Wednesday, October 8, 2008

putting up with life's unnecessary annoyances...

This is a file cabinet in my office at work. It looks like a normal, non-violent, non-annoying file cabinet, doesn't it? Well, do not be fooled by its cool harmless-looking demeanor...
This file cabinet has caused me much grief and frustration for about a year now. It may look like an ordinary file cabinet, but it possesses a mind of its own. It loves to open its drawers on its own whenever it chooses to do so. And then it looks like this...
A gaping file cabinet mouth with sharp corners ready to nip and bite...

Now, what harm could that do, you may ask? Well, not only does it open its drawers on its own, it does it completely silently. So, I, sitting at my desk right next to it (smallish office) think the drawers are closed, swing my chair around to stand up, and catch my leg or my hip or some other poor body part with the corner of whichever drawer the evil cabinet has sneakily opened and placed directly in my unsuspecting path.
Not only does it hurt, but it also (yes, I'll admit it) brings quite unsavory words to my mind, and if I'm not self-controlled, to my lips as well! Not to mention the attitude of frustration that accompanies the whole experience.
The worst thing about the self-opening drawers is that putting up with it was truly unnecessary. The reason the drawers open is not because the cabinet is 'possessed' but because the floor is terribly slanted under it, causing the whole cabinet to lean forwards a bit. For months my co-worker and I had both said many times that we should just put some pennies or something under the front to make it level. And each time, I put it off until 'later' because I was just too busy to do it then.

As I mentioned earlier, I've had that file cabinet for a year now, and the floor has had that very same slant for the whole year. Talk about crazy-making! I am ashamed to admit I put up with the 'annoyance' for a year. I am happy to report, however, that a couple of weeks ago, I finally broke down, took the time, and we levelled the cabinet by putting some thick pieces of cardboard under the front legs.

And it works like a charm. No more unexpectedly open drawers... no scratches, bruises, or scars on my legs, and no more naughty words on my lips. Now, when I close a drawer, it stays closed. The whole ordeal was quite unnecessary. That's what's so sad and ridiculous about the whole story. It was such an easy 'fix', and yet, I put it off, procrastinated, was "too busy" for a whole year and was continually frustrated by it!

In case you're wondering why I would share this rather embarassing story that demonstrates my lameness, it's because as soon as we had fixed it, a thought popped into my head:

How many other things in my life do I just "put up with" that I could do something about without too much extra effort --things that would make my life a more positive, enjoyable (and even more God-oriented) experience if I would just take the time to take care of them?

And this can apply to all areas of my life: mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. What are the little "annoyances" I leave unfixed or the tasks I leave undone that cause me stress or frustration, that dampen a positive attitude... or even hinder me in my relationship with God? It may seem a bit foolish, but this really made me think... such a small thing that made a HUGE difference in my everyday life once I did it. And how many other things just like this are there in my daily life?

I don't know about you... Maybe other people aren't like me. Maybe other people just make the decision quickly or do the task immediately or fix the situation right when it happens. But, if you're at all like me, maybe stop for a few minutes today and think about what there may be in your life like my annoying-and-frustrating-and-easily-fixable-self-opening-leg-biting-file-cabinet-drawers. Though it may sound silly, I truly believe it's the "small" things like this that can make a big difference in our attitudes, our outlook, our interaction with others, and our walk with God.

**ps. I also did this same thing with my off-the-track sliding closet doors! Two out of three were off their tracks and unopenable for almost a year, and all I had to do was call the maintenance man... yes, I know, it's very lame! I had those fixed a couple of months ago and almost danced for joy! I'm learning! (or at least I hope I am!)

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