Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Downward Slide of a Learning Curve–and Unexpected Help–It’s All Good!

After a downward slide during which EVERYTHING seemed to go wrong, I hit rock bottom and to push upwards towards lighter times was the only way to go. Not the first time. Probably not the last. That’s life.
First, let me say that I’m delighted with Demetrio and Ruben. Demetrio is very knowledgeable and has more than 25 years experience, which is a real boon for me, considering that I have between zero and none in building. I’ve tackled renovation jobs, with some success I might add, but never had to plan the job from foundation to roof. And then the in-between, which gives me pause at times.
Back to the slide. I had negotiated buying materials on a stretched payment plan from a local supplier. So I got cement bags and lime to complete the mamposteo or stone foundation. Because of the depth of the trenches, I needed more stones than what is ordinarily required, adding to ongoing costs. In my absolute ignorance, I trust that the more knowledgeable would enlighten me… but somehow, a step or two always seemed to be missing in the explanations, even with my relevant questions. One of those was the need for tepetate to fill empty spaces between foundation bases. That’ll be my next step, to my consternation and increasing costs. But I am determined to weather this. Like the roller-coaster of life, the only way after Down is Up.
Last month, a supplier had told me, '”Señora, don’t worry. I’ll give you the discount that you get at XXX and you can pay me as you go along”. Sounded too good to be true? It was. He showed up right at the end of the month requesting ALL his money for the supplies that he had charged me at 15% more than elsewhere. What choice did I have but to pay him the full amount? I did, but it left me seriously lacking in funds to feed me and my dogs. It’s not that I had envisaged more than I could afford. It’s just that in my learning process, I sometimes miss a thing or two from lack of experience. Also, without a financial backup system, unforeseen costs catch me short. But… I’m learning!
Now, this month, this is when the Universe came to the rescue. A gracious, generous Universe that came in the form of a reader who offered to make a donation but could I set it up and make it possible for him through PayPal. I’d never heard of this gentleman before. His donation? $100. that literally saved me and my pups from living on tortillas and beans for a month. I am so very grateful for that help. But how did he know? He did not appear to be one of my readers… Just another wonderful, if a bit mysterious, helping hand from out of nowhere. Then my son, realizing how dire things had become also offered help. My heart filled with gratitude and I finally managed the crisis with this kind of assistance.
A while back, I had joked with Yvonne that I must have done some good in a past life to get that kind of help in this one. She retorted that I had done so in THIS life, receiving many children (19) in my home, rescuing animals, etc. etc. It amazes me that it’s easier to recall instances when I could have been a better person than those in which I had been a fair one.
Just as an aside, I want to say that I am far from being improvident. I plan and do so within my financial limits. Also, I did realize that in my restricted circumstances, it might have been too bold to think that I could design my own casita and have it built. But was the lot not made readily and financially accessible for me? Undoubtedly. Were not people who could show me how to build my little house almost knocking at my door? More times than I can think of. In my worst moments of panic, did not help somehow materialize? Again, it never failed to.  It’s almost as if I had been led here… in fact I do believe that this is what happened. But why?
Perhaps to show that having faith can sometimes overcome circumstances in which a solid bank account is a prerequisite. Perhaps to show others to trust in a Universe that can be generous but only as a response to the desire, and to the asking with faith and trusting that it will be fulfilled.
This is not a Pollyanna-ish attitude. Too many “miraculous” events occurred in my life to prove to me that a negative attitude will create a vacuum around oneself. To expect bad things to happen is a prophecy that will seldom fail to materialize. To expect that there is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed, (quoted from Gandhi) is also a prophecy that never fails to materialize.
So, up I go now. That’s the outcome of hitting rock bottom. Only one way to go. Up. If I failed to share all of this, I would fail in integrity and honesty.
I recall when I was in the Seniors apartment, miserable, depressed, longing so much for the great outdoors, freedom to go, and a dog or two, that I finally acknowledged that my “quality world” had to include all this. Therefore, I had to trust in Providence, or the Universe, call it what you will, to make the way possible for me, just as long as I was ready to take the first step. Drop any pretence at being a knitting grandma waiting for the kids and grandkids to come to fill my life and my days with meaning. That was not the picture that I had envisaged of me being at my age. I had the strength, the will, and the stamina to weather whatever would come my way. I believed Martin Luther King was right on when he said that it’s not necessary to see the whole staircase; take only the next step.
To live one’s life to the extent of one’s capabilities. Isn’t it what it’s all about? I hope that it is what I’m doing, dealing with the bad, at times the downright ugly, but at others the good, even the superb?
I believe so.

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