Why everything breaking at once is a good thing!

On Friday, my washing machine broke.  A few days before that, my laptop was declared corrupted and unfixable.  My phone stopped working completely last week, along with our haircutting machine.

Ds7 exclaimed, “It seems like everything is breaking at the same time!”

Hmm.  It does seem like that.

While hanging the first load of wash from my new machine this morning, I was thinking about what a gift it was to me that all of these things broke simultaneously.  It not only forced me to replace each item with something more suitable (other than no laptop yet :)), but showed me some subtle ways that I’m not honoring myself.

Our phone was having problems for a while – the phone itself was fine but the answering machine was the source of a malfunction.  If we didn’t answer within four rings, instead of the answering machine picking up the caller would get a message that our line had been disconnected.  The electronics store wasn’t close to where I do my regular errands and so I kept pushing off making this purchase.  We lived with it like that for quite a while – for much too long – until the phone totally stopped working and we bought a new one.

I called in the washing machine repair guy a couple of months ago to fix my machine when it wasn’t working.  He told me that it would be so costly to fix it that I’d be better off replacing it but that it would be usable for a while longer if I wanted to play around with the buttons and coax the wash cycle to begin.  That’s what I did, until no amount of coaxing worked.  I got my new (to me) washing machine yesterday, and it’s bigger, faster and more efficient.  It’s a big help in getting through the backlog of laundry I have from four days of not doing wash.  :)

I’ve been thinking about where frugality ends and self-denial begins.  On one hand, it’s a good thing to use something fully and well, to appreciate it and not be hasty to discard it if it can still serve you.

On the other hand, it’s not a good thing to hold onto things that are hampering your functioning in the name of using it up.

These things were functioning.  They weren’t working well but I didn’t feel a sense of urgency to replace them even though they were inconveniencing me and others.  I move clutter out of my house regularly and often and don’t think of myself as having a clutter issue, but these items showed me that nonetheless I sometimes still hold onto things that aren’t serving me well.

Whenever we hold on to things that we don’t need or that don’t serve us, to some degree we give ourselves a subtle unspoken message about our own personal value as well as reflecting a lack of trust that our needs can and will be fully met. Just like by keeping clutter around, I was compromising myself by not prioritizing my needs and getting what I needed when I needed it.

Getting rid of what doesn’t serve you makes room for better things to come into your life.  Thanks to these items breaking, my life is now filled with more things that meet my needs and that makes me feel abundant.   Out with the old, in with the new!


10 thoughts on “Why everything breaking at once is a good thing!

  1. I love this post! Not only are you grateful for what might seem like “inconveniences” but you make a great point about the difference between being frugal and having efficient “machines”. My husband has taught me over the years, that having the right tools for the job makes all the difference in the world. (As a side note, I bake a lot :) its one of my hobbies, and I do make sure I have the right tools, I don’t have anything expensive but I have the “proper” tools for the things I want to do …)

    I do have one question though….can you write about your laundry system? I do laundry only once a week and I have been contemplating increasing that since the amount seems to be more than I can handle in one day! It was more convenient for a long time because asking the kids to put away their clean clothes once a week, was a lot better than twice (or three) times a week :) Thanks! Have a wonderful day!!

    1. I agree with you, R, having the right tools makes a huge difference to getting a job done. And it’s an act of self-love to make sure we have what we need.

      I posted about my laundry system; I hope you won’t be disappointed by how simple it is!

  2. I, too, have a large family and do 2 or 3 children per day, my husband and I on another day and with the last day I do the household sheets and towels. This still means that each person only has to put their laundry away once a week. It also makes the sorting of the clean laundry so much easy as you only have to divide it between a few wearers. I generally only have to do 2 or 3 loads a day, 5 days a week. I’m open to better suggestions!

  3. That’s a great perspective! Sometimes Hashem talks to me through you!
    I really need to call down an electrician and plumber! Yeah, and declutter too!

  4. Avivah,

    Thank you for the positive post about everything breaking at one time. At first I didn’t think much of the shelf in the living room closet, keys not working to open the trunk and car doors, side gates, heat pump coil, hot water heater, garage door opener, garbage disposal – you name it everything is either broken beyond repair or needs to be fixed, including my love life, finances, a few deaths in the family, spiritual life – yes – all at one time. I then started thinking that my life was possibly cursed or a hex/spell of some sort but as I began to ask God to help me and to put people in my path to help me, I noticed that things started to change and I started to see that I had put so many things ahead of fixing up the house, replacing things that were slightly broken or worn, taking care of maintenance on the things I knew were wearing out and old and I feel better knowing that it’s happening to so many other people too. Now that I see that these new fixes and replacements have come at a tremendous cost financially, at least my mind can rest knowing that it will be like living in a new home after everything gets back in order. Just think — a new home inside where I stop neglecting the things that I need and use self love to push myself forward in life and also, a home on the outside where me and family can enjoy a peaceful comfortable place that looks good inside and outside.

    1. How we take care of our things is sometimes a reflection of how we value ourselves…when I value my possessions and keep them in good condition, it affects my feeling about my environment. I see it as an act of self-love!

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