Disasters Come In Threes
Have you heard that expression? Well, it happened to me just before last Christmas.
Disasters Come In Threes
How often have I heard that? A million times at least.
Well, this week it’s true. I’ve had three disasters.
Disaster No. 1: I turned the tap timer the wrong way and instead of turning the water off after an hour, it went all night almost flooding all my new vegetable seedlings out.
Disaster No. 2: I was told of the death of an old school friend of mine. This makes me very sad. Even sadder because we’d lost touch with each other. I thought she lived in another town and I didn’t even know her married name. Turned out that she lived right here. That makes me sad because I missed the opportunity to catch up with her. And, yes, I am more than a little annoyed that the friend who told me she’d died knew exactly where she lived, used to visit her often, and knew I was wondering where and how she was all these years. I can’t understand why she never let on. Even crueler now that I can’t do anything about it.
Disaster No. 3: I discovered that our freezer had been turned off some time ago and all the contents had gone rotten. I guess I’m lucky it wasn’t full to the brim with meat. Still, I lost all the frozen vegies I’d preserved, all the frozen meals I’d prepared, and, most irksome of all, our two Christmas turkeys. This is annoying because I can’t afford to go out and replace all that food. I’ll have to replace the turkeys. We need those. The frozen meals, sauces, vegies, etc. will have to be replaced one by one as I make, or preserve, them. Today I have to take a bin full of rotten meat to the tip. Ugh! I’m really looking forward to that experience! I’m sure I’ll be chased down the road by a huge black cloud of blowflies.
Over all, it hasn’t been a good week for me. I’ve been in trouble, yelled at, belittled, made fun of, told how stupid I am… I guess you get the picture. I feel really bad about all three disasters and there isn’t a thing I can do about any of them to make it all “unhappen”.
How did I react to these so-called disasters? How did it all unfold for me on a personal level?
It’s all written right there for the world to see: “I turned”, “I was told”, “I discovered”, “I wondered”, “I can’t afford”, “I was blamed”, “I was sad”, “I was in trouble”.
Yes, the dreaded wounded, wailing “I”, surfaced. Yes, it’s the “victim me” I was talking about in my last blog entry: Will The Real Me Stand Up? I’ve taken it upon myself to accept all responsibility; accept all blame. I’ve personalized and internalized. Now I must punish myself for my bad deeds.
Once again, I’m transported back to my childhood. Mum is standing over me, large and threatening, her face twisted, her voice loud enough to hurt my ears. I cower, I crumble, I feel small, guilty, terrified, sorry, devastated, and helpless.
I’ve had a life time of conditioning that’s hard to break. I’ve been conditioned to think that if something goes wrong I’ve been bad, or stupid, and now I must be punished until everyone around me feels vindicated and I am ground into the dust.
Just stop it.
The truth is, accidents happen. People die. That’s life.
Yes, I turned the tap timer the wrong way. It’s an easy mistake. Do I have to suffer eternally for my sin? What was the real outcome of that? The seedlings loved the extra drink of water and are all standing up looking great. Yes, I wasted a lot of water that we really can’t afford, but the world didn’t stop turning and we all didn’t fall off.
I’m not sure about how the freezer happened to be turned off at the power point. Did I do it? I can’t see why I would, but I could have. Anyone could have turned if off for any number of reasons then forgot to turn it back on. Everyone keeps telling me I was the one who did it, so I suppose I’ll just have to accept that. The outcome? We lost some food that we can’t afford to replace right now. However, we were lucky not to have lost an entire freezer full of expensive meat. I was in the process of letting it become empty so I could defrost it and give it a good clean. Well, it’s certainly defrosted now! And it’s outside airing having been sprayed thoroughly with disinfectant to get rid of the smell. It will certainly be crystal clean by the time we wheel it back inside.
Everyone blaming me is hard to take. It was a genuine accident – like the tap timer incident. It happened. Did the world stop spinning? Not that I’ve noticed – but then again, I didn’t notice the power point was in the off position.
I have no power over what other people think, say or do. I can only control how I react. People are being very nasty to me over this. I dare say, I won’t hear the end of it for quite a while. Don’t you love how people do that? How should I react? It hurts. Why does it hurt? Because I made a mistake and I can’t fix it. I want to fix it, but what’s done is done. I have to move on. I have to not let what others say grind me down into the dirt. I have to take my power back. Okay, a mistake was made. Yes, it was probably mine. And…? Get over it. Let’s not allow this to become a bigger issue than it really is. It is not of worldly importance. It’s not even a blip on the radar of my life.
The death of my friend is hard. I feel a lot sadder than I expected. Sad for a lot of reasons, and not just because I’ve lost all possibility of getting together with her to reminisce about old times.
How I feel about the loss is natural. It’s sorrow. I’ll cry a little because we drifted apart. I’ll cry a little because I won’t see her again in this life time. I’ll cry, then I’ll smile, then I’ll allow myself to laugh over all the silly, funny, things we used to do as teenagers. I’ll remember her and smile from that moment on.
That’s grief. It’s natural. It’s nothing to be afraid of. I’m not going to wail and wallow in self-pity over this. I’m simply allowing myself to feel the full emotion of it all. I’m allowing myself to be sad, and then to heal slowly. We should never be afraid to allow ourselves to love, to lose, to grieve, to heal.
How do I feel about the “friend” who prevented me from having a lasting adult friendship with my other friend? The talking marks around the word “friend” say it all. No, I’m not wasting time on anger and bitterness. I’m relegating a negative influence into the “casual acquaintance” bin.
Yes, I did feel anger when I discovered that I was deliberately not told the whereabouts of my friend. I’m entitled to feel that. Anger is natural. I was hurt too. It hurt to think someone would prevent us from getting together for whatever reason. Her reason. Not mine. That’s not my journey. I walk a different path. I acknowledged the anger and hurt. I understood where they came from and why. They served their purpose in alerting me to an injustice, and now they’re gone. Injustice has also faded. If you come up against a minor injustice that does no more than give you a brief sting, feel it, acknowledge it, recognize it for what it is and where it sprang from, then let it fade away.
The sun is shining outside today. It’s one of those perfect, cloudless, days you read about in books.
I’m going to go outside with a cup of tea [that old gypsy remedy for everything] and let the sun dry my tears. Then I’ll get to work weeding my garden, cleaning the freezer, and then I’ll go join some friends of mine for a pre-Christmas get-together.
So… here’s to you, Mardi, my old friend. I remember you with love and laughter. You’ll be forever young in my heart and in my mind.