Beyond broken…life lessons from my bar fridge

I hate throwing things away – not that I hoard, but I’d rather reshape, repair or re-purpose than simply go out and replace. It’s why I love restoring old furniture – giving it new life. It’s a core value that I seek to hold true.

My fridge died. My lawn mower died. My dryer died. All within weeks of each other. There were moments of exasperation “You’ve got to be kidding me!”; “You can’t be serious!” and “WTF!?!?!”

Reality is things have a lifespan.  

All of the above had been second hand acquired over the years. The dryer had been collected off a nature-strip by my former FIL, and truth be told, lasted longer than expected. I can live without a dryer, its a first world problem.

The mower was a gift from an old colleague after helping clear out his mothers house after she passed away. One wheel has been held together with gaffe tape for years, but being a Honda – man they’re almost unbreakable! Anyway, I’d had the thing serviced 12 mths earlier and knew it was on it’s last legs, sparing a complete strip down and rebuild. When it spluttered and choked and died it went back in the shed. I borrowed my neighbours and brothers mowers for a while. Then decided I’d give the old girl one last shot…I did a non-mechanic clean up, replaced the spark plug, cleaned the points…and vwallla…she fired, and keeps firing!

When the car died, already stretched finances went into overdrive. I can live without my dryer, and my mower, but not my car. Now for someone who’s enjoyed a company vehicle for much of the past 10 years, forking out cash to buy a car, then have it break down – man that sucked. It was simply one of those unforeseeable problems…a small leak in one of the old spark plugs leads caused by a cracked seal and the thing kept shorting. So, it was fixed…twice. There are times when life costs, it is what it is and one simply has to accept it and deal with it. Get it done! So I did.

But the fridge…hmmm…the fridge was bought cheap off friends some 12yrs ago when they upgraded. I simply wasn’t in a position to replace it. What to do? Thankfully I had a bar fridge.

What I learnt from living out of a bar fridge for the past 6 months…

  • I bought less…when one is restricted in how much one can buy one tends to buy the essentials and what literally physically fits in the fridge capacity;
  • I threw out less…buying less and only what fitted also led to throwing less out;
  • Shopping more…living off smaller supplies inevitably led to more trips to the shops, and cut out my preferred monthly large online/delivery shop;
  • I binged less…I drank less and consumed less – that’s supposed to be a good thing right?
  • I miss my crisper…entering the full throes of an Aussie summer I’m confronted by the restriction to buy lots of fresh…fresh fruit, fresh veggies, fresh salad stuff – and all of this takes room;

Modifying my own expectations meant it became less of an issue – instead of focussing on what I should have, on what everyone else has, I focussed on the simplicity of….I’m thankful that I had a back up!

How easy it can be sometimes to get sucked into the vortex of woe is me when things don’t work out – and yes at times life seriously sucks and is hard, is painful and for whatever reason seems to keep taking. Yet, the important thing is this:

…only I have the power to control what I think, how I think and what I choose to focus on. My thoughts and my feelings, however valid, aren’t the be all and end all – they don’t confine, define nor express the full extent of my humanity. Recognising that I have the power to acknowledge, accept, then redefine, refocus and renew my thoughts and feelings empowers me to see the good amongst the difficult, the positives over the negatives, and the genuine amongst the falsities.

My thoughts change. My feelings change. 

I am capable of change.

Who will you choose to be?

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