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Monday, April 13, 2009

Replacing the Fuse/Resetting the Circuit Breaker

My brother called me this morning at 5:30am, looking for a glass fuse. It seems that the kitchen fuse in the house be bought two months ago had blown, and everything in his freezer was at risk. Now for the record...

...I had to get up soon anyway so I didn't mind the call
...I didn't have a fuse
...I've warned him before he bought the place that the entire electrical service needed to be replaced*

(*)'s a great house & he got a terrific deal on it, but I would have had the electrical work done before I moved in.

Never the less, he is in something of a pickle. I'll have to check back with him later today to see how me made out.

The above does make me think about what fuses/circuit breakers actually do & the purpose they serve. For the non-electrically inclined, that purpose is prevent the system from becoming over-loaded, which could result in a fire and other sorts of horrible outcomes. So while having a fuse blow is horribly inconvenient in the short-term, it is beneficial in the grander scheme of things.

So too it is in life I suppose.

I think we all face the equivalent of the "blown fuse" or circuit breaker that needs to be reset in our lives. I know I do. Things just get to be too much to handle, be it too much emotional stress, physical stress, etc. In my own life I think I walk something of a fairly narrow path between what I'll call "normal operation" verses the "blown fuse". In fact, sometimes it takes all I've got to keep things rolling alone. And for the record, I think the path I walk isn't nearly as difficult as those walked by others. In days past, my mother would refer to this kind of thing as being the "cross you bear", which is a good analogy, given Easter. Acknowledging that others have it more difficult than me is, however, of little consequence when I'm faced with my own "blown fuse".

As is the case in many things in life, it's not that a "blown fuse" can happen that's important; rather, it's what you do and how you respond to that blown fuse that really matters. My brother is calling an electrician this morning to get his blown fuse replaced...I didn't have any spare fuses (which is why he called me)...which will solve his problem in the short-term. I hope that he decides to get the entire service line...from the pole down to the his inside service box...replaced, as that's the best long-term solution. So too it is in life, at least for me. The balancing act is between those short-term fixes that need to be done to keep things running (simply replacing the blown fuse) and the long-term fixes that need to be done to prevent problems in the future (replacing the service line). In both cases...electrical systems and people (me especially)'s a case of expending capital that drives these kinds of things; for the electrical system, the capital is actual money. In the case of people (again, especially me), it's probably a case of more emotional rather than financial capital that needs to be spent. In either case, it's always best to be prudent in how you spend the stuff. You never know when you may need some it financial or emotional...for a rainy day.

Here's to always having a spare fuse on-hand, just in case.

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