Water, Hardships, and 2 Lessons Learned

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There I was. A fine weekday morning. Working in my living room, sipping on my water, like any other day. Perhaps I was even writing this here blog.

Suddenly I heard what sounded like my sink turning on in my kitchen. I thought it was odd. My son wasn’t home, my wife was in our bedroom… and Frankie hasn’t yet learned to operate sinks just yet. For a split second, I ignored the noise, thinking maybe it was coming from outside. Or that whatever was causing it was no big deal.

But curiosity got the best of me, and I went over to my kitchen to see what was happening. And I noticed water creeping out from under my dishwasher all over our kitchen floor.

Time to Act


I called to Devorah, and we got to work immediately. In a matter of moments, Devorah had run downstairs and shut off the water to the apartment, the floor was covered in towels to prevent the spread of the water, my plumber was on his way, and the landlord had been contacted as well.

The water had been spraying out for maximum ten minutes before it was shut off, but literally every towel in our entire apartment was entirely soaked through. It was quite the start to an otherwise bright and normal day.

Our plumber came within the hour and was able to fix everything. We have an ice maker in our fridge, so it’s constantly fed water. Apparently the piece that connected the fridge to the pipes underneath just shattered under the pressure, and boom, our morning was quite the adventure, and we’re out another hundred dollars or so.

Our dishwasher was soaking wet and we were advised to let it dry for 24-48 hours, just to make sure none of the electrical parts were compromised. And a small part of our life was upturned for a couple of days.

Just when everything else in our lives was going perfectly smoothly, plumbing mishaps are always there to remind you how fragile everything in our lives truly is.

We’re Back…

The incident is very much behind us. Our water is back on. The dishwasher is back in place and up and running again. Fridge is working like a charm. And our home is dry and tidy once again.

But it’s hard to walk away and not wonder about so many details. It’s hard not to fathom what could have been, or what any of this means for us.

First and foremost, we were both home and both awake. What if we were out for the afternoon? Or it happened when we were sleeping? Or I didn’t work from home? How could we have noticed what was happening or acted as quickly as we did?

Water Water Everywhere


It’s impossible not to imagine what may have been. Our apartment may have filled with a foot of water. Mass amounts of our possessions could have been destroyed. What if it happened during the winter? Drying out our apartment could have taken days or weeks or even months. Mold could have grown everywhere. Appliances could have been ruined. And we could be out literally thousands of dollars.

And who knows what else we haven’t panicked about.

But none of that happened. Because we were home, we noticed something was wrong, and we acted quickly.

I took away two key lessons from this incident.

One Tiny Piece of Plastic


It fascinates me that all of this havoc was caused because of one little connector piece. An entire home with everything working properly, yet one minuscule piece of plastic and rubber could have resulted in the destruction of our home, costing us a small fortune.

How many things in our life are like that? How many points of failure exist? We are all extraordinarily complex organisms, and yet one little clot of blood could land us immediately in the emergency room.

It makes you wonder how much we need to be thankful for every single day of our lives. Yes, it’s so easy to notice when something goes terribly wrong. And obviously it is super frustrating.

But it’s so hard to notice the endless array of things working exactly as they should. Look around you. Breathe in for a moment. You are surrounded by blessings. We can scream and shout when the handle on the coffee mug breaks. And we most likely will. But we are forgetting so much at that moment. We are completely unaware of the billions of complex equations and functions and interactions that need to happen every split second for us to bask in the many, many great things that are surrounding us.

If any were to disappear, I guarantee we’d notice that!

Straightening Some Priorities


Another takeaway from this experience is a quick glimpse at what really matters in life.

Everything is so fragile. I could work and save for years so I could get that flatscreen TV I wanted. Or that iPhone. Or that really slick suit. But all that time and hard work can’t stop a small piece of plastic from busting, and frying the TV, drowning the phone, and rendering the suit a biohazard.

I recently watched disturbing footage of a UFC Hall of Famer mourning over his recently burnt-down home. All of his worldly possessions were lost.

At one point, he was on top of the world. He had money, fame, and notoriety. And they were all stolen from him in an instant.

And this could happen to any of us at any time. All it takes is an elbow bumping into a candle or a faucet that breaks while you’re on vacation.

It really makes you start thinking about all the trinkets and whatnot in your life. Sure they can give you a brief moment of pleasure and they’re nice to show off to your friends. But they truly don’t matter, and can be gone in a heartbeat.

What Really Matters


There are things in life far less tangible that matter so much more. My wife and I acted quickly, and thus saved our apartment from untold damage. It was a great combination of quick action, teamwork, and luck. But when it’s all said and done, it just serves as a giant reminder of how fragile our possessions are. And how much more important and permanent are the relationships in our lives!

If only I acted that quickly and with that much passion to preserve the relationships in my life that are infinitely more important than the furniture and electronics we saved that day. Don’t they deserve that far more? Isn’t their importance leagues deeper than that of a throw rug?

Don’t forget what’s really important. You might have all the possessions in the world. But without the love of great people in your life, you have absolutely nothing.

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