June Renew: Day Two
I finally had my super install two new lights in my apartment. The sconces have been sitting in my foyer for the better part of three months. And if you think that’s bad, I have some shelves I purchased in May 2022 still in the corner with absolutely no space to mount them. But that’s beside the point. I’ve now got a light above my closet and a new one in my bathroom. The bathroom just needed an upgrade, but there hasn’t been a light above my closet for something like three years. Not since the glass fixture fell and shattered out of nowhere one night. It’s not a major change like the murphy bed, this is all small upkeep to make my favorite place glow a little brighter.
Okay, so there’s one major change. The bathroom lights are now LED. And I’m not really happy with them, to be honest. There’s a whole new vibe as I flick on the light, which takes me a microsecond longer to see my reflection bathed in the cool blue hue. Something feels very artificial about it, but it was my choice to buy those bulbs. I thought they’d be aesthetically pleasing with the fixture I picked, but now I’m rethinking the entire purchase. I’ve decided to live with it for now. LED feels like an experiment all on its own anyway. However, the choice I made with the other light feels like a shining example of what this has all really been about.
When my super was finishing up installing the closet light, he asked if I had any lightbulbs. I went to my supplies closet and handed him a standard incandescent bulb. He took one look at it and handed it back to me. “No, let me go get you some LED lights.” I insisted on using my bulbs, as they’re the only ones I’ve ever used, but he kept making the case for the alternate. “They don’t burn out as fast; you can put one in and it’ll stay lit for five years.” I really wasn’t sold on the idea. I want to use my bulbs while I still can, since they’re not going to sell them after August 1st of this year. And while I wasn’t feeling gaslit about his urgings, I felt my efforts to say no were falling by the wayside. So I let him get the LED bulbs and watched as he screwed them into place.
I hated them immediately. It was a three-way bulb. With each click it’d get a little brighter before going back, defeating the need for my perfectly good dimmer switch. The bulbs weren’t compatible with it, he told me, so this was the next best thing. But it didn’t seem conceivable to me to click the light multiple times just to achieve my ambiance. And much like my bathroom light, it’d take a brief second to fully come on. I didn’t let on how much it was bothering me, I only thanked him, paid him, then he left. I turned toward my closet, knowing I could not live with this light as it was. There was no way I’d ever get used to it, and I wasn’t going to dull my senses enough to try.
Instead of pretending I’d get used to it, I thought about what my mother would do in this situation, as I’m sure she also lived by herself at some point. I don’t know all the statistics, and my father would have to speak for her these days, but I felt like she’d do exactly what I was about to do. Because she’s the kind of woman who’ll do the right thing for her baby, even if in the meantime, she has to do it alone. I have no step-ladder, so I moved my end table over to the closet and placed my Amish-made bed step on top. It was a wobbly affair, but it was the only viable option I had. I took a very careful step up to where I was tall enough to reach, and unscrewed only one of the three holding the cover and rim in place. In an instant they slid off the hinges, catching me off guard as they tumbled down upon me, allowing just a glimmer of a moment to keep them in my grasp.
I could hear the sound of glass shattering, knowing the moment of impact would cause the cat to go running scared, and also could potentially hurt her. But a crash never came. Somehow I steadied myself and clamped down on the cover, catching the rim between a forearm or the crook of my elbow. I can’t quite recall. All I knew is I was still standing, still balanced, no harm, no foul. I looked down at the cat, her and I seemingly both knowing what happened. Mama had not only saved her baby, but saved herself a nightmare of a cleanup. My task became easier after that. I exchanged the LED lights for my own bulbs, carefully of course, but enjoying the end result must more. I had a much more natural vibe that couldn’t be disrupted by my dimmer switch. I could find just the right amount of light for me, giving me the new ray of hope telling me I’m not as off-kilter as I think.
I wasn’t really sure what this story was supposed to illuminate, as I took all day with this entry. All I know is that it all felt worthy enough to be told. As if I needed to shine a spotlight on another growth moment that recalibrated the focus on what I’m really after: To one day provide a happy and healthy home for whomever ends up choosing me. That could mean my baby or the absolute love of my life. Whoever comes first. There’s all sorts of lit pathways that can lead me to what I want, and eventually will get. And I can take comfort in knowing I can make the change myself if things no longer work, be it a lightbulb or my own life’s balancing act.
So I’ve got a couple of energy-saving lights in my closet if you were in the market for them. What you screw into your home is your business. I’ve just got my favorites here I’ll always prefer using in perfect harmony. And for now, I’ll keep the LED on in the bathroom. The blue hue is already shedding light on just how easy it is for me to get tan. Always look on the bright side of things, right?