King's Delight, Day 16 (after long pause)
Donn King discovered a book by poet Ross Gay entitled The Book of Delights. It has inspired him to post a “daily” thought sparked by noticing something (or some things) delightful, thereby fostering joy. May it inspire you to notice also.
It has been awhile since I posted any “daily” delights, not because there have been none but because the days have been so full. Then I got out of the habit.
But today has a delight all its own I just have to post about.
True pessimists are the happiest people
I try to make conscious choices toward optimism. (Not Pollyanna, pretending no problem exists, but rather looking on the bright side—and there are always multiple way of looking at any situation. As Stoic philosopher Epictetus said (roughly translated), it’s not what happens to you but what you think about what happens to you that determines your experience.) My natural bent, though, is toward pessimism. I find it to be encouraging, though. When you expect the worst, things almost always turn out better than expected, and so you can always be pleasantly surprised.
That happened today. My wife and I were enjoying a leisurely cup at our favorite local coffee house (visit if you’re ever anywhere in East Tennessee) when we got a text from our disabled daughter’s nurse at home. Short version: the toilet in her bathroom wasn’t filling.
We hurried home, and I checked it out. It sounded like it was running, but the tank wasn’t filling. I assumed the flapper wasn’t fully closing. To test that, I took a water basin and manually filled the tank.
It held. No leak.
“Great,” I thought, “that means there’s something wrong with the fill valve.”
But on the bright side, I knew where we already had a replacement in the store room. I found it, checked the instructions, and realized that it was going to take some effort. Two kinds of pliers. A bucket. A large sponge. Since it was a universal replacement, adjusting the height to fit the actual tank. Sponging out the tank and disconnecting the supply line. Etc.
I already had a full agenda for the rest of the day, but I figured it just didn’t matter. It didn’t matter what I planned; all that mattered was what I had to do.
Then I noticed in the instructions a small section “cleaning debris from the fill valve.”
The existing one was 20 years old, but it looks just like the replacement. “Hmmm,” I thought, “I wonder if 20 years of mineral-laden water could possibly have clogged it up.” The best part: it didn’t require all that removal and sponging activity.
Long story short: I followed the instructions. Took it apart, flushed it, put it back together.
That was a true delight! Not only that, it left me with enough time to write a Delights post.
May your challenges, whatever they be, resolve so easily! May some time to just sip coffee (or whatever your beverage of choice might be) come your way.
Donn King is The Confidence Cultivator. He is a professor of communication studies (which means “a professor of standing up in front of people and saying stuff”). He’s also a pastor, a speaker, a writer, and a communication coach. He works with professionals and leaders just like you who want to speak confidently so they can increase their impact, gain influence, and build their careers. Send email to donn at donnellking dot com if you would like to see if he could help you communicate with greater confidence.
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