Monday, June 6, 2011

There’s a Button?

When you’re waiting to flush a toilet, water pressure can be a problem. Is the tank full yet? Is it time? Nope, still hear that water running. What to do? Count to 1,000? Sing the ABC song? Search for compelling bathroom literature?
Such conversations are the types I often have with my family. We had that rather humorous discussion about bathroom water pressure just days ago. I didn’t have the while-away-time-time issue while waiting for tank filling. But I did have another issue I’d been waiting for years to discuss.
Self-flushing toilets are a wonderful invention for public restrooms. When they work well, a weary rest-stop traveler is guaranteed to be greeted by clean water in the bowl. It’s that clean water thing that was the problem. Sometimes, when I was in a public restroom, the sensor would go off too soon. I wanted the next weary traveler to also be greeted by a fresh bowl of water, so I shared my issue with a select few family members.
Just how does one trigger the sensor once again? I asked. I described my efforts: Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. Move from side to side. Walk the half step to the door, walk the half step backward. Stand up, sit down—again. It sometimes took a few minutes to trigger that sensor and it was frustrating. I figured there had to be a better way, or at least my family could empathize with my frustration after I shared my experience.
It didn’t quite happen that way. After I described my dilemma and efforts to fix the problem, my daughter Vee looked at me and said, “Uh, Mom? Why don’t you push the button?”
My response sent everyone into fits of laughter: “There’s a button?”
A discussion of how to access said button ensued. Now for years to come, the hilarious “There’s a button?” story will be shared at every family gathering, and probably at times of which I will be unaware.
“There’s a button?” could be a question for many aspects of our lives, however. How many times do we do something the hard way? How many times do we continue doing something the same way because it is the way we have always done it? How many times do we stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, move side to side, and walk forward and back, when we could simply push the button?
The next time we get caught in a spiral of doing things the same way—that way that isn’t working or takes just too much effort, perhaps we should ask: Why don’t I push the button?

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