see that. My camera stops working, but my cell phone does the job. I shoot that seam, send it off and  repack. Now they want one of the whole thing. I unpack it and comply. But after the puckered picture it will not send any more.

I confess to bouts of frustration. Each time I asked myself how I wanted to feel words like peaceful, resourceful, competent came up. And son of a gun, that is how I felt.

Happiness restored, after another go at online cell instructions, camera menu, and. one more customer service conversation when I had to clarify it was puckered, not that word that sounds like it, I got the camera to work and sent that last pic off.

They schedule pickup. Love seat and sofa are due in October. Two guys arrive carrying  the love seat. Don't know anything about  the ottoman.  They call in and, whew, learn, yes, pick up the ottoman.

Next! I'm blessed to have a rental condo with fabulous tenants who call to say the fridge is dead. They find new one with a minor scratch and it and wait  patiently 4 days for it. The delivery guys scratches the front in the way in. Touch-up paint and 10% and we're good to go again.

Then! The  timer on my patio lights fails. Very dark out there.

But wait! There's more. My printer stops working. I perform about 30 steps, About a ream of paper later, the cleaned heads and perfectly aligned new cartridges print 1 line and quit. After about 4 more tries I quit too.

Oh, no! Day 29, Saturday night as midnight approaches, the smoke alarm chirps loudly. I get out the ladder, try to dismantle it, can find no battery.

At least my computer still works. Answers to online chirping questions including the 4 YouTube videos I watched prove useless. There's even an expert, who, for an undisclosed fee, is available to chat. There were some pretty grumpy responses, though. One chirping victim, who was obviously not engaged in the 30 Happiness Challenge, demanded a refund, describing the guy's head using a body part only boys have, The final online solution is to flip the circuit breaker. I know it's outside somewhere, but it's very dark out there now with no patio lights. Dang that chirping is loud.

A memory stirs. When I bought this place the owner filled a new requirement for a hard wired alarm by simply mounting the new one next to the old one.  But that was 8 years ago, could it be? I yanked that sucker out and yes! Now for a little midnight happy dance over a dead battery.

There's more but sometimes enough is more than enough!

Over and over, when frustration threatened to overwhelm my good spirits, I stopped to ask myself how I wanted to feel. Each time I preferred some form of happiness, mostly amusement at the situations.

These problems are so trivial compared to the challenges people face every day from war, disease, abuse. But the experience showed so clearly how easy it is to get lost in a problem and feed frustration instead of creating peace and space for a solution.

How I wish our world leaders would practice peace and happiness before making choices that impact us all.

Wishing you happiness and inspired solutions to all you problems; may they be trivial. Try that 30 Days of Happiness thing and let us know what happens.

1 comment:

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