Okay, imagine you’re entering a room in a house, church, place of business, wherever… anywhere in the first world, because what I’m going to describe to you could be categorized as a first world problem. The room is dark, so you flick the light-switch to the up position, causing the overhead light to illuminate the room. You do whatever, then, satisfied with the whatever you’ve done, you decide to leave the room, and flick the light-switch down on your way out, causing the room to darken again – because you’re responsible with your carbon footprint.
Easy peasy. So easy, you didn’t even need to think about it.
That’s how it used to be in my room, too.
Not so much anymore since some mechanism or other on my ceiling fan got stuck a few years ago, and the solution to this, somehow, was the addition of a remote control.
Now the scenario goes like this: flick the light-switch up, locate the remote control, press the light button on the remote control. That turns the light on.
But once the light is on, there’s no promise of it staying on. Leave it be for a few hours, and it might stay on for the whole time, but it might not. I don’t know how, when left to its own devices, it decides when it will or will not turn on or off. After turning it on via remote, it might stay on for an hour or two before turning off. Then it might turn back on after fifteen minutes, or two hours, or something. I don’t know. There’s no distinguishable pattern that I can discern.
It’s not just the light function either. The fan will turn off and on when it wants to, too. I might fall asleep one winter night having turned off the light via remote, to wake up several hours later with the light on and the fan on, full speed (there are three). Or, during a summer heat wave, I might fall asleep with the light off and the fan on, and wake up to the light on and the fan off, or the fan at some other speed.
Nothing has turned on or off by its own volition when the light-switch has been flicked in the “off” position, though. That’d be the day I’d thoroughly freak out.
I don’t know why it does this. It never used to before the remote control was added. No one has any definitive answers for me on the issue, and that’s okay. Even if I’m a big First World girl, I am a Big Girl, and I can deal with it. It doesn’t require an extreme exercise of patience.
The first half of the battle, when it comes to mediating this, is especially easy. I just have to know where the remote control is. That way, when the light goes out, it doesn’t have to stay off for long. It’s also not difficult to make and maintain the routine of returning it to the top of the dresser, which is by the door and therefore the switch.
The second half of the battle isn’t terrible either, but it is slightly more difficult, because it’s a matter of not taking it personally. When I say this, remember that I’m a Christian, and that this is real for me. Because when is say “not take it personally”, I mean, not jumping to conclusions that it’s some gesture of spiritual warfare every time the lights go out when I’m reading.
For example, earlier this evening, I was in the middle of a paragraph in which an author was talking about when ideas of communism and fascism are not seeds for revolution, when the lights went out. For the first few seconds in the dark, I sat with the vivid thought in mind, either God or Satan doesn’t want me thinking about revolution. Which one is it, and why? Which is fine to an extent, but I’m also the kind of person who might indulge in mulling over this question until I eventually, unintentionally tease a series of conspiracies out of it, which are more likely to be productions of my imagination than divine revelation, and I will treat them too, too much like the latter.
If I viewed my entire life from the lens of conspiracy, or even just the parts of my life the are relevant to my ceiling fan, I don’t think I would live very long before dying from a heart attack.
So I try not to take it personally when the lights go off when I’m reading, or get offended like my fan turning on in the dead of winter is God’s idea of a practical joke.