A somewhat philosophical recount of a fairly common day.
Frankly, I do not want to be in charge of my schedule. I am often an idiot when it comes to knowing what is important to do, urgent to do, not needing to be done and all that. Knowing this, a long time ago I made a deal with God for him to figure out what I should be doing and in return I would just do it and be okay with whatever. This works well for me, especially in all those out of control situations where I pretty much have to hope God has it figured out, because it makes no sense to me.
People say I’m always so calm, and that really is the secret. This is always my message to myself as I sit gridlocked in traffic, as I wait for the husband to get ready for things when we’re already late, when I lose hours of writing to an errant computer. I say, “my time is yours, use it, waste it, end it – I’m not in charge and thank you!”
But there are some days that are… tests, yes, tests. God wants to see if I mean it.
We are in the process of selling a condo that we’ve had since right before the real estate bust. Right before, meaning that we bought high and have been paying people to rent it ever since. Under water, they call it. Our realtor told us yesterday that the light in the kitchen was out and we had a showing coming up. I knew I needed to buy some buy some fluorescent bulbs and tend to that little chore, in case this buyer might just be the one to set us free.
I guess I left home in kind of a hurry, having not thought things through. I got to the hardware store and mentally pictured myself trying to change the light on an eight foot high ceiling. I had forgotten a ladder. The apartment was empty – no chairs or anything to stand on. Going back home just seemed like such a waste of time when there was a store full of ladders right in front of me. So I bought bulbs, and a ladder.
Arriving at the condo and climbing the three flights of stairs (no elevator), with my ladder and bulbs, I felt pretty smart. This was not going to take long at all. I would be done well before the showing time.
So, I got the ladder open, climbed up and got the plastic lens off the 48 inch fixture. I thought it would just hang on the side while I took the bulbs out – the way the ones in our garage do. A minute later as I wrestled with the stupid tubes the lens fell to the floor and got quite cracked up. I did finally get the bulbs in and they did work. But the wrecked lens was a whole new problem.
I went first to the association office to see if perhaps they stocked things like that lens for common repairs. No luck though. They sent me to another hardware store that they had heard carried them. Crossing town, I arrived at the store, and started looking for replacement lenses. I had taken pictures of the fixture and thought I was picking out and purchasing a lens that fit. Maybe, I should have brought the broken lens to compare. That would have been a good idea.
It was the wrong one. That became apparent, after about five minutes on the ladder, struggling with the
I spent another half hour going back to the store. There was one more possibility, and though it looked a bit small, it was the only one. Pay again, drive again, climb stairs again, and finally on the ladder again, I ascertained that it was not the exact size either. I made it go on anyway. I just hope I never have to take it off.
I had only minutes to spare, so I folded the new ladder quickly and made my way down the stairs for the third time. The last thing on the agenda was waiting in the “returns” line at the first hardware store with the ladder. I really didn’t need another ladder.
It was almost like one of those jokes about how many blondes it takes to change a light bulb, except it was minutes (too many of them) and I have gray hair. I haven’t heard how the showing went, but I know they had light in the kitchen. I did my part. And I remained calm, and accepting, maybe…