It just looks fine. . . though it's clearly not!
I may have mentioned this before, but I am having work done. Not on me! But my house! It’s not really out of choice, but necessity. My house experienced a major slab leak which took out most of the carpet we have in our house; and what that leak didn’t get, the hot water heater leak that followed soon after finished off. I had just told Kevin the week before, “I think we need to look into get LVP and getting rid of the carpet we have in the house (our living room, dining, bathrooms, kitchen and entry all have either wood or tile floors).” The next week - slab leak! I really gotta work on those manifestation skills! ha
When the remodel guy starts his work, we didn’t have our things covered in plastic sheeting - we expected they would do it. They did not. So, when they removed the tile from our bathroom and then ground down the slab before installing the flooring through out bathroom, closets, long hallway and bedrooms, it left a fine dust over EVERYTHING! Also, my teenagers suddenly came up with long lost dishes that piled up in my kitchen as they were cleaning out everything from their rooms to prepare for the new flooring.
“My house is falling apart at every turn. And now it’s having hot flashes! It’s official! My house is in menopause!”
So, I began doing laundry and dishes. The dishwasher did not get dishes clean nor did it dry them. When I went to put laundry in dryer, the door wouldn’t close. We’d been having some minor issues with this door in recent weeks. Hard to close. Would open during the drying cycle, etc. But when I needed these two appliances the most, the failed me. So, time to call in the appliance guy so now my house had remodel guys and the appliance guy stepping over each other trying to do their work. Oh, and lets add a plumber in for good measure who had to come help the remodel guys with the toilet re-install. That was a crazy day. My A/C was also acting up that day - so I said, “My house is falling apart at every turn. And now it’s having hot flashes! It’s official! My house is in menopause!”
Anyway, the appliance guy reset the board on my dishwasher and said that should fix the drying cycle which was just stopping too soon. He couldn’t find anything mechanically wrong with the dishwasher - in fact, he said it’s the cleanest dishwasher he’s seen on the inside! I had cleaned the pull out filter - so it was clean. He just kind of shrugged his shoulders as to why the dishes weren’t getting clean. So, I asked him if the screen in the bottom of the dishwasher comes out as well as the filter. He said yes. He shone his flashlight on it and said it looked fine to him - it looked clean.
Then he went on the dryer door. I had tried to replace the catch - that was what was broken. I was so proud - I replaced it myself. But as soon as I shut the door - the new catch broke. Clearly, it was something else that I couldn’t figure out. The repair guy got his flashlight again and shone a light down where the filter comes out of frame of the door. Put the filter back in and it wouldn’t go in all the way - it was sticking up blocking the door from closing. But the problem wasn’t just that. If that were the problem the catch would be breaking in a different spot. Then he looked at the door itself which was bent. And the hinges also were not hanging the door straight. So, it was a combination of issues. He replaced the catch and straightened the door and then told me to clean out the filter receptacle and I was confused. I vacuum that out every week. He shone his light down into the dark recesses at the bottom and what I thought was part of the machine was actually packed down lint! I was horrified! It kept the filter from sliding all the way down. So, I grabbed my long bbq tongues, loosened up all the lint and vacuumed it up.
After he left, I wasn’t satisfied with the whole dishwasher thing. Reset the board? Seriously? I must remember to google that magic so I don’t have to pay an appliance guy to come and push buttons in a magic order to reset it ha! I pulled out the bottom rack and pulled out the filter and then popped the screen out - that one the repair guy said “looks clean!” Yeah, it wasn’t clean. Not by a long shot! A new life form was preparing to emerge and claim its dominion over our planet. It took me 7 minutes with dish soap and a wire grill brush to get that thing clean. I put everything back together and ran a load of dishes and they were clean and dry!
When I finally got to unloading all of the things (I had stored in my bathtub out of the way that the remodel guy specifically said, “We will cover the tub in plastic sheeting.” & then they forgot), wiping everything down, putting the laundry type items in the washer and then vacuumed all of the grit and dust out of the tub, I went to turn on the hot water to fill my tub to clean it and … a tiny trickle emerged from the faucet. Cold water was fine. Hot water was … most definitely NOT! I wanted to cry. I have missed my soaking hot baths in my tub. I am not a shower fan though I do take them. Soaking in a tub is my stress reliever. It was my motivation for getting the tub emptied etc. The fancy cap won’t come off of the recessed aerator. But then, I realized, if it was the aerator, the cold water would also be slow - and it’s not. So, that means turning the water off to the house, taking the faucet assembly apart, inspecting the stem on the hot water side and after googling and watching youtube videos, I decided this was a job best left to the professionals.
And then, I just had to cry. It was the last straw for me. I’d managed to take everything in stride until that moment. When I realized I could do nothing more with my tub faucet, I got up and walked into the living room and started watching police body cam videos and realizing things could be worse. Today, I’m still waiting on the plumber who would be here sometime today.
As I pondered these things, I noticed some lessons that can be applied to life that I want to share to make them extremely obvious if they aren’t already.
Just because a filter looks clean and functional, doesn’t mean it is.
As a life coach, I am the one holding the flash light for my clients - pointing out things that my clients just don’t see, think it’s part of something else, or mistakingly think, “looks ok to me!”
When you retire from grilling after trying to catch your house on fire, keep the bbq tools around. They come in handy sometimes.
The repair man. The holder of the flashlight. The torch-bearer who lights the way. He didn’t clean my filters for me. He just shed light on them & suggested how I do check and clean my own filters. The work was mine to do. He doesn’t have to come back for weekly or monthly visits to do further work. Unless I don’t realize my cat has unplugged the dishwasher while exploring underneath the kitchen sink and it won’t turn on and he has to come and plug it back in for me. But that’s a story for another time. His visits are a requirement if I have a new problem that I can’t figure out how to fix - or just want a faster fix than me trying to do it myself.
There is preventive maintenance that can be done. I can keep my filters and screens inspected and clear. I can take care of my stuff. I am ADHD so I need reminders. The Passionate Penny Pincher sells planners for people super OCD serious about their household management that has tasks and reminders throughout the entire year on managing household chores. She’s also got a bunch of amazing menu planning boxes - that’s why I love PPP. She also created a whole community around her planner and menu plans. They are an incredibly inspiring and supportive and often genius, life-hacking collecting that I enjoy being a part of, among other communities. They make my life more fun and efficient when it comes to doing some things I just really don’t like to do as an adult.
I set reminders on my phone to change my air filters -and now I just need to add dishwasher and dryer lint filters to that list. Sometimes we need reminders. Sometimes it’s more fun with community - that we all do this together. I’m guessing that there is probably some community on Facebook somewhere that is all about cleaning and changing household filters and posting pictures and comparing whose is best / worst.. who grew new life forms? haha!
Consider where your filters might be clogged. How are they in dysfunction? Do we need a new filter? Or just to clean the one we have? Does it fit properly? Where are the blockages?
What might be a filter? We will cover that in my next post, but I’d like to hear what you think filters might be when it comes to our lives.
Comment below! I’d love to know.
When our life filters are clogged or not clean or not in the right position, they can cause chaos in our lives. They invite dysfunction, induce stress and block us from enjoying the things we love most in our lives. While it’s often an easy fix, we just don’t see it from our own perspective. We need someone to shine a light on the things we don’t see. That’s what I do as a coach.
I don’t offer the traditional expensive-ish long-term, contracted coaching packages. But I do offer on-demand coaching which is coaching via audio/text messaging via free messaging app. Check out the button below if that interests you - more info is there.
I hope you have a great weekend. I think my plumbing issues are about fixed - I have a tub to clean, laundry and dishes to do, and two events tonight to get ready for and cook dinner. Thanks for reading!
Updated / Edited November 3, 2023
You will see here, you can upgrade to a paid membership where I offer member-only deeper dive content / coaching exercises on some (not all) posts, etc. for a low monthly fee.
My books (digital versions) will be released to founding members as part of membership.
All you need to do is upgrade to paid membership to have immediate access to these things as I roll them out.
Or, if you want to get your feet wet with some on-demand coaching, you can do that here.