toilet bolts
Credit: self

This morning I was listening to a speech by Jack Canfield called ‘The Secret Formula For Success.’ The highlights of the talk are to make a list of one-hundred things that you want to accomplish before you die, make a list of things in your home that irritate you, and then write my goals with an end date.

I have heard plenty of speakers talk about writing goals and goals with an end date, but I have never heard of an irritation list. Mr. Canfield explained it this way, “If you don’t take care of the little things that bother you, then you will slip into resignation, and that will steal from the big things you want to accomplish.” I was intrigued because I was fairly certain that I didn’t have many things in my home that irritated me. Boy, was I in for a shocker! My yard irritates me because it has grass growing through the weed barrier, my kitchen bothers me because I have to move my coffee maker if I want to use my blender, my bathroom troubles me because the toilet seats are stained and broken. 

I stopped writing on the list because I was starting to feel overwhelmed, and I wanted to slip back into resignation. Looking at the list I decided to take on the project that was the oldest complaint. It was clearly the toilet seats, and I kind of recoiled because while I’m very handy, I didn’t want to ruin anything out of ignorance. I typed in ‘How to change a toilet seat’ into seatCredit: selfGoogle, and a host of YouTube videos came up. I clicked on one video and the fellow very matter-of-fact explained how to remove the old lid and replace it with a new one. When that video was complete, I clicked on a second one to help me figure out what size my toilet bowl is. Did you know there are only two sizes, round and elongated? A round bowl is 16.5” and an elongated bowl is 18” in length.

First things first, I went to Target to pick up two new toilet seats. I was expecting to pay around ten dollars, but the lowest price I saw was thirteen, but it was the wrong color, a kind of creamy tan. There was one row of seats that didn’t have a price, so I took it to a scanner and it read eleven dollars! I took my new treasures home and gathered my tools, a butter knife, a Philips screw driver, paper towels, and cleaning solution. 

It’s best to start with a clean canvas, so I washed the inside and outside of the bowl. Using mygrungeCredit: self butter knife, I pried open the tabs covering the plastic bolts which secured the old seat to the toilet. Gladly I was able to use my butter knife to loosen the bolt, and the pieces came apart easily. Then I gently pried the old seat from the bowl. Underneath was a healthy portion of grime and grease. I squirted a generous amount of cleaner to the grit which loosened it enough to wipe away.

The new toilet seat attached to the bowl differently, so I screwed in the bolts and tightened them with the screwdriver. With that step complete I turned the tabs to the unlocked position and pressed them onto the head of the bolt. The final step was to lock the seat in place and give it a test run. I lifted the seat one section at a time, and everything stayed in place.

As I was going through the motions of cleaning up the aged bits of plastic, cardboard, and grungy old toilet seat, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. Granted it took me five years to get around to this project, but it was like I had dislodged old energy within myself. I no longer want to tolerate the little things which irritate me, and I don’t cleanCredit: selfwant to resign myself to tolerate things as they are. It reminds me of a story my mother used to tell me when I complained. “You know you’re like the man who laid on a nail, he would complain day and night about the nail he was laying on. His friends and his wife would ask him why he didn’t move. He would respond, it hurts enough to complain, but not enough to move.” 

I’m starting to take inventory of the things I think about and the things I say, and when I catchpress tabCredit: self myself in a complaint, I ask myself if I’m lying on a nail and can change my situation, or if it’s something I can’t change. Either way I stop complaining because I have a much lower tolerance for irritating things.

Now I know I can’t change everything in my home that troubles me in one fell swoop because that would be a greater bother than executing each project in the right time with the right help and with the money that I still need to earn to complete the larger projects I have in mind. Jack Canfield said, “It isn’t so you feel comfortable in your home that you do these projects, it’s to show yourself that you can have anything that you want.” Can a toilet seat open the world to me? I clean upCredit: selfthink it might, I’m excited to keep flushing out the closets, pulling up the weed barrier, and putting my coffee maker on the other counter, so I don’t have to juggle appliances.

What unusual practices have you used as a catalyst for change? Do you think you know how to change a toilet seat now? Have you ever made a list of what irritates you and then looked for how you can change it to the way you want it to be? Please let me know in a comment and please rate this article a thumbs up if you liked it.