Nasty habits can lead to negative consequences. In this case, death.
The death of a light switch.
As most of my seasoned readers know, my husband tends to buy things that are refurbished or for sale; items of a discount nature. But that’s actually a good habit that saves us money.
No, the nasty habit I refer to is my peculiar brain’s apparent inability to remember to turn off one particular light switch. The one for the lights in the garage.
Now, this is not my usual M.O. I usually have a window open in the room I’m working in and keep all the lights in the house turned off. If I need to go somewhere there isn’t a window then I turn the lights on for the time I’m there and then they go off when I leave. My husband is the opposite. He flips all the lights on in every room he walks in and forgets to turn them off when he leaves. Drives me nuts. I tend to go behind him and switch them all off.
But for some reason, for the garage lights, it’s different. I go out there every morning to get food for the cats, and sometimes I remember to turn them off; sometimes I don’t. They are connected to the wi-fi, so whenever my husband remembers he checks the app, and when he sees the lights turned on he remotely shuts the switch off. Occasionally I would go out in the evenings to throw something away, get an item from my car, or just something from the garage in general and the lights would get left on for a few hours.
And then the electricity bill started going up. Not because of garage lights, per se, but because the electric company passed on their costs from Snowpacalypse a while back. Now it was more important than ever to keep the lights off.
Enter the sticky notes.
I placed stickies on the garage door and the light switch to remind me to turn off the lights—something that would catch my eye when coming back in from the garage. And it worked, about seventy percent of the time.
By this time though, the light switch was fed up, and one morning when I went out to gather food for my kitties, I clicked the switch and the lights did not turn on. It was dead in the water.
Fortunately it was a weekend and my husband had a spare switch lying around.
“We’ll never know if it was defective, because you got to it first,” my husband said. “Its little circuit brains were fried.”
So now the plan is for me to set an alarm during the afternoon and evening to check the app, making sure the lights are off. This is how I keep up with watering my plants, and now it’s how I’ll make sure I don’t kill the garage lights again.
Just a small drop in the stressor bucket, but a lighthearted story to think about. No one can be perfect all the time, and reminders are always helpful. Tackle your problem however you can so you can turn your attention to bigger fish in the sea.
And by the way, the new switch works beautifully.