Photo taken in Cuba, 2016
Have you ever heard the expression, “Life teaches us about LIFE” – ?
Have you ever observed an incident, or a long unfolding story happening to another person, watched it play out, been shocked by it and learned from it and become sympathetic to it, only to have nearly the same thing happen to yourself?
Well…life opened a door for you (maybe more than one door…) and gave you a glimpse inside. You were fore-warned. Perhaps in having a preview it helped you know what to do and how to cope.
Since I have been absent, MIA, not writing this blog for nearly five months or more (which was far more difficult than writing it, by the way), a handful of incidents have happened to me that you might lump under some eye-catching heading such as The 10 Life-Changing Events That Bring The Most Stress. Stereotypical yes, but true.
I have been on a proverbial roller coaster ride, experiencing days when almost hourly I flew, hanging on for dear life and hair flying, from the top to the bottom and back up again….then down. Of course I wanted to write about it, but there was no time. I was frantically coping, white knuckled, traveling emotionally fast and loose by the seat of my pants in my own little world bubble, hoping to land somewhere safe in one piece and just stay there for a while. They say that bad things happen in three’s; I seem to have been on a streak of five or six. Sometimes seven or eight, coming and going, up and downing me every day, 24/7. This personal sampling, in no particular order because it was pure chaos, as I re-read it now still seems staggering.
The challenges ran the proverbial gamut from soup to nuts, hitting all the bullet points and covering all the chapters from all those self-help books that try to get you to calm down, compartmentalize and focus. It was a gourmet buffet of difficult, nuanced issues that began to arrive early last fall. The months rolled by and the roller coaster ride never slowed. Everything influenced and effected everything else, of course. The domino affect. Throw the holiday season into the middle of it all, just for extra intrigue.
First, surprising relationship issues came roaring out of the blue (whhhaaatt? Are you kidding me?), coupled with serious illnesses within my core family, all of which left me feeling angry, vulnerable and scared. Those uneasy, sleep-depriving feelings were echoed metaphorically and enhanced by a community-wide infestation of RATS as big as racoons in the neighborhood where I was living, seriously impacting my personal freedoms of having windows open during the day and walking to and from from my car at night. Then technical impossibilities (just when you need those tech devices most, they all crash and burn and turn on you, because they are alive and they know things about you). When I got the dreaded blue-screen and the PC crashed in the middle of making the big decision to change my residence once and for all….well I screamed at it. I was already anticipating the inherent, enduring pain of “the search” in Denver’s science fiction-ish otherworldly, surreal real estate market, and my Geek managed to capture most of my data but I decided not to get a new computer until after I moved…which was still months away. Trying to purchase a home without a computer is next to impossible here in the 21st century when everything happens at break-neck speed. All of your initial searching is done online and bidding wars are the norm. You need to be nose to the PC all the damn time – you snooze for a couple hours (as in night time) and you totally loose. You stop to eat a sandwich and you have missed a dozen new listings. Slow Laptops just do not cut it. Long 20 page documents to survey, teeny dot-sized boxes to initial and e-sign signatures and Yahoo fading in and out of internet connective-ness were minute to minute problems.
Then, of course, a ridiculous and expensive fender bender with my car which was entirely the result of my own stupidity. I knew that tree by the side of the driveway in the mountain home where I went every weekend like the back of my hand but I became temporarily unaware of its presence (it is huge – a tall pine tree – not unnoticeable) in a hasty exit of blind rage/frustration over all the other bullet points, and CRUNCH. Also a mysterious hot pink fungal infection on my arm that would not go away, a twenty year friend who disappeared from my life without explanation or even thanks for the Ipad I gave her…. you know. It all adds up quite nicely to a rotten string of events. I was a moving target, bobbing and weaving. Super stressed. I canceled my customary winter trip to Hawaii.
I know these spells of misfortune have a way of turning themselves around after a period of time but this one was showing no signs of dwindling. I began to doubt that it would dwindle off in my lifetime, but I am surfacing now to tell the tale. I cannot tell the entire tale in detail but I can certainly talk about what I have learned. The events I experienced are the plots and subplots of a universal tale – more like a mini-series of universal tales – all told in Cliff Notes now to prevent your boredom or mine. You can fill in the blanks for yourself. The stories have elements familiar to all, they are not new, except they were happening in rapid fire like balls out of a pitching machine, to me.
I lost four or five condos that I thought I desperately wanted during my months of searching – several were in construction litigation for faulty parts like balconies nearly falling off, one had not passed the interior inspection, I was out-bid on another even though it did not appraise at the asking price…only to realize that all this inconvenience and agonizing was leading me to the one that was meant for me – the one that out-showed and out-classed all the others. The one that had the WOW factor in spades plus every one of the items on my wish list. The one that reminded me, in its interior finishes, of a former house that I absolutely adored in California which I had had lost seven years ago. The new home enfolded me like a blanket and with the purchase of it I turned a corner for the better.
Life is like a mosaic; a puzzle; almost like a labyrinth. You might not know for years why things have happened to you, when suddenly they flash through your mind, coming to you in realizations that dovetail with what is currently happening. Hinting at the order of things. Reminding you that there is a rhyme and a rhythm to life. Reaffirming Karma.
So I am back, better than before, with a new PC, car fixed, windows open and quite happy in my new home. Hope you are all still out there reading this and that maybe you missed me just a bit.
Photos of mosaic walls from the Royal Palace complex in Bangkok, Thailand