Category Archives: Believing

Only Child looks at Karma

Only child ponders ins and outs of Karma

Only child ponders ins and outs of Karma

Karma is defined “as the force created by a person’s actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to that person” (Merriam-Webster online). That is taken in its broadest general sense. To break it down, if someone hurts someone else, the person doing the hurting will get their “just desserts” in the future. Or as some people (including me) believe – what goes around comes around, good or bad.

Problem with that is we usually don’t know what happens to someone who does us wrong or someone who helps us. This non-disclosure makes me wonder just how much Karma is taking place.

I do have a couple of concrete examples in my life of both good and bad.

First, leaving the good for last, here is the bad.

A few decades ago, when I worked in editorial for a legal publishing company in Aurora, one of the employees in finance, offered to drive me to work in the morning. It was her idea – I never asked her to do this – and as she lived near me and I was on her way there, I said, “yes,” gratefully.

She had a young child to drop off at daycare on the way – fine with me, even when she was a bit late arriving to pick me up. I knew very well that small children can slow you down. What wasn’t fine with me is this bitch (you will see why I call her this in a sec), suddenly blamed me for her being late – i.e., she said I was always late and never ready when she arrived to pick me up. I admit to a couple of times rushing out with the garbage as she arrived, but 98 per cent of the time I was ready.

Not only that – when she blamed me she said she could no longer pick me up and drive me to work. No warning, no giving me to the rest of the week at least. It was her prerogative to decide not to pick me up any more – but don’t blame me for her delay problems.

So, I started taking the infrequently running (then) Aurora Transit bus to work.

Karma arrived in a month or so when the bitch broke her ankle and couldn’t drive herself to work. She was then in my position – having to get someone else at work living near her to drive her (and the kid to daycare) to and from work. Perfect example of what goes around comes around. And I had nothing to do with making it happen.

The good Karma is with my son and me. When he was growing up I raised him quite differently than my mom and dad raised me. This is not a blame  on my parents thing here. Mom and Dad were elderly parents (Mom was 41 when I was born – not old by today’s standards) and Dad was 49). So they were overprotective, particularly Dad and Mom was strict. But the big blame, if you wish to call it that, here is the Catholic Church and how it infiltrated our lives in the 1950s and early 1960s. You couldn’t go to the bathroom without wondering if it was wrong and if you were committing a mortal or venial sin.

So, among other things, I treated my son as an individual. Although he went to Catholic schools (the property taxes went there and my ex who helped raise our son didn’t want to have him to got regular public schools), we didn’t do the weekly Sunday Mass thing. The Catholic Church then wasn’t so strict, which helped some. Instead of being strict with my son, especially as he got older –  age 10 on and into his teens, I used the actions result in consequences approach, something I learned from a friend. Sometimes I decided on the consequences, but I kept it reasonable and connected to what he did. One example was when he and some of his friends got into the liquor cabinet at one of the friend’s homes. He told me about it afterwards. At the time he was playing in a band, so I decided a complete grounding was not the right thing to do. Martin and I discussed all this including why you don’t drink at age 15 and 16. True, I told him he was riding a bike, not driving a car, but he could still have an accident. So, I said he was grounded from anything but school and band practices and gigs for two weeks.

One of my co-workers at school who got wind of this via a mutual friend whose daughter was one of the group into the liquor cabinet thought this was too lenient.

I didn’t. The incident didn’t have anything to do with my son’s band practice/gigs, so why punish the whole band for what he did?

That’s just one example. I also took him on trips via train and airplane in southern Ontario and to the east and west coast of Canada. Those were the days when I had money and had a good job.

And as a sidebar – my ex, who as I said helped raise our son – wasn’t strict either. He actually got our son involved in extra-curricular activities – but discussed them with me –  and also treated our son as an individual. You might say we made lousy spouses, but were in sinc with raising our son.

Today, the tables are turned and my son helps me a lot. He takes me out for dinner, paid for my new living room couch (his idea – the old one was very badly damaged, including some damage from the ex-boarder’s bloody cat), picks ups heavy stuff I need (which I pay him back for), such as a vacuum cleaner and salt for winter ice on the sidewalk and driveway. He also has bought me some electronic equipment such as a Kobo, a new scanner and a digital camera, plus helps me with computers – getting leased ones, setting them up, and helping with computer snafus.

It’s not only that. We have turned into friends and tell each other stuff. We have met each other’s friends, including Martin’s partner, Juni, and my grade school and high school friend, Margaret.  He is concerned about my health issues and so am I about his.

So, that’s an ongoing Karma for a longtime situation raising my son.

It’s just all the other crap happening where I don’t have to do some consumer advocacy stuff, that I would like to know that Karma is working. Happenings such as when a car nearly runs me down on my green light or a cyclist riding on the sidewalk instead of the road. And when a stupid bitch hit me in a parking lot and took off. What happened with them? Did Karma work? Did they get their just desserts?

Ditto for the good things, such as anyone on a bus, streetcar or subway who gives up their seat so I can sit down. Or somebody who chases after me down the street with a bag of fruit I had just bought and had unknowingly dropped on the sidewalk when I thought I was dropping it in my bag and hands me the bag, saying “you dropped this”?

Of course I thank them right then. But do they get their good Karma for their good deeds?

It might be nice to know. Because it would certainly raise the little trust I have overall in this world of 2016.

My two dollar’s worth anyway.

What do you think?

Comments please.

 

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

 

 

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Filed under 1950s, 1960s, Actions Consequences, Believing, Elderly parents, Family, Karma, Life Balance, Mom and Dad, Only child

Only Child calls “hope’ a four-letter word

Only Child gears up to deal with 2015 stuff

Only Child gears up to deal with 2015 stuff

Looks like 2015 is turning into a repeat of 2014 (and 2013) – some just more of the same.

I’m talking about the bad and the ugly.

Yes, I did my overall overhaul of what I do, want to do and have to do and what I can kick out of my life. Trouble is the crap that comes at us “from outside” as I call it, the unexpected problems, are still charging at me (and I presume others) full force. You can’t really boot that out of your life. You have to deal with it and that wastes your time and causes a lot of stress.

Yes (again) I did pray to God for certain things not to happen and for help. Cotton or wool in the ears I suppose at his end.

Without going into a long detailed rant, the Rogers Cable TV service has started intermittent disruption – not just my TV service but at least Tanya and Alex’s next door. So far I’ve had three different technicians here. Despite my vocal (including one of those surveys) with my suggestion – fix all the damn old outside cables on the street, not piecemeal when something goes wrong, Rogers isn’t listening and the problems seem to persist. We had a big play out of this situation for over a month in late fall 2013. Rogers is to blame for this, but God is not listening to my asks for help once and for all here.

The weather – that horrible mix on Saturday (and yes, some freezing rain, although worst in Montreal – despite my prayers on not having that happen – this time it was for more than just me). And now most of Canada is in the deep freeze and getting colder into tomorrow. So, I spent Sunday (before the deep freeze began overnight Sunday) running around doing errands so I could stay put for the most part this week. I had something important to get out in the regular mail (not something that could go by email) which needed weighing for postage, for my business, but being Sunday, presumably the Lord’s Day, Canada Post substations were not open – at least the post office part and one that showed up on the Canada Post locator map wasn’t there. The one near me had no signs inside or outside the store about the Post Office part being closed Sundays. Sunday closure is their prerogative, but they need to let the customer know with signs. I had to find out from the clerk at the regular cash and I was not polite to him when I found out. I sicced Canada Post on this substation.

These and other things happening steal my time and make my health worse.

And of course diminish my hope for 2015.

But I’m not wallowing around in despair. There are thing I enjoy doing and want to do this year. So, I am facing the hard facts. When you get right down to it, you have only yourself to depend on – plus close family and friends you can trust. Or to paraphrase Ringo Starr’s song – you have to get by with some help from (family and) friends.

Not God. “Ask and you shall receive” and “God helps those who help themselves” seem to be fairy tales. So,  I need to forget about hope as such. Hope has now been added to my list of four-letter words which include pray, snow, rain, hell, crap, and damn.

I have to remember my motto – when I see it (or not, as the case may be) then I will believe it.

And not give up.

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Beliefs, Believing, Family and Friends, Health, Mail Delivery Canada, Planning, Problems, Rogers Cable TV Service, Sharon A. Crawford, Weather, Winter Weather

Only Child learns (again) seeing is believing

Only Child does another contemplation session on trust versus seeing is believing

When will I ever learn? Last Thursday I had yet another broken promise shoved at me. I phoned the handyman I’ve been hiring for five years to confirm the time for when he was coming on Saturday. He couldn’t make it because he was working at his regular job. (He is an apartment building superintendent). Why didn’t he factor this in when we originally made the appointment? Now we’re fiddling around with maybe this coming Saturday, which is also Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. And besides weather issues (most of the repairs are outside) we now have family (mine) get-togethers to consider.

I should know better by now than to take things for granted, something I thought I learned when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer when I was nine and a half years and my mother lied about what was wrong with him. She told me he had TB. I found out the truth from my best friend, The Bully, at school.

Over the years I’ve stumbled over trust issues and through ups and downs have learned that there is very little you can trust. For some reason I seem to have more trust in my business (writing, editing and teaching writing) than in my personal life. In the latter there are a small number of family members, friends and acquaintances I can trust, some up to a point. Clearly, this handyman isn’t one of them – at least for keeping appointments. The quality of his work is good and so are his prices. Those are two reasons I don’t want to go through the hassle of finding another handyman (or woman for that matter). If I could do the work myself I would. Some jobs I can’t do either because I don’t know how, don’t have the physical strength or have vertigo (if I have to go higher than five feet up, I get dizzy and freeze). The handyman has no qualms about going up to roof level to clean out eavestroughs – I’ve even found him sitting on the roof talking on his cell.

It seems that in many instances where I took for granted and trusted that all would be well, all was definitely not well. (The air conditioner going on the fritz when I was on vacation is one example.) And I do put it out there (God, the universe, whatever you believe in) that I need help with this, I need such and such. Some of it is small stuff and at the end of the day it probably doesn’t matter whether I get what I ask for or not. It’s the big stuff that gets ignored that bothers me. I find I have to shout to be heard. So much for ask and you shall receive. And if that is an ex-Catholic talking, so be it.

What’s the solution? Live each day on its own? I’ve tried that but the immediate future creeps in, especially when I’m dealing with a troubling situation.  For the last few years I’ve stopped planning more than a few months ahead. When someone asks “Where would you like to be in five, ten years?” I want to shout “Why plan that far ahead; I might be dead by then.”

So, I will continue to be watchful, at least, with what is happening. And in most instances business as usual will be “when I see it I will believe it.”

What says you? How do you handle the uncertainty of the future?

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Believing, Betrayal, Family and Friends, Life demands, Problems, Sharon A. Crawford

Only child experiences unexpected serendipity

Patio oasis in Only Child's backyard still peaceful.

I admit it – I’m a jaded realist whose motto is “seeing is believing.”  This belief took an unexpected turn thanks to a severe wind and thunderstorm that hit Toronto on Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t quite a tornado or hurricane, nothing as bad as Hurricane Hazel which stormed into Toronto in the fall of 1954. I remember bits and pieces of that one. It got really dark, wet and windy outside. Mom and I had just made it back from getting our TB tests at one of those mobile testing units parked outside Holy Cross grade school. Our house and garden received no damage because as Mom said, “We live on a hill, not in the valley.”

Last Sunday’s storm, the intensity of which was unexpected, may have had its intentional roots (at least for my property and me) in my Hurricane Hazel experience. I was answering personal e-mail on my desktop computer when I could see the sky in the northwest getting very dark. After a few mild claps of thunder, I thought, “that’s it,” and shut down my computer and turned the power board off. A few minutes later the skies opened and waves of water fell down and the winds shook everything around. I looked out the back window and couldn’t see my umbrella on its stand in the patio table. Then the power went out – for all of two minutes. I was frantically praying (yes, even with my attitudes on religion and God) that all would be well. I checked the basement (several times) and no water got in.

When the storm had died down to a trickle,  in a panic I went out to the back. At first I couldn’t get the gate open – the latch was sticking. After a minute it opened and I charged into the backyard and found my open umbrella, toppled over. It had knocked over my citronella plant and broken a few branches of it. I righted the plant and shoved the umbrella back into its stand. This time I rolled the umbrella down, more to see if it still worked than for any other reason. I did another check of  the basement – floors still dry. And made a mental note to thank the fellow that did the excavation before I again ask him when he is going to fix the picnic table leg he broke off when moving the table. Surprisingly, the five bricks and three remaining legs still held up the picnic table. The only other happenings were my big blue recycling bin rolled over and moved back and a strip of eavestrough liner (to catch falling leaves) had come loose and dangled outside my office window. It is still dangling and can continue to dangle until I get my handyman over to do a number of jobs.

Then I saw and heard what happened elsewhere in Toronto –  power outages for hours, trees down (including next door in the backyard – it fell on the telephone/cable wires cutting off four houses’ service – if they have Bell Canada and not Rogers Cable. I’m not one of those four as the box for my service is up a pole on the far side of the other house next door to me. And then there is Goderich, Ontario which got hit by an F3 Tornado. Goderich resembles a war zone and people are left homeless. This is the down side; this is destruction I can’t comprehend as right or fair…but life is not fair I’ve been told.

I have family just north and northeast of Goderich and I’ve e-mailed one cousin to see if they are all right.

At this point my garden is intact, the trees by the side and back of my house are intact, my house is intact, and I am grateful. Perhaps a smidgeon of my faith and trust in living has been restored. Perhaps I am learning that sometimes when you put it out there, you are listened to, but often in unexpected ways.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Believing, Cities and towns, Cousins, Floods, Goderich, Gratitude, Home and Garden, Life learning, Only child, Prayer, Rain and wind storm, Serendipity, Synchronicities, Tornado, Toronto, Trust, Water

Only Child not keeping cool anywhere

Only Child ponders her problems

Have you ever had one of those week’s where everything seemed to go kaput? I have the past last week, except it was four big problems in four days and two more in the last two days. That, and an ensuing discussion with a friend on Saturday, got me thinking about attitudes, problems and problem solving, and life situations. And no, I’m not going into a long dissertation about all of mine. I guess the bottom line is: what do you think and want (or not want) concerning the problems occurring in your life.

Before I go any further, I need to thank a couple of readers –  I haven’t yet because…

Thanks to Colline and Shirley for their comments on my post last week – Keeping cool in your home office. Usually I reply directly but I couldn’t and the why is one of those aforementioned problems  – disruption in Internet service off and on (mostly off) over three days last week. Unfortunately I was not one of the 99 percent with line problems outside. Nope, the problems were inside. The techie from my ISP/Phone service had to make THREE visits to sort everything out. And in the middle of it all my wireless phone went dead…but that seems to be connected (pun intended) to the ISP line problems because once the line part was fixed, my wireless phone worked. In the end, Mr. Telephone Techie fixed a faulty connector downstairs, updated the split in the line (for phone and ISP) in my home office  and set up a new modem cum router.

Meantime, the adapter for  my external hard drive would no longer connect to the actual peripheral, my kitchen tap set came loose from its setting, and my right eye suddenly developed red eye. Yesterday one of my foot problems kicked in and this morning one of my email servers suddenly isn’t working. A helpful neighbour  (he’s an electrician by the way) fixed the wandering kitchen tap, hopefully the Internet service will continue working and the email service will get fixed – I emailed the company owner about it using my other email account.  I have an appointment with my optometrist  this afternoon. I bought a new adapter and cover for the external hard drive and am still waiting for the other email service.

Enough of those six problems per se. I do find that being an only person is a hindrance. Who do you call for support when you have no siblings, no partner, no… well you get the picture. Not that a partner or sibling could fix all the problems, but misery loves company if only for moral and emotional support and maybe they could call the repair person and deal with him or her some of the time. So, I intend to magnify my GAD (general anxiety disorder) and get angry.

My friend suggested I try meditation and I might – if I can find the time. However, meditation won’t eliminate two things: the influx of too many problems and solving them. I might be a little calmer but I find anger, along with persistence,  helps get me moving to do something about the problems and dealing with any professional I’m trying to get here to fix the problem if he stalls about arriving or messes up in some way. I am polite with my neighbours and friends because I realize they are doing me a favour.  I find the best way to deal with problems is to solve them and get them out of the way as fast as possible. And using your intuition to do so helps – I need to learn to do this more. At the same time I find I get too many problems coming at me.  Which brings me to something else my friend said.

Viewpoint – does your viewpoint change the situation? Nope, not for me. I’ve tried being positive and expecting the best and then I get blindsided by several somethings going haywire. I’ve also been pessimistic and that gets mixed results -often nothing “bad” happens and sometimes it does. So much for the law of attraction or its opposite. I hate to say it but it just might be the “luck of the draw,” whether that luck is good or bad. And I know nobody’s life is problem-free but I also don’t believe that old religious teaching that we never get more crosses than we can bear. Never mind my situation. Look at more serious ones – all the people who have lost their homes through floods and fires, etc. What about people that “lose it” in life after experiencing too many tragedies. True, some people go the other way. Tragedies change them for the better.

Maybe the bottom line is we are all different – not just in who we are but in what we are and how we deal with life situations and just what those life situations are – our environment is a big factor.

What do you think?

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Aloneness, Anger, Anxiety, Believing, Decisions, Law of Attraction, Luck, Only child, Overwhelm, Problem solving, Problems, Stress

Only Child views trust and water

Only Child's house almost smack against the neighbour's.

The washing machine fiasco got solved on Friday – the repair guy replaced the part, gave me the seniors’ discount and I even had enough money to pay by cheque. But that’s not the end of  house-related grief.

Most people get bad things happening in threes. I’m “blessed” with the onslaught of four. This time it was water leaking again – but from outside the house into my rec room overnight Sunday. Not a heck of a lot but enough to scare me and anger me. Why? Because there have been basement floods before, including the big one in November 2005. But I’ve had all the necessary work done since then – inside and outside – to prevent floods in the basement – including some digging, grading, caulking, patio slab slanting, etc. June 2008 on that side of the house. Until last night it worked – that side of the house did not leak in water – until Sunday night.

So much for trust that things will work out if you take the precautions and ask/pray that these disasters won’t happen again. I might as well be screaming against the cement wall where the leak occurred. And it’s not as if I didn’t check the floor every day- just in case. Of course I didn’t expect to see water.

Fortunately my friend and masonry expert came over after my frantic phone calls yesterday. He thinks it might be due to some of the caulking missing and the sheet of whatever (this is how much I don’t know about this) shrinking, a gap between the windowsill and the patio, and one patio slab under the window heaving so it slides towards the window. We hope. He will fix some of it this week and the caulking when it warms up to 10 degrees (that’s 50 degrees F). I do not want or need the big dig – big machines coming in and digging trenches . There is no room for that between my house and the house next door. Maybe deep digging by hand could be done.

When I was growing up in a bungalow very similar to the one I live in now, my parents had no water leaking in the house from outside. The closest to that I can remember is a leaky radiator in the newly-built rec room. The plumber, a friend of my dad, had put this second-hand sucker in, so he had to fix it. The difference here is my parents had each other (well for a time until Dad died of cancer; then my mother fell apart) to talk over these stressful situations. I have no one – not only am I an only child but I don’t have a life partner. And as I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a son who helps where he can, but he has his own life with his girlfriend – although they got an earful about the water situation over dinner last night when I took them out for their birthdays (his is Feb. 17; hers is today). Thanks to the leaky basement I thought I might have to postpone.

Which brings me back to this trust issue. No matter what I do, say, read, or am told, it boils down to this. From my experience in all areas (including health, finances, family deaths, family betrayals), life is a land-mine. I have to come prepared, and at the same time, I have to realize that any amount of preparation won’t keep the baddies at bay.

The basement leak was No. 4 – in this set of baddies anyway. However, I’m not looking forward to this coming weekend of mixed precipitation.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Aloneness, Believing, Betrayal, Floods, Only child, Trust, Water

Only child seeing believing and washing machines

Ringer washing machines - longer lasting than today's automatics?

I’m getting another instance of  “can you trust the future” on a personal level. My 10-year old washing machine started leaking from the bottom and the ensuing events have morphed into something out of The Twilight Zone or a weird variation of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

First of all it shouldn’t have happened. The washing machine is a Maytag. And I also “pray” (ask, put it out there, whatever you believe in) that my appliances keep working okay and so they should as they are all four months to 10 years old. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but not to someone who has to live frugally. And I know my Catholic upbringing is showing. Some of it still sticks.

I’m beginning to think my late mother had it better with her ringer washing machine. Although you had to physically operate the machine, it did a good job and seemed to last forever. True you had to watch where you put your fingers. My mother told me tales of friends who didn’t.

I called the appliance sales and service place where I bought my washing machine – not to get any discounts – but to give them the business. I’ve bought all but one of my major appliances from them. The fellow there didn’t want my business. First, he asked me what type of heating I have and when I told him hot water gas, he went into a spiel about with radiators they can’t (by law) service washers and dryers in the winter unless the boiler has been checked and certified and proceeded to rhyme off a phone number to call about that.  He did tell me what they would charge to look at the washer, gave me the name of another appliance service, and then hung up – or we were disconnected. I tend to believe the former because I was very persistent about them removing the old freezer (per their agreement) when I bought a new one from them last October. So, I figured he has me labelled “troublemaker.”

I called the heating company who installed my new furnace and do annual cleanings, check-ups. They’d never heard of such radiator-winter nonsense but said the only test required by law is the Carbon Monoxide one and they’d done it. (I have written proof). I tried a couple more appliance repair businesses, including the Maytag one, and about fell on the floor when I heard the service charge – just to show up and diagnose the problem was $90 to $109. None of them had heard about the “law.”

I went back to the flaky company to get the phone number for the appliance repair service he’d recommended. I told him that I checked with my heating company and they did the only check required last November and I have the written proof. Now this fellow told me they were very busy with their other location and there was only one guy there. I asked for the phone no. of the other repair service. It turns out that was the number he rattled off before but not in connection with the company. This guy clearly needs some training in communication and consumer law.

I called the recommended company. Their service charge to show up and diagnose is a little higher than the flaky company but I booked an appointment. I did tell them the washing machine make so hope they can fix it okay without any other tangents. But I’m not holding my believing breath. Past experience has shown that when I trust that it will work okay, something often happens to mess it up. And no, expecting the worse, doesn’t stop it from happening; it just helps prepare you.

Meantime, I’m taking notes on all of this – just in case I have to go to a consumer advocate to straighten out the situation. I will also call my friend next door to see if I can maybe do a few loads of wash there this weekend. So far the washing machine leak is tiny and no big deal, but who knows what will happen after the service person arrives and takes it apart – if he has to put it together while we wait for parts.

Seeing is definitely believing with me. Too bad. It would be wonderful to do the opposite but the track record isn’t good for me. Once upon a time  I believed … until I saw, over and over again.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Believing, Consumerism, Only child, Prayer, Trust, Washing machines