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fireplace burningRecently on a chilly morning, my gas fireplace was not functioning properly and would not ignite. Mind you, I knew enough to have figured out that the problem had to do with the remote control and settings for it. Therefore, I was not putting myself at risk trying to mess with the gas feed for the fireplace. This was frustrating because I was following the steps in the instruction book exactly as I understood them.

Sometimes when I am trying to figure out how to do something, I will put on some music in the background to help me from getting frustrated with my learning process. The music I happened to tune in on the radio was by Darius Rucker, recorded back in the late ’90s when he was in the group Hootie & the Blowfish. The song was followed by Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People” and The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” It’s what my grandchildren call a “moldy oldies” station. The odd mix brought a smile to my face and lifted my spirits. I realized that the three such dissimilar songs carried a common theme:

  • Live your life authentically.
  • Do the best you can.
  • Accept help from others.
  • Give help when you can.
  • Keep trying.
  • Enjoy the process.

I put down my instruction book, picked up the phone and rang my middle son, who has a gift for understanding instruction manuals that far exceeds mine. He had the missing piece to my puzzle! The controls for the gas fireplace had been modified years ago. It actually has two sets of controls. I was doing everything right for the one set but had totally forgotten about the other control that needed to be adjusted as well. That certainly struck a chord. It is so hard to solve a problem when you do not have full understanding of its perimeters. What had seemed to be an insurmountable challenge quickly resolved itself.

My smile increased as I reset both controls and the remote. The fire came on and danced happily about, warming the living room in a delightful way. Letting go, reaching out, opening my mind, listening, and learning resulted in the results I was aiming to achieve so much more quickly and pleasantly—and gave me the wonderful bonus of a visit with my son!

We can all get by so much better when we remember that we are in this together and smile!

I Care, Barb

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