Purchasing a house is like getting married. You don’t quite know what you have until you move in. Janna and I purchased a house last August, and over time we’re discovering some “surprises.” What do I mean by surprises? Things like a leak in one of the showers that required tearing out the vanity and cutting into a wall in order to fix the problem. This little leak has mushroomed into a major bathroom project that isn’t covered by our insurance. There are other surprises as well, but I’ll save you the pain of feeling mine.
The truth is there are many flaws in life that aren’t detected and remain unnoticed until they spring a leak. I took Janna (my wife who has been filled with surprises since she married me 46 years ago and discovered what she said yes to) to the hospital on Thursday evening because there was a nasty infection in her jaw. The infection apparently had been developing over time, but when the swelling started, the “flaw” was discovered. She’s home now and on the mend, but the point is this; regardless if it’s a medical flaw, construction flaw, relationship issue or, you name it, things break down or spring a leak and must be addressed. One of the keys to minimizing the damage is to perform regular maintenance on the car, house, marriage, body, or______, so unexpected repairs aren’t needed.
You’ve heard it said, “Pay me now or pay me later.” As is true with an automobile, we can either pay to keep our relationships “well oiled” or we can let them “run dry” and blow the engine. Why is it that far too many couples don’t address the marriage flaws they have successfully hidden from the public until one of the two receives the divorce papers in the mail? Then all at once, the marriage has sprung a leak, and the marriage mess leaks out, much to everyone’s surprise. At least almost everyone is surprised, except the couple that just kept ignoring each other and the leaks that manifested in floods of tears and damaging words.
Why not stop and take an inventory of the different pieces of your life’s pie? Are there areas that need to be addressed before they spring a leak and the cost becomes greater than it would take to get it fixed? If you’re married, why not ask your spouse what they think about the state of your marriage? Is there an infection that has been created due to thoughtless words, outbursts of anger, neglect, or other factors that need attention? In the medical field this is called an annual checkup, with a house it’s referred to as an inspection, and with life I’d refer to it as a life inventory.
By the way, are you taking care of yourself? Are you running on empty so that your emotions and relationships are wearing thin? Here are some potential signs that the red light on your dashboard is blinking and trying to get your attention: cranky attitudes, misspoken words, insomnia, poor eating habits, and even poor hygiene. Let me be honest and say I’m presently in this state. So, this blog is for me, and I’m allowing you to listen to the conversation that’s going on inside my head. I know I need to take some time to rest and renew, and Janna and I are talking about the right time and place to make that happen.
Although, let me be clear. This would be just a brief vacation, not my final farewell from The Love Akron Network. I’m still here, and I’m still the Executive Director. I’ve been surprised to discover people think that I’m no longer leading this ministry. It’s true that a special announcement is forthcoming, in which we will reveal my successor, who has just recently been chosen. However, as I promised the city at our last Annual Breakfast, I’ll continue leading Love Akron until September 24, which is the date of our 8th Annual Awards Breakfast. Like Mark Twain, the report of my departure is highly exaggerated. I’m neither dead nor AWOL from The Love Akron Network. Spread the word and stay tuned… In the meantime, go fix that leak!