A Light Bulb Moment

At the moment, I am trying to work on my relationship with gratitude. I’m trying to steer away from toxic positivity, and not letting myself feel emotions because “other people have it so much worse”.

But, gratitude is so important to me. It’s one of the lessons Katie and I learnt in the months after Mum’s death. We would write gratitude list after gratitude list, and we’d say to each other “we’re so lucky we have a  bed to sleep in tonight.”

I want to return to that, a lot more than I currently am. It’s not that I have become ungrateful: I am so grateful for everything I have. But I want to specifically be more grateful for the little, tiny things.

For example, a light bulb.

Recently, I have been having an annoying three days. So many things have been silently breaking on me, or gently pissing me off. There is no nice way to express my frustrations.

They were tiny: the stopper on my hot water bottle snapping off, so I had to buy a whole new hot water bottle. This was a relatively new hot water bottle anyway, and all I can’t think is what a waste of material. I can’t even get the water out now so it’s just a heavy flab of uselessness that I can’t do very much about. I also ruined a pair of pyjamas I liked. My new mitten broke. I spilt something on a brand new pair of jeans. I’ve developed a cold which has bunged up my ears and I can’t hear very well. I’ve stubbed my toes, and ran into the same table repeatedly. You’d have thought I’d have learnt. On top of that I have 3 3,000 word essays due in one day after each other.

And then, the light bulb went in the room I’m in.

Firstly, I would like to follow my list of (honestly stupid) moans by saying I am aware that I am clearly just stressed and that’s why these things are getting to me so much. I would like to say, I am completely grateful for the circumstances that have brought me into contact with these very tiny grievances. I’m grateful to be able to afford new jeans, for having mittens and pjs, and the fact that all of these issues are relatively easy fixes.

But when the light  bulb broke, I officially had it. It was an LED, so this bulb did not even give me the dignity of dying completely. Instead it feebly flickered on in a stoic, but dim, light. I had to work with a lamp that projects stars around the room and ended up straining my eyes for the 3 essays I’m writing. I scrambled up and down to said stupid bulb trying to work out the problem, and eventually worked out which new bulb to buy. This holy bulb couldn’t get here any quicker than 3 days.

In that moment, I was aware of how spoilt Prime delivery has made me.

It started grating on me so much, that I felt irrationally angry whenever I had my lamp on and realised that the Feeble Light was still on, doing his best to grace me with his presence. Yet, he was so dim I did not idea he was there.

Eventually the new bulb arrived, along with a new hot water bottle. I scrambled up, screwed the bulb in, scrambled down (off of a very precarious chest of drawers), and pressed the switch. I am actually embarrassed by how much relief and gratitude I felt in the moment that the room actually lit up.

So, this was a very long and very drawn out way of telling you that I will not take for granted the light bulb that I bought, scrambled up and replaced. I am not sure I will ever be able to take light for granted after working for hours under the light of stars which fade in and out and contributed to straining my eyes.

It really is the little things in lockdown life.

Evee x

PS, if anyone knows how to get rid of a light bulb and whether LED bulbs are recyclable or not, I would be indebted. This bloody thing is a pain that just keeps on giving.

20 thoughts on “A Light Bulb Moment

  1. A great post. I’m still working on how, at least in some moments, the smallest things can tear at me, and yet also offer the greatest lessons! Take care of you.

  2. I so get this.

    #1 You are aware enough to understand that these things are more of a pain in the butt than huge problems. Yet, in the middle of a pandemic when life is crazy already, it does seem to have a cumulative effect. We’re in the middle of one of those phases right now. The television died and we had quite an adventure getting the replacement in. Our new heating pad quit working after two uses. Last night, my wife yells out from the other end of the house, “Come quick. Something just broke off the toilet. I dash down and water is running all over the floor. I’ll try to fix it, and I probably will be successful, but jobs like this always take me twice as long as they should. It is the whole uncertainty thing of what the job entails and how much it will cost that makes it unsettling.

    #2 I don’t know if you’re wired this way or not, but I find that I handle true crisis situations much better than these annoying little things. It makes me curious why I get stressed about minor things and can let the big things roll of my back.

  3. I, too, am grateful for the little things… like lightbulbs, the sun, and breathing. Toxic positivity… Oy! Let’s just be rid of that and call everything as we see it! XO Lisa

  4. What a good post and I think so many of us can relate. Sometimes it is the little things that finally drive us batty. But stopping and taking a deep breath and realizing all that we do have – that is what helps keep us sane. 🙏❤️

  5. This resonated with me so much: “so it’s just a heavy flab of uselessness that I can’t do very much about.” That’s how I feel after months being sedentary in quarantine. I am a giant, useless blob. Well, not entirely useless.

    I just changed the three lightbulbs in my bedroom overhead fixture and am no longer squinting to see in the solitary LED bulb that was gamely trying to make up for the other two dead ones. (The fact that I have to stand on the wobbly mattress with it’s two fluffy memory foam toppers meant that I was unscrewing a very heavy glass fixture in order to access the damned bulbs in the first place.) If you ever have to install a new overhead light, make sure you can easily lift the bloody shade with one hand or you too will risk knocking yourself unconscious every time you have to change a bulb. There’s my little piece of advice, for what it’s worth.

  6. I love the gratitude and the accountability. I don’t feel that you are whining, just venting, which we all need to do. I hope your cold passes quickly and that you were able to move the table so you would quit stubbing your toes and also that you have light. Take care and keep sharing, as your words help. OJM

  7. I do something very similar when I have one of those days, too. Or a rapid series of events – rushing out of the house late, drop my keys, back in forgot my phone, have to get gas, etc., etc. I get so boiled over about it.

    My trick to this, and I don’t know why this works, is to stop, acknowledge how absolutely busting with anger I am, and breathe, “okay, so this is just a day where I’m pissing myself off. Got it.” And somehow that resets my brain (I’m much more ungrateful than you).

    I believe you are right with this, giving yourself the space to be human and be angry, and then resetting yourself and calibrating to the real situation.

    Good laugh, thank you for sharing this!

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