Not my biggest fan

Yesterday, I waited until the last minute to write my post. It was late, I was tired and in an effort to churn it out I neglected to edit the typo from, well, the freaking title. Seconds later, I went to correct it, but it had already gone out, proving that “It happens the way it should, not the way you plan it” for realz.

Saying you want something that is largely considered to be a pipe dream seems to earn you a credential of sorts – high fives all around for having aspirations! If you follow that up with the declaration that you are going after that dream it opens you up to criticism – constructive and otherwise. My quick burn humiliation from yesterday was twofold – there was the initial shame of knowing that I sent out writing that was flawed and then there is the worry that no one will notice it because it’s not being read anyway. I have to believe that setbacks are part of the process; otherwise I set my own bridge on fire. Which leads me to looking at growing accustomed to discomfort, bringing me discuss our master bedroom ceiling fan.

The original fan in our bedroom had died long ago, its ball bearings wearing out first with a gentle shushing as it made a rotation and later with the same pleading whine that signals danger in countless movies just before the car/boat/time machine sputters its last bit of life out. Because we are replacing items one at a time as they go, we have been able to buy alternatives that are a step or two above its predecessor. With our internet research completed before we left the house, we arrived at Lowes and Home Depot ready to make a purchase.

I am unsure how familiar you are with fan installation but it requires a ladder as well as tools and the ability to hold things above one’s head one handed, while threading wires and maintaining the integrity of the ceiling all at once. So I was out. There are nine ceiling fans in our house, mounting this replacement meant my husband was on his tenth installation, but the promise of a quiet and cool night’s sleep saw him optimistic and initially G-rated in his commentary.

Once it was in place and turned on by remote (new feature, though I don’t understand why anyone would need a speed other than high in the first place, let alone why they would need to switch between three settings), it looked beautiful. It had dark hardware and wood blades just a few shades lighter. I could focus mostly on the features because they were the best part about it. It hardly moved air.

I called customer service who assured me that a fan that large would not be propelling a lot of air and that it was preforming as it should. That would have been a good time to dismantle the fan and take it back but we didn’t. Last summer, frustrated by how hot it got and how little relief the fan provided, I took action…by buying a small desk mounted fan.

This summer marked (and I am embarrassed to admit it) three years since we purchased the fan. Switching to see if the high setting was moving more quickly than the medium speed, we noticed it was slower. For THREE YEARS we looked at that beautiful, expensive, defective fan.

I know that everyone has their own “fan”. It could be a person or a part of your living situation or lifestyle. I am sure you can think of how many times you have thought or others have said that you don’t have to live with it. Yet, for your own reasons you do. You pay attention to the good things in your life and tell yourself it’s not a big deal if your boss is a tyrant (at least you have a job) or the car you are leasing doesn’t accommodate your frame (who cares if you are 6’5, you don’t NEED a full size, right?). Maybe you want to lose weight but you just can’t find the time or you want to learn to play the guitar but it seems indulgent to have a hobby these days. Or maybe you said once the kids were older you would go back to school or answer your calling. Without a doubt fixing a fan is much easier that sorting out all of the feelings you have about what is making you uncomfortable in life. But I can attest to the magic that happens when you go after the big stuff. You make the time to assess the traps that befell you and you learn how to climb out of them.

After a follow up call to customer service just last week, it was determined that our fan had a faulty part, I asked politely to have it sent to the house free of charge and they agreed. Yesterday it arrived and today my husband replaced it. We stood like mystified cavemen for a few minutes under the column of air it provided.

Yes, it was a mistake to have kept a fan that wasn’t really working the moment we suspected it. Yes, I should have made more time to write yesterday so that I could accurately proof-read what I had written. Admitting both things makes me feel like a loser somehow. But I am working toward recognizing and avoiding pitfalls, and I choose to see yesterday as a lesson learned. After I write this, I am going to save it and walk away from it, reviewing it again later with fresh eyes. A typo is not going to define me and it’s not going to convince me that I should alter my goal. I am more powerful when I fix what is broken, it seems so is the fan.


4 thoughts on “Not my biggest fan

  1. Progress over perfection!

    I used to be really anal and self-critical about my writing, but began setting time limits. The more I write, the less daunting it is to be “perfect” every single time.


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