Its been one of those summers. Transition and excitement and change and full catastrophe living. In some ways its the price to be paid for living the dream. Its exhausting dodging all the curve balls that get thrown this way. Like my car.
Not that long ago, I declared on a summery eclipse night that I was ready to let go of my old crappy Mazda and make the space for a reliable energy efficient car. My sweet car wasn’t always old and crappy. She has served me well for 12 years. But the repair bills have been higher and more frequent than I’d like. I use packing tape to hold one headlight on and the body–well–the body has seen better days–to many urban parking garages. Twice this summer, the Universe has prompted me to let her go–first when someone backed into me in a pool parking lot. And then again on Tuesday on the way to Max’s swim practice when I got into another fender bender. The insurance company says her current worth is likely less than the cost of even the minor (but necessary) repairs and so more than likely when I meet with the lovely insurance adjuster, he will tell me that I am driving a drivable “total loss”, cut me a check and take her from me at last.
Unfortunately, the money I will get wont buy me a good car and I don’t really have much cash for a new used car. I knew a new car was on the horizon but I had been hoping and praying that this baby would last as long as I needed her to while I lazily flipped through Consumer Reports and diligently put the right amount aside. I didn’t want to face this problem urgently. Do we ever want to face any problem when its urgent?
This has been another blip in a long line of summertime happenings that have left me feeling panicked about my financial plan for the fall. Just when I had it all figured out, practically to the nickel, a new car throws everything into a tailspin. This despite pulling out every trick I know to figure out how to live on just 60% of my old income (or rather add to it) and create some cushion in case life gets nutty.
What’s almost comical is that I can’t quite seem to catch a break. There is a long tale of woe about a car my folks want to give me that ended in heartbreak and rust. And just a few weeks ago, not long after I declared myself ready to get rid of the car, I got a phone call. I had (hold onto your hats) won a car–a hybrid no less. Never a winner, I had won a sweepstakes I had entered at a hockey game some 8 months ago. I barely remembered doing it. I never thought much about the car. Really I just wanted to get Max a Red Caps towel to twirl at the game so I filled out some card, barely noticing the shiny Hydrid vehicle being hawked, trading the info I assumed would go to a marketing firm for a terry cloth freebie. Yet, here, as my old car was falling apart, a new one. The entire time I listened to the spiel I kept interrupting trying to find the catch. There always is a catch with these sweepstakes–a timeshare to buy or a vacation to take. And then, it came–the kicker. For some dumb reason, in order to win you had to be married. It was in the fine print on the damn card I didn’t care about filling out but did. I explaining to the kind man on the other end of the phone that I was no longer married. He then politely hung up.
When I was trying to decide to go to school so many people told me “Leap and the Net Will Appear”. I am not sure exactly what I thought it meant. I suppose I thought it meant something like a Fairy Godmother would appear out of nowhere who would secretly behind the scenes pull a few strings to conspire along the way to smooth the way and make it easier for things to fall into place. Interestingly enough though, this summer has been an exercise in the exact opposite. Every little step along the way seems three times more difficult–like walking into a blizzard wind. Each problem has required me to stretch myself. Learn something new. Go to some new uncomfortable place.
I am beginning to believe that, “Leap and the Net will Appear” means
“When in a free fall-the Universe may toss you some rope and whisper that its a pretty good time to learn to weave.” The magic must come from within.
Living on the edge, pushing toward my dreams means full catastrophe living. Being willing to walk on the edge and embrace the worse case scenario with calm and confidence and the full belief that whatever disaster comes our way, I will discover a way to solve that problem. It may involve my brain, my intuition or maybe just hard brut work but I will magic my own way out of it. Bibbity, bobbity boo…
And yet, at the same time, I know that the law of the Universe is that we are all interconnected. I am deeply powerful, but I am not alone. I will find allies and guides and and even net weavers who will support me, magicians assistants and wizened old mentors. I need to open to the resources that will appear. Friends and family who know how to buy cars, or rent bedrooms or market wares will show me the way. There may be partners who want to join me on my journey who won’t solve my problems but who will invest something (money, heart, ideas) into my quest. I have to keep believing that the resources I need to weave this net will appear and that I will know exactly what to do with them when they show up. Even when in freefall.