Like many people Christmas time can also be a time of sadness and I try hard not to dwell on what brings pain. But it is days like today that I have to actively try not to feel overwhelmed because there are decisions I have to make on my own.
Being mostly home for the next few weeks I am working through a schedule of house maintenance that needs my urgent attention. Today was the day I phoned around for quotes to fix the reticulation system as my gardener does not know how to navigate the technical side of it. I was already up by 4:30 am and working through reports. The morning was beautiful and cool, the waterbirds were loud as they headed to the lake. The first man came over at 6 am. He would have experienced my pocket of the world at its best. He fussed around and gave me a quote to fix two solenoid valves ($3.5K). Yes, three and a half thousand dollars! (It is possible he charged for the view). He then tells me if I paid cash, he would charge me a grand less. I’m someone who is fastidious about my taxes. To be complicit in someone else’s scam to dodge tax was a red flag. I thanked him and found someone who just happens to live around the corner from me. He dropped by on the way home. He spent around three hours in the garden. He could not access one of the valves that is buried under the hedge. I suggested I would get the gardener to remove part of the hedge (after all it will grow back once it gets water) and he could come back next week. We came to an agreement with that plan. As he was leaving I came out with my credit card. He flatly refused to charge me for his time ($70 call out fee plus hourly rate) because he could not access the valve. I nearly cried! I insisted he give me a bill after all he worked for hours in heat and digging is strenuous work. He then agreed to include the hours in his invoice once he returned to finish the job on condition I accept he would not charge me an additional call out fee. Such kindness!
It is my firm belief we get to experience the good and the bad in people. We don’t need to search for these experiences, they present themselves. We just have to be open to them. I could be upset with the man who gave me an inflated quote. But why bother? It is his loss he missed out on a job. Being upset would be my loss of peace of mind.
It has taken me years to process a simple fact. It is not the event but how we live through the aftermath that determines how it impacts us. That’s the space, the toehold, where life is either lived as intended, or not. I’m not quite there yet, but I intend to live mine, with intent.
Until next time
a dawn bird
In response to RDP – Friday – Aftermath