A New Bulb in the Lamp
Way back when I was in college I took a job cleaning apartments when students moved out. It was pretty gross stuff, but also a bit fun because you just had to get over your squeamishnessm roll up your sleeves and just get down and dirty and focus. One day, after scrubbing mold and mildew and black caked up grime from a shower stall and feeling a bit pleased with the outcome I discovered a treasure in the dumpster where I was tossing a trash bag of trash (really it is a bit stunning how disgusting some of those apartments were).
The treasure was this beautiful silver desk lamp - very old school with a sturdy square base, a silver neck and an 18 inch horizontal covering for the flourescent light fixture. It was a gem! The kind of gem one might come across in Storage Wars if they were ever so lucky.
I quickly took home this beautiful lamp and plugged it in. I used it for years. I carried it with me from home to home and state to state during the next twenty years of my life. It was one of the things that made it into my "favorite things" box which I tried to keep down to just one box.
And why did I love it? Ah heck - It's just so dang strong and solid and "here". I also loved to work by a single light (and I think working in a dark room with a single light keeps me more on task).
But somewhere along the line, the bulb called it quits.
I don't live near big stores or well stocked little stores. For the last decade I've been living in some pretty remote areas and replacing that bulb just never happened. Nonetheless, I continued to pack up my lamp each time I moved and bring it with.
A month ago, at the tail end of 2012, I was trying to do some intense cleaning before the housesitter came to live in our home. I cleaned off the lamp (which I'd placed high up on a shelf amidst some art work - yes, it didn't quite match the art, but our house is eclectic enough to pull it off). As I cleaned off the lamp, I considered just letting it go.
I am so glad I didn't.
Because today, in this new year of getting some stuff done, I got myself a new lightbulb. After googling a couple days ago and unsuccessfully trying to find the right replacement for this lamp made in Japan and used in Los Angeles City offices I decided to take things into my own hands. I put my lamp in my bag, donned my snowpants, jacket and hat and went trudging through the glorious big flaked snow to a tiny little hardware store that has some of the craziest random things in it - one of which was exactly the right bulb.
And now I am home with a working light.
I think it's been at least fifteen years since it last worked.
And how does this relate to my daily efforts to get myself healthier? Well, last year I was digging myself up out of a pit. This year I'm still digging and climbing, but I'm much closer to solid ground and I think this year, if I play it smart and play it consistent, I might be actually able to get some new things going.
So as I step into February with my plans for the new year brewing in my head, I'm thrilled to have my favorite lamp - a trash bin treasure that was somewhat neglected - shining brightly while I do my work in the early evening.