My vacuum broke in July. Our budget wasn't able to accomodate getting the machine fixed, and so over the past three months I have developed an almost OCD relationship with the broom. Despite sweeping and sweeping and sweeping, the house never felt clean. It was making me nuts. Last week's mouse was the final straw. Now, as of Friday, we have a working vacuum again. Oh, but this is a wondrous thing! I am so, so happy!
This reminds me of when we lived in a 3rd floor walk-up with two small children, and had to take our laundry out to wash. I used to stand at the top of the stairs and roll the huge bag of dirty clothes down (thump! thump! thump!), while holding a newborn and trying to keep a curious toddler from racing after the bag. Then it was across the street in the rain or snow, only to spend the next couple of hours trying to prevent the toddler from bashing her head into a plethora of hard surfaces. When we moved to our current building, it was thrilling to be able to do laundry without having to go outside.Thirteen years later, I'm still happy.
Similarly, I have a fairly good stock of patience while on line at the ATM. The reason: my first job was in Puerto Rico, in the days before automatic deposit reached the island. Every other Friday I spent an entire lunch hour in line to deposit my paycheck. If I didn't bring home enough cash for the week, it meant sacrificing another lunch hour at the bank!
The only life lesson of this kind that hasn't stuck with me relates to computers. I did, in fact, use one of the very first IBM PCs. It had 10MB of memory, and two floppy disk drives. I had to type in code to run the thing, and wait forever for anything to happen. But today I still get exceedingly annoyed when the web is slow. Oh well.