Cheryl's Blog

Week 45 – How challenging your assumptions can make life easier.


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Topic of the Week

How challenging your assumptions

can make life easier.

I delight in small things.  While I’m a little embarrassed to tell you this story, I like sharing the things I learn that make life easier.

Besides, I know we all have our moments #x1F600;.

This week I called our plumber, Chris, to come to the house to fix our leaky kitchen faucet.  I love Chris.  He’s a dad of three adorable young children and he works hard to support his family.  And he always goes above and beyond the call of duty to take good care of his customers.

Prior to Chris’ arrival, I pulled out everything under the kitchen sink so he’d have full access to the plumbing.  Because we have a deep farmer’s sink made of stone, you need to crawl under the sink and reach way back and up to gain access to the plumbing for the faucet and handles.  It’s a real pain to get to and I wanted to make it as easy as possible for him.

When Chris arrived, I left him alone to get started while I finished up some work in my office.  Later, during the repair process, I came out to see how things were going.  With only his legs in view from under the sink, I happened to mention my frustration at how difficult it was to refill the built-in soap dispenser.  I wanted Chris to know that I had empathy for having to practically crawl all the way into the cabinet to access the plumbing.

When Chris emerged, he asked, “What were you trying to do under the sink?”

“Fill the soap dispenser,” I replied.

“Oh no,” he said, smiling a bit shyly, “you do that up here,” at which point Chris lifted the soap pump up and showed me that you could simply pour the soap into the hole left behind.

“You mean I can pour it down into the dispenser from up here?” I asked, redness spreading across my face.

“Yup,” Chris responded, “right down here.”

I looked away as I realized my mistake.  I felt so silly.  After all, for the last seven years I’ve complained about the foolish design of this soap dispenser every time I emptied the cabinet below the sink, crawled under it, and felt around in the dark trying to find the soap bottle so I could unscrew it, take it out, and fill it up. (Not to mention what it took to screw it back in once filled, without being able to see anything!

I had stopped using the dispenser long ago.

“Don’t worry,” Chris said, doing his best to make me feel better as soon as he sensed my embarrassment. “You’re not the only one who’s done that.  I’ve seen my grandmother do it, my wife, and quite a few customers.”

Another reason why I love, Chris #x1F600;.

After the flush drained from my cheeks, I thanked him profusely for his new tip.  I was so excited to go back to using the dispenser – yes, I find joy in little things.  It reminded me of the day when my friend, Anastacia Brice, sat at my computer and happened to use “Control A” to highlight a document, and “Control C” to copy it, leaving me squealing with delight at this newfound discovery.


When Chris left, I walked back to the sink thinking about why I made an assumption about the poor design of the soap dispenser without ever checking it out.  I could have gone online to search for a solution or called Chris to ask about a better way to fill it.

I’m still wondering what else I might be making assumptions about.

In the meantime, if you have a built-in soap dispenser on your counter that you already knew how to fill, hats off to you.  If you didn’t know how easy it is to refill the dispenser, please send me an email.  That way I won’t feel so alone #x1F600;.

By the way, if you have a helpful tip to share – something that you learned that makes life easier, do tell.  You can post them on my Facebook Page here.


This week’s video captures a wild ride when playful whales visit a couple on their anniversary.  Check it out here.


Life Makeover For The Year 2013 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, or for reprint permission of this newsletter, please

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