Category Archives: Trust

Only Child on trust

Only Child and her son Martin -  one of the few people she can trust

Only Child and her son Martin – one of the few people she can trust

Who do you trust? Do you trust anyone? Why and why not?

Over the years I have learned that trust is worse than fleeting. I used to be this naïve person who had trust, even if it was in the form of praying for things to be all right.

Not anymore. I can count on my fingers the people I can trust. As for organizations (religious, utilities, and otherwise – hell no). It used to be I could get up in the morning and feel safe, feel that it would be a good day.

Not anymore. Always I have a hassle and/or problem hanging over from a previous day. And more are always lurking unexpectedly around the corner. This unending list includes the weather, utility problems, house repairs (impending, some done but not done properly – read Nigel Applewaite and the bad job he did four years ago on waterproofing the outside of my house – he didn’t dig deep enough and I shouldn’t have trusted him), health issues, family, computers, finances, etc. – not necessarily in order of importance.

The bottom line is I have learned from my experiences to be wary of who and what I trust. I try not to take anything for granted because you can bet once I do I get screwed somehow, somewhere.

What is the answer?

For me, it is trusting myself, doing and going it alone as much as I can, keeping in mind I can reach out to the under 10 people I can trust.

And oh yeah, dishing out repercussions to the culprits who mess up my life – but picking and choosing which ones and letting others go.

Not letting go will be one of the latest – Bell Canada’s screw-up for the static on my phone. They emailed me about doing a survey on their service about this – the technician hasn’t shown up yet. To add insult to injury the email did not contain a link to the actual survey. But it did contain the name of the customer service VP. She’s getting s*** once a technician has actually been here.

More anon, like maybe next week’s post on Bell Canada – the ding-a-ling company.

 

Tomorrow is Canada Day July 1. Enjoy it – despite yet more rain and possible thunderstorms.

And for my American followers, Happy July 4 coming up this Saturday.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Anxiety, finances, Health, Life demands, Only child, Problems, Rain, Snafus, Stress, Trust, Weather, Worrying

Only Child asks why bother with hope and faith?

Only Child again contemplates some harsh realities

Only Child again contemplates some harsh realities

Last Wednesday’s mixed precipitation storm of slush caused me to cancel my monthly writing critique group for the first time ever. At first I thought it was an indirect way to give me the extra time needed to complete my prequel novel for my publisher’s deadline.

Then I went downstairs to do my twice daily check of the rec room floors. To my horror I discovered some water had leaked in through the inner wall where I hadn’t placed towels. I’ve had these water problems before and despite a big excavation two years to “fix” the problem, I still check the floors regularly and place down towels when it rains – because I have learned not to trust that all will be well. Last Wednesday’s was the first leak since the excavation. But, guess I should have spread towels out on the inner wall. I called the guy who did the repair work two years ago and he finally showed up last evening after dark. He says it is probably the caulking he put around one of the windows has come loose and he will just need to caulk it – no charge for that. But he can’t do it until it warms up (including during the night). Guess what? Later tonight we have possible freezing rain and rain tomorrow. Which I found out on the weather network online because…

When I turned on the TV this morning to get my morning weather dose from the weather network  I found nothing but black static and a message to call my service provider. Which I did – after 411 interrupted to give me the correct phone no. Apparently the one on my cable bill is incorrect. When I got through to technical support I heard a message that there is a problem with the digital adapter service in the Toronto area; they are working to fix it and service will be restored as soon as possible. So far… no service. They apologized.

Not good enough. Some of us (myself included) who live just above the poverty level can’t afford to convert to full digital service. For me that isn’t just getting an expensive digital TV, but my electrical outlets by the TV need converting to three-prong. An electrician refused last year to do the job because of having to cut through walls, etc. He made it sound like a real mess. Newsflash. I had this done in another area without any mess to create a new outlet so the air conditioner could have its own outlet. So I opted for an alternative last year – a digital adapter supplied by my cable company. The adapter and its delivery were free of charge but they wanted to charge to get one of their technicians to hook it up. So, I pulled the senior card and after much hassle and talking I got it connected free of charge. It has a two-prong plug-in and I use an extension cord to plug in the TV and a lamp.

These are just recent examples of why I have so little trust and faith. Fool that I am, I still put it out there daily to god, universe – whatever you want to call it (Some would call it “praying”). Every day I also give gratitude for what I am grateful for and do the opposite for what I’m not grateful for (i.e. what is wrong in my life). The latter list is getting longer and may catch up with the grateful list.

I don’t expect my life or anybody else’s to be perfect, but I think less aggravations and problems would help. Being an only person having to deal with everything myself puts me in a more precarious position.

Somewhere back in the days when I was growing up Catholic and still believed in trust, faith and miracles, I was taught that nobody gets more crosses to bear than they can manage.

Not true. I’m living proof of that and so are many others. To take it beyond the personal – look at what is happening around the world – for example the homeless and some of that due to weather.

Yes, back to weather. As the guy who did the excavation said, our winters are no longer just cold and snow; we get rain mixed in and that causes a lot of problems. I remember even as far back as the early to mid-1990s when winters were winter with no rain until spring.

What have I learned? Besides life being unfair, you can really count only on yourself. And if you can’t, you might as well be dead.

One more thing. If I hear anymore reference to Mother Nature in connection with bad weather, I will scream. “Mother” and “bad weather” (any kind) is a misnomer and an oxymoron. Just think about that.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Aloneness, Floods, Learning Experience, Life demands, Living alone, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Trust, Weather, Winter Weather

Only Child leans toward being wary

Only Child contemplates the trust issue

Only Child contemplates the trust issue

The wariness/trust issue took a different turn this weekend. I need to rethink my attitude here because guess what? I got betrayed.

For the winter I had hired someone to shovel the snow when more than just a few centimetres landed. Last Thursday evening into Friday, Toronto and other southern Ontario regions got blasted with a blizzard – 30 centimetres plus of snow. The fellow who was supposed to shovel the snow showed up twice to do it and afterwards made two points of knocking on my door promising to finish the rest – first he was going to shovel first thing the next morning. Of course he didn’t. He showed up early afternoon and said he would be back after lunch to do it and for me to just leave it for him to do – he’d be back in a couple of hours. He also made a point of all the seniors he shovelled snow for and that he couldn’t let them down.

If I’d have waited, I’d still be waiting. After five hours I went out there and hacked away at the snow still in the driveway, sidewalk and by two sides of the house. Sunday I was out there trying to remove the pile-up left at the end of the driveway (the sidewalk plough had removed some overnight) and the snow (layer by layer) over the two cache basins (but not the road spanning out from them). Then I went inside and phoned the 311 number for the City of Toronto and complained about the snow plough dumping the snow over the cache basins.

As for my “trusty” snow shoveller, because I prepaid for some of the weekend’s shovelling (I know; shouldn’t do this) he owes me at least half price for another snow shovelling job. Forecast is for a fair bit of snow here in a week. If he shows up I’ll get my half price deal and then I’m going to fire him with a lecture.

I also now know where he lives so am debating whether to bang on his door.

In the “good old days” when I was a child (back in the grey ages), my dad shovelled the snow and after he died Mom did the job until we moved into an apartment. As most of you know, I’m an “only person” here, so those two words are my key.

People have to earn my trust. Some close family and friends have, but some friends have messed up the trust issue as I’ve blogged before. Some clients also can be trusted. But for others – I will put on my journalism hat and be wary.

Unfortunately, as my late mother-in-law used to say, “that is the way of the world.”

On a lighter note, I will be taking my mystery short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012) to the Runnymede Branch of the Toronto Public Library this evening to do a presentation and reading featuring my eccentric characters and quirky plots. At least here I have some control over what happens – the ones doing wrong get their just desserts in some way. For those in the Toronto area, my reading presentation starts      at 6.30 p.m. and the address is 2178 Bloor St. West, Toronto. More info on my Beyond the Tripping Point web page http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html

And you can see and hear me read one of these stories, “The Body in the Trunk” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgOKYgBfAwY&feature=youtu.be

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Aloneness, Betrayal, Beyond the Tripping Point, Friends, Learning Experience, Life learning, Living alone, Mom and Dad, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Snow Removal, Trust

Only Child’s new look fosters new attitude

Only Child and son, Martin. Same photo as on my first blog post

Only Child and son, Martin. Same photo as on my first blog post

In case you didn’t notice before, Only Child Writes has a new design and logo. It wasn’t planned.

Last Thursday my blog header logo disappeared from my blog. Instead I was staring at white space at the top of every post – but the posts were all there. On my dashboard it was a different story – the specifics for this design were there but even when I tried to restore the header, it just wouldn’t connect to the actual blog.

Was this somehow connected to what’s going on in my life?

First the technicalities: After checking out WordPress’s “Help and Support” under Headers, I found that none of the possibilities listed was the cause. So I filled in the Support form and sent it through cyberspace. I received one of those “flying through cyberspace” emails back – so I know it arrived. Two days later I had heard nothing, so emailed my son for help and he said he would take a look at it.

Here’s where it gets interesting almost to the point of serendipity – I heard back from someone at WordPress. She attached a screenshot of what she could see at her end and it showed the original blue-coloured header. She asked if that was what I saw at my end. So I checked the blog site and found a completely different header and blog design for OnlyChildWrites.

I also found an email from my son, Martin.

Martin had taken a look – he couldn’t see the header on the post either. So, he set me up with a new design, emailing me about this plus instructions to change it if I didn’t like it.

I love it and emailed him back with thanks. Also emailed the WordPress support lady and thanked her but added my son had just changed the design and he figured the flaw was something at their end for the original design.

Going by the email times, it looks like WordPress took the screen shot about an hour before Martin made the changes.

Sometimes a change is for the better, especially when it comes serendipitously. Which got me thinking about life. Over the years, going way back to growing up an only child, I’ve learned to, well learn from my experiences. Past occurrences tell me how to approach new ones. Sometimes I’ve made exceptions, mainly in my writing, gardening and reading, but sometimes with friends and relationships with men. Often when I have done the latter, I’ve had the rug pulled from underneath me. Those of you who have been following this blog, will see a few posts that touch on this topic in some way.

Maybe I need to trust in serendipity more. The key word is “trust.” A former boyfriend once said, “Life is unfair,” and he is right. But life is also supposed to be a combination of good and bad, but when the bad seems to override the good in numbers, well…

It’s a dilemma. Somehow there must be a way to be wary and trusting.

Anyone have any answers here?

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Bloggimg, Family, Help and Support, Learning Experience, Life demands, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Trust

Only Child on betrayal, trust and irresponsibility

Only Child holds copy of her debut short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point

The more I go through life the more I find my level of trust goes down. Sometimes it’s the people closest to you who let you down. I had another dose of this in several forms this week connected to the launch of my mystery short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point. Right now I’d like to insert that the hit did not come from a family member – they were great – 10 of them came to my book launch. (If you want more info on how the book launch went, stay tuned for this Thursday’s blog post on my other blog connected to Beyond the Tripping Point and fiction writing at http://www.sharonacrawfordauthor.com

You’d think I’d know better by now considering what happened with my Dad’s cancer when I was 10. Here’s a brief excerpt from my memoir (yes, still looking for an agent or a publisher directly for it):

...bad news spreads like locusts, especially inaccurate stories told to me by my mother and which comfort me, only to be crushed by the Bully. Soon after Dad returns home and to work, the Bully chases me out of the schoolyard.

“Your Dad has cancer.” She taunts me between huffs and puffs. She waddles onto the sidewalk and tries to catch up to me.

“No, it was TB. You’re lying.” I glance at her over my shoulder, then my feet pick up the pace.

“Nah, your parents lied. My Mom said your Dad has cancer.”

She’s lying. She’s got to be lying. She seems closer to my back, so I detour into Holy Cross Church for solace.

“My mother said it was TB. My mother doesn’t lie. Please God.” I kneel on the wood-hard kneelers and hang onto the pew in front of me. “Please God. He had TB. My mother said so.”

My pleading does not carve consolation into my heart. Instead, betrayal is born, and it grows up as offshoots that make no sense to anyone at the time. (Excerpted from You Can Go Home – Deconstructing the Demons, copyright 2012 Sharon A. Crawford)

The betrayal/letdown, etc. from friends does not hit the above scale, but it still hurts. As expected, there were a few people invited to the book launch who said they would come and didn’t. Some had very legitimate reasons that came up, one very sad, with a death in the family. I can only sympathize with her and the friends who were sick. But some of the excuses, not reasons, I can only shake my head at. One got invited out to lunch with her son –well, why not just bring him to the launch after lunch? Especially as another friend and writing colleague came all the way down from Sudbury and brought his daughter, her boyfriend and her friend (those three are in Toronto). The more the merrier.

Then there is the betrayal for want of a better word. An insert here. I like to help my friends and had arranged for some car pooling between two of them, and talked to both about it and thought everything was clear. Not according to the driver. She phoned on launch day and chided me, saying I should have told her. I had, but apologized for any misunderstanding. They did go together to the book launch. But the phone call drove me over my tripping point; I was in shock, and went through the launch on automatic pilot. Sure, the launch went okay, but a few things I would have done differently if I had been 100 per cent present.

Overnight my shock changed to anger, not at her phoning – misunderstandings happen. It was the timing of her phone call. She should have waited until the next day.

I learned another lesson. Someone once said that you come into this world alone and exit it alone.

Looks like you also go through it alone.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Aloneness, Anger, Betrayal, Beyond the Tripping Point, Book launch, Family and Friends, Life learning, Memoir content, Only child memoir, Sharon A. Crawford, Trust

Only Child learns lesson from clogged drain

Only Child sits and ponders

Today may be Valentine’s Day but some of us chug and churn along alone in both work and our personal lives. I call it the “only person syndrome.” Never more did this hit home to me until my kitchen drain clogged Sunday evening. But I learned something from the experience, something I knew in my heart before, as well as something I intend to apply in a couple of ways in both personal and business life.

Sunday evening I was (and still am, at least the side effects of the medication) getting over a bout with the flu so a clogged drain was one of the last things I needed. When this happened to my late Mom and Dad, they knew what to do. As I write in my memoir:

When it came to getting things done around the house, if Mom and Dad couldn’t do it themselves, they turned to friends and colleagues. Dad worked as a timekeeper for Canadian National Railway and somewhere in the bowels of Union Station, he met up with Ken, the singing plumber. When house pipes burst, Ken arrived, and after he fixed the offending plumbing device, he let his pipes loose – he sang opera, loud, gregarious, but not to the height of breaking the glass top of the door between the living room and front hall.

(Excerpted from the memoir You Can Go Home – Deconstructing the Demons, copyright 2011 Sharon Crawford)

However, I don’t have a “Ken” in my life. So I turned to my neighbour friends who do this type of work. No help from these neighbours who I had thought were my friends; we help each other out… or so I thought.

One exception here. One of my neighbours was sick and so he was immediately forgiven and I wished him a speedy recovery. One of the other neighbours refused to  help with excuses of what he was going to be too busy doing the next day and evening (I had specifically said I didn’t expect anyone to come over late on a Sunday evening). He proceeded to give me a long list of suggestions plus he said he didn’t know anything about such a situation. I know the latter isn’t true and from what I saw yesterday I have my doubts about some of the excuses. As much as it would have hurt, I would prefer he had said he didn’t want to help me with this. Monday morning I called my some-of-the time handyman, and bless his heart, he came over within a few hours and cleared the sucker. His fee was reasonable and he gave me a three-month warranty.

So, what is the lesson? How can I apply it in my personal and business life?

The lesson is two-fold. The bottom line is we have to trust ourselves to fix things in our lives and not really depend on others. I don’t mean we have to learn all trades and be all things. But when push comes to shove, we need to be careful whom we ask for help. Friends may not be the best answer (and really from previous experiences with another friend, I should’ve known this) so consider other options – from other professionals to ourselves.

Of course (and I have to stick this in) it helps if we have a partner, a significant other, even a sibling, who we can rely on at least for support, and sometimes help. Those of us living the “only person syndrome” can’t. However, we have another option…find someone else on our radar who is in a similar situation and offer that person support and ask for his or hers and I don’t mean running over to fix the plumbing. A buddy-type support, whether by phone or email or maybe sometimes in person when the going gets rough on one person’s side. The situation will switch and both individuals will have a chance to listen or lean on the other.

In these tough economic times, especially for us self-employed, this can often be the tipping point that gets someone moving in a positive direction – a job lead, a step out of the miasma of hopelessness and maybe a good laugh or two. It’s worth a try and I’m going to do this as soon as these medication side effects ease off (not drowsiness or anything with the brain working, for anyone wondering). I have someone in mind on the professional level.

Comments?

Next week I want to go into how laughter can help our health and well-being.

Cheers.

Sharon Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Aloneness, Betrayal, Family, Friends, Help and Support, Learning Experience, Only child, Only child memoir, Plumbing, Trust

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