Life has a way of demanding perspective from time to time, like realizing at 7:30am on a Saturday that your washing machine pump might be broken and the tub full of soapy water your clothes are sitting in is going to make it a ton of fun to repair.

In that moment, I realized how majorly that was going to change the course of my weekend and disrupt my happy little status quo — first world problems.

I have an adjoined laundry room that is connected to the house but not heated through the main HVAC. That means that on really cold nights pipes can freeze and cause all sorts of fun (like last year). I did manage to get the washer to pump the water out and become fully functional again, counting myself as lucky for it. Need better weather stripping for the door, as apparently the little wall heater for the room can’t keep up with the air leakage.

But I digress.

This morning’s little gambit forced me to appreciate all the little moving parts in our lives that, like anything, is forgotten or ignored when it works. Like that saying, “No one appreciates what I do till I stop doing it.” Think of how many things in your life on any given day allow you to proceed business as usual. How much of your routine is dependent on these seemingly negligible things continuing to work invisibly while you scurry about?

Our happiness becomes fragile when we get too caught up in routine and whatever our expectations are. We don’t want to admit how fragile this is and how easily this little system of ours can be derailed.

I didn’t see the value of a smooth weekend until it was taken from me, and couldn’t appreciate it until it was given back. When the washing machine worked again and I had the realization of “Wow, so everything I wanted to happen this weekend is back on track,” the warmth of ease was memorable.

I think we’d all be happier day to day if we occasionally took a moment to embrace what does work in our lives rather than what’s missing. It’s tough, and we’re definitely conditioned to do the latter. But perspective is everything. As annoying as something like a broken washing machine can be, in the same token if the worst thing I have to worry about on a Saturday is washing my clothes and not defending my family from mortal danger or wondering how I’m going to feed them tonight, I’m doing alright. There are a lot of people out there for whom the freshness of their laundry is last on their list of concerns.