Ever since mid-2007 when I began my recovery, it’s always inspiring and rewarding to learn and apply another lesson about living that enables my life to keep getting better.
But sometimes for whatever reason, intentionally or unintentionally, you forget what you learn and you knowingly or unknowingly backslide.
And when that happens, you need to shock yourself with a mental lightning-bolt.
Not a big painful shock that leads you to dwell on the problem you’ve created, but a short sharp shock that prompts you to take action and keep moving forward.
A couple of weekends ago, a friend who lives near Wollongong invited me down there to go indoor rock-climbing.
I’d never rock-climbed indoors or outdoors before, but I was intrigued and it was another chance to step outside of my comfort zone, so I said yes.
As well, I decided to make that trip more of an event by combining it with a hotel stay.
Very fortunately, I found a pub-hotel with very good rates that was not only five minutes’ walk from the railway station where I needed to travel to, but it was also less than 10 minutes’ walk from the indoor rock-climbing venue.
So the day before I was due to go climbing, I travelled to just south of Wollongong, checked in to my home-away-from-home for the next three nights, settled in, and relaxed until another typical bedtime in the very small hours of the morning.
A couple of hours before I was due to meet my friend, I awoke feeling very zen.
An hour or so later after some wake-up internets, I was still feeling very zen and warm from sleep when I headed to the hotel’s shared bathroom for a dump and a shower.
I felt even more zen after my dump, but shortly after when I turned on the shower I was a little dismayed to find that there was no hot water.
That sucked a little, but because I was still warm from sleep and I showered quickly it wasn’t the end of the world.
I considered that the lack of hot water was a temporary problem that sometimes happens where several people share one bathroom in one morning – I’ve encountered this several times before – when I got back from climbing in a few hours’ time there should be hot water again.
Shortly after, I got ready and headed off to meet my friend.
Several hours later, I returned from climbing.
I wasn’t sweating like a hog, but I was nonetheless looking forward to a hot shower as a welcome treat for my pleasantly-aching self.
So once again I returned to the bathroom…
…to find with even more dismay that there was still no hot water.
The first thing to do, of course, was to go downstairs to the pub and tell management that there was a problem.
As I gathered up my things to head back to my room and dress appropriately to head downstairs, I began to idly think about back-up plans.
What if I reported the hot-water problem but nothing could be done about it there and then…
…or, considering the worse-case scenario of poor Aussie customer service, I was told something like, “Sorry, mate, don’t know what to do” or (with a smirk) “Tough shit, eh?”
I left the bathroom and went back down the hallway to my room.
If nothing could be done about the hot water…there was a wash-basin in my room, and an electric kettle, so I could boil some water, fill the basin, add some cold water to cool it down and wash myself from there…
…but there was no plug for the basin.
Well, I could wad in some paper as a makeshift plug, or a towel…or I could even visit the nearby general store and perhaps buy a plug there…
…but the day before, I’d visited that store and it didn’t inspire much confidence…and if it did have a plug, it would most likely be at a rip-off price…
…and so my mind went round and round until I reached my door, and I realised what I was doing.
And so I suddenly zapped myself out of my funk by mentally snarling four magic words at myself:
Oh, for fuck’s sake!
I was turning the hotel’s problem of no hot water into my problem and I was taking it upon myself to do something about it.
Yes, it was the hotel’s problem.
So what was the right thing to do – and the only thing to do?
Tell the hotel about their problem!
And if they didn’t do anything about it, or weren’t prepared to do anything about it, then take action!
I suddenly felt a lot better.
At the same time, though, instead of continuing to beat up myself about the wrong mental path I’d taken, I told myself that I’d made a simple mistake, so acknowledge it, cool it and move on.
I went back into my room and got dressed.
Then I headed back out and went downstairs to report the lack of hot water…
…and until next time, stay well and take care 🙂