Tag Archives: Karma

Only Child says focus and it might happen

Only child in doorway to her office

Only child in doorway to her office

Last week I blogged about Karma – what goes around comes around, something I firmly believe in even if I don’t see it. But there is also the belief that if you put it out there, the Universe, God or whomever might deliver.

No, I’m not turning into a believer here, but by accident I discovered a twist to this.

As many of you know I have turned into a very cranky angry person, thanks to all the crap that has been shoved my way and thanks to that, all the areas in my life where I feel cheated. So it has made me push a lot in my complaining. Besides the health area (which I will stay off this time), I have been complaining loud and clear about my financial position, about living below the poverty level. I just did my income taxes for 2015 and that confirms it – even lower income then for 2014 and 2016 was looking even worse, what with the powers that be at Service Ontario cum CPP, cutting back on my monthly CPP income and adding insult to injury by deciding to take off all the “extra” in May. Of course, I filed a dispute.

Along with this bad financial situation is the lack of sufficient work coming in for the first part of this year. I am teaching a fiction writing workshop at the S. Walter Stewart Library branch later this year in October.

So, I’ve been yelling about these two – financial and lack of work to bring in money – but also putting my invisible money where my mouth is, so to speak. I’ve been pitching both my writing workshops and speaking engagements for my Beyond fiction books to various branches.

Voila.

Late last Friday afternoon I received an email from a librarian at the North York Public Library branch. The writer/editor who usually teaches their four-session Memoir Writing Course in June has had to suddenly cancel (why is her business). So the librarian who looks after programing there emailed me and asked if I would like to teach the course and there would be financial compensation.

He had received my name from another librarian, Janet Nanos (and I don’t mind mentioning her name and you’ll see why in a sec) who is instrumental in my East End Writers’ Group meeting almost monthly at the S. Walter Stewart branch and also for that October fiction writing workshop. Turns out the NYCC librarian and Janet used to work together so he emailed her and she recommended me. And yes, I thanked her.

I have since talked with Val, the NYCC librarian and we have firmed up what I am to teach (pretty much up to me for the content) and he confirmed my fee (same as I get at other library branches per hour). This is for June. The write-up about it will soon go on their website and I’ll post that in future when that happens in case anyone is interested in taking this course. It is free to library patrons – the only catch being you can’t have taken another version of the course previously at that library branch.

So, sometimes putting it out there will bring in some help. Sometimes you just have to yell and complain a lot to be heard.

Now, I just have to figure out how to afford to get through May with no extra income and less CPP. I have gardening and yard supplies to get, trees to be trimmed, and one of my handyman to be here to do some tasks.

Plus I have a horrendous water bill – over $230. and a lot of that has to do with the City not billing often enough. Last bill was in December and this one that just came is due May 9. Plus there is a property tax bill, etc. etc. etc.

Looks like a few health-related issues may have to be put on hold.

But all that is for another post.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

 

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Filed under finances, God, Home and Garden, Librarians, Libraries, Memoir writing, Memoir writing course, Only child, Poverty

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 and the freezer saga

Only Child waiting for freezer

Every Sunday morning I would wake up to Mom yelling “get out,” not to me but to the roast beef stuck in her tiny fridge-top freezer.  This childhood ritual turned into adult realty a couple of weekends ago, when my very old upright freezer decided it had enough. As it sputtered to its end, I had to stuff its contents into the freezer at the top of my fridge and in a Styrofoam cooler. As I also had some of my neighbour/friend’s food in the freezer I had to let her know – this on a Sunday,  not a.m. but 10.30 p.m.

Although the timing was bad (same time as I had that whopping house insurance premium due), the whole situation played out in a serendipitous manner.

The freezer of unknown age (I inherited it from the previous house owners 12 years ago when I moved into this house and the freezer was old then) had been making weird noises off and on for the last few months. On the Saturday, the handyman I hire occasionally to do house repairs and painting, helped me clean out the huge chunks of ice that had accumulated. When  he turned the freezer back on it made what he referred to as “a noise it makes when it is dying.” He adjusted the big coil in the back, turned the freezer back on and it appeared to be working. I turned the temperature up and moved some of the food back in. By Sunday evening the freezer was lowering its temperature with water appearing on the shelves – when the door was closed. That did it. I went into panic mode. But it was a good thing it had just been cleaned out.

Next day I went to the local independent appliance store, picked out a smaller chest freezer and arranged for its delivery and for their delivery people to remove the old freezer to the curb where a scrap dealer (whom they would call) would pick it up. They charged for delivery of the new freezer but waived the cost of moving the old. I let them know it was a big upright freezer in the basement but the stairway up to the side door was open.

Monday they didn’t arrive until 7.20 p.m. No problem getting in the new freezer and setting it up. But they balked at removing the old one. I went into “you have to- this is the deal mode”) . They called the store owner – they talked to him; I talked to him and the deal was back on. A third fellow arrived to help the other two. It was a struggle, including waiting for the freezer to stop dripping water from the inside. They removed the door and attached it to the dolly. But they couldn’t seem to get it up the stairs – no wonder – they were trying to do so with the freezer standing upright. Of course, it hit the stairwell ceiling in one spot. They refused to move it out but said, “we can move it to another room.” I went into yelling and crying mode. It worked – they resumed the removal – this time putting the freezer on its side. They got it out the door and to the curb. I refrained from any nasty comments and just said, “thank you.” Half an hour later I heard noises outside. The scrap dealer was removing the stove. I opened the front door, stood on my veranda and shouted, “Thank you.”

Now with the small chest freezer (and there is room for all my food and then some) in my laundry room I can see space. I can feel that a big burden has been removed and the whole area has opened up. I can feel energy returning and I am motivated to do some more clearing and cleaning in the laundry room and the adjoining cold cellar.

So, you can see how what could have been bad luck turned into a good thing and worked itself out. The only downside is the cost end – thanks to the house insurance premium due I had to put the much lower-costing freezer on a credit card. But I intend to pay it off when it comes due in a month’s time.

As for my Mom and her freezer/fridge situation, she did eventually purchase a bigger fridge/freezer – and had to have the overhead cupboards sawed smaller. Not too long after that she sold the house and had to leave the freezer behind. Not her new stove – that came with her to the apartment, but that’s another story.

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Filed under Debt, Karma, Only child, Serendipity, Synchronicities

Only child looks at Karma

Look-alike car

I’m looking for some Karma – you know the what goes around comes around. Or if you were raised Catholic like  me, the “as you sow, so shall you reap.”

I really believe in Karma – but I’d like to see it in action – personally. Often when something happens in your life – good or bad  – whether it’s something you do or something that occurs – you don’t see the Karma.

Last Friday evening while out running errands with a friend, I got hit by a car in a mall parking lot. My friend was already over at her car and I was still walking towards it when I felt a smack on my left leg. When I looked up I saw this small black car roaring off. Immediately I started chasing it and swearing at the driver. She (and I am sure it was a “she,” and that’s just a gut feeling) continued racing around the parking lot, turning around on the other side of an aisle. I charged up that aisle, yelling away (I’m sure the two women getting in a nearby car thought I’d lost it) but I never caught up. My little 5’1″ frame is no competition for a moving vehicle.

“Did you get the licence plate?” my friend asked.

“No,” I said. I’d never thought of that.

I was lucky it was only a tap on my bare calf – I was wearing capri pants because temperatures were up in the 80s Farenheit. But I was furious. How could the driver not have seen me? I was in clear view almost in the middle of the aisle.  She wasn’t backing out but driving through the parking lot. And to make matters worse, a few minutes before when she was attempting to back out of her parking space around the corner in the lot, it looked like she didn’t see me and might hit me. I moved back. Was this an early warning of impending danger? I didn’t listen.

When I climbed into my friend’s car I shouted, “God, if you do exist, please get this person. I don’t care how; I leave it up to you. But I’d like to know.”

As I mentioned before, you hardly ever find out. But I did – twice – one for something rotten that happened and one for something good that I did and continue to do.

The rotten occurrence also concerned a car. (Feel free to figure out that significance. Clue: I don’t drive.) It happened 15 or 16 years ago when I worked for a publishing company. One of the other employees there volunteered to drive me to work each day. She was continually late – but she had a small child and had to drop her off at daycare on the way to work, so I said nothing. Two or three times I was running late – literally – putting the garbage out as she arrived at my driveway. After a few months of driving me to work, one day when she picked me up, she said, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m not driving you anymore. You’re always late.”

A few months later, Ms. Driver broke her ankle and had to get someone else from work to drive her to and from work.

When I tell this story I either get a big smile or a “Huh? You mean because she stopped driving you she broke her ankle.” Obviously the latter individuals don’t believe in Karma.

And my good Karma? I run the East End Writers’ Group, a writing group, and through the group I help a lot of writers (and learn a lot from them, too). The East End Writers is celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall and when I asked for help in putting it together, a couple of members volunteered. One designed the flyers, another is helping with distribution and may even be able to get us a mic for that evening.

What goes around comes around. And I wonder if  for me it all goes back to my mother and her eccentric ideas of honesty. In my memoir I call them “Mom’s 10 Rules of Honesty.” One in particular, in relation to the girl that bullied me in school, comes to mind.

In grade three, The Bully sits right in front of me. When Mrs. Roberts isn’t looking, she swivels around and talks to me out of turn. However, her biggest sin is cheating with the numbers. When we complete an arithmetic exercise, Mrs. Roberts says, “trade.” The Bully crouches over my assignment, purses her lips, picks up her pencil and scribbles – x, x, x – beside my correct answers. Meantime, I, blessed with my mother’s streak of honesty, also mark x, x, x, but alongside The Bully’s incorrect answers. When we trade back, The Bully crouches even lower and turns the x’s into Ö’s. At home, I whine to Mom.

“You have to tell the teacher when she cheats,” Mom says. She’s sitting in the chair under the living room window and I’m standing in front of her like I’m the bad girl in school. “Next time, she cheats, tell the teacher. Then tell me and I’ll give you a quarter.”

Money talks for me. The next time the Bully messes up the math marks I raise my hand and rat. When I return home, I tell tales out of school and claim my reward, not just 25 cents, but my admission to the honesty/money seesaw.

(Excerpted from You Can Go Home – Part 1 – Deconstruct. Copyright 2010 Sharon Crawford)

In case anyone is wondering, my leg is fine. As for Karma – what do others think? Personally?

Cheers.

Only child writes

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Filed under Car accidents, Karma, Only child, Only child memoir