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 Why didn’t he factor this in when we originally made the appointment?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?
Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes