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I had a big life epiphany after fixing a running toilet recently.
First, a little background.
I had a pretty rough childhood. Much poverty and toxicity. I wasn’t taught to do basic household chores like cooking, cleaning, yard work, and basic home repairs. The adults in the house weren’t really doing them either. There was no example to follow and no supplies to even attempt it most of the time. (And this was before YouTube, Google, and TikTok were available for lessons.)
Then I was married from ages 20 – 40. He had a lot of faults. I still haven’t really been able to write about that whole mess I kept myself in for two decades. But there were some good parts. For example, he did all of the household repairs and yard work, and most of the cleaning.
I had my daughters or close friends around to help me for a couple of years.
But now I’m really on my own. And I’m trying to be independent and figure things out.
So when I had a running toilet last week I was determined to fix it on my own.
I’ve fixed running toilets before. I didn’t make it to 43 without a few very basic household life skills. I know to jiggle the handle. If that doesn’t work, I’ve taken off the top of the tank and untangled the chain.
But the toilet in my current rental has the flush buttons on top. There’s no handle to jiggle. And I was shocked to lift the lid and see there was no chain.
I jiggled things in there anyway. It didn’t help.
I tried Google and YouTube. Maybe I was putting in the wrong things, but nothing was answering my question about how to stop a running toilet with the buttons on top.
Facebook to the rescue
So I asked the Rambling Rach Facebook community for help. They posted articles and YouTube videos. However, they were the same ones I’d already found that were too complicated for me to follow.
Then someone asked me to post a picture of what was in the tank. So I did.
“Tighten the black screw on the left,” she said.
So I did.
It kept on running.
It kept running all night.
Yes, I know I should have shut the water off. Hopefully, I won’t have to pay $800 when my water bill comes.
I have great landlords. (Is there a better term than this? It feels icky.) They would have handled it without delay or complaint if I just sent a text.
But I knew it was probably an easy fix and I wanted to try it on my own.
So I reported back to the Facebook crew that tightening the screw didn’t work.
Do the opposite
“Try loosening the screw,” a different person suggested.
So I did. I loosed the screw I’d tightened the day before.
And the running stopped!
I fixed the running toilet! On my own (with the help of some awesome Facebook ladies!)!
And I thought, “Well, isn’t that a great lesson for life.”
Sometimes you try one thing.
And when it doesn’t work out as you hoped, you have to try the exact opposite approach.
Tighten the black screw.
Then loosen the black screw.
Rinse and repeat until the metaphorical running toilet of your life finds the balance it needs.
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