I listened to the Happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft today. They read a letter from a woman who had a tiny epiphany after listening to one of the shows. It was just a little seed – a mustard seed? – but who knows how great it could grow? The woman complained that it was always cold in her office. Really cold. Nothing she did made her feel better. She even brought blankets to work but that left her hands and fingers cold. It was a little thing but it gnawed at her and she wrote that it pushed her to the edge of a perpetual cranky mood.

She had a big idea and bought a space heater. How hard it that? She was amazed at the difference it made. With her office warm, she could shed layers and relax. Her mood elevated. It relieved her mind of that cranky SOB who knocked at the door all day. She was surprised at how much better she felt. She was confused, too: why in the world did she wait so long to get a heater? Why did she live with the cold? A solution was right there and was as easy as stopping at the hardware store on the way home from work. Why do we live with those little irritations? It’s a good question for all of us.

The story reminds me of a time that I sold our house. Dad was a real estate agent and he came over and we did a room by room assessment of what needed fixing or painting or replacing. It took two weekends and a thousand bucks but I ticked off everything on the list. When I was done, I was shocked. I could barely believe how nice the house looked. The closet doors worked and the sinks drained and the roses were all pruned and proud. I didn’t want to leave.

Why didn’t I do those things before? Why didn’t I maintain the house so that I could enjoy it instead of making-do and then fixing things for someone else to enjoy? Even better, why don’t I fix things when they break?

Here is a list of things in my house right now that need doing:

The master sink drains like molasses
Replace the kitchen faucet
Finish installing pull out shelves in the kitchen lowers
Replace the broken blinds in the garage
Paint the trim around the screened porch repair

That should keep me busy for the weekend.

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