Yesterday was the first time in a very long time that I was able to leave my house without fearing the potential devastating tsunami that either of my bathrooms might unleash on my little kingdom. It felt weird. Really, really weird.

For those who’ve been following along, several years ago the pipes in my laundry room erupted in a glorious wave of forced renovations. Pipes were fixed, walls were replaced, and things were dried. And while I still have yet to complete all the renovations (because let’s be honest – travel always trumps walls that need paint, or floors that would look far better with hardwood than beige carpet), my life returned to normal.

Until some point last year. I was just about ready to fly off somewhere when I realized that the upstairs toilet was leaking. More specifically, the pipe that brought the water to the tank was beginning to drip at the shut-off valve. Since I was heading out the door, I simply shut the water off at the source. Eventually, because of my schedule and tendency to distraction, I simply learned to turn off the water using the valve whenever I was heading out.

And then one eve after I’d crawled into bed, I could hear a sound that just didn’t seem to fit the usual settling and resting sounds of my home. I snuck downstairs to find that the same issue had begun in the main floor bathroom. Tired and not feeling the capacity to deal with the situation, I turned off the water and trudged back to bed, vowing to deal with in the morning.

But of course, because of my travel schedule and tendency to distraction, these drip-drip-dripping valves were always close to the top of my list to fix, but they never quite made it from the realm of thing I should do to actioned item. Instead, I developed almost a nervous tick. Every time I moved from upstairs to downstairs, I’d turn off the water in the bathroom, and then I’d make sure the taps were off in the laundry room, and then once on the main floor, I’d check that the water was off there as well. And because I’m prone to forgetfulness, this became compulsive. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’d stand at my condo door, key still in the door after having just locked it, wondering did I turn off the water? And then I’d have to proceed to unlock the door and go double or triple or quadruple check every single valve.

In an attempt to try to control this compulsion, I took to saying aloud off after I checked each of the valves. I’m sure this made for quite a show for Elliott as he typically followed me around the condo as I went through the ritual of checking valves and saying off quite forcefully.

But this is a new year, and I decided in January that this year would be the year that I started adulting more. Closets have happily been cleaned, purging has begun, lights patiently waiting 8 months or more for a bulb replacement have been sorted. And there have been other signs of adulting. I’m cooking more and I’m trying to read actual novels with words and stories and plotlines.

And then this week my adulting reached an entirely new level. On Thursday I decided to put on my adulting pants and call a plumber to come save me from the compulsive world I’d created for myself. He arrived on Friday and in no time had everything fixed. My worry of a condo tsunami has been replaced with shiny new non-leaky valves. I probably shouldn’t be as excited about toilet valves as I am, but I just can’t help myself.

Adulting is a weird, weird thing.

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