As Yogi Berra so famously said:
"When You Come To A Fork In The Road, Take It!"
A Kind-of Blog by Rebekah Tanner
On Caregiving, Living and Loving Art, Learning & Resiliency, and Coming Close to Retirement
This is Blog #4; please click for: Links to earlier Blogs
The trouble is, you think you have time.~~ Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book
Listen to Your Own Inner Knowing
It seems almost impossible that it has been 11 months since I had anything worth posting here, but oh well, today I do. Wow, do I ever!
Maybe you already know by now, I officially retired last October 30th, but it took me a while to really believe I could stop working, so I let myself get side-tracked into a little job for a few months. Mostly, though, I have spent the past year making art and getting my little online shop up and running on Facebook as Winged Fox Enterprises. Nonetheless, I somehow still had not completely convinced myself that I could be REALLY RETIRED as recently as 2 months ago, when I took on a free-lance gig working with a young woman who has a diagnosis of schizoid-effective disorder. She is actually quite a remarkable individual, extremely intelligent and a gifted violin player. She is in her late teens, and her last year of high school. She is working on 16 (yes, I said 16) college applications to some of the top schools in the nation where she intends to double-major in music and bioengineering. However, her mother is not yet ready to allow her to stay at home at night, alone.
During late September and early-to-mid October, her mother had to attend some specialized job trainings that took her away for several overnights, and my job was just to be there, basically. The pay was good, the work not so challenging, and so I agreed. In all, I stayed at their house 5 nights, helped put together a spreadsheet of important details and deadlines for this massive college application process, looked up some scholarship opportunities that sounded on-target, drove her to school in the morning, took her to one college interview that was held in town, and to the home of a friend -- about an hour and a half away. My time with the young woman was uneventful, pretty quiet, and every now and again, genuine fun.
But the communications that all this required with her mother showed me that the adult was crazier than the kid.
I am not really going to go into all the gory details, but trust me, the mother is a piece of WORK.
As I do not own a car, the mother either used a state vehicle or rented a car, leaving her own car with me. There is no bus to their house and the work required some chauffeuring of the daughter. The reason she rented a car for the final out-of-town trip was that she needed to also do some personal business, and unexplained extra mileage on a state vehicle is never a good idea.
That brings me to this past Thursday evening and the point of this sort-of-blog post:
When you have a gut-feeling, follow your instincts and listen to your own inner knowing.There it was, significantly later than I had thought I would be getting the call to go meet the mom at the car rental place where she was to drop off the rental, bring me home, and go about her business. I texted her about 9:00 pm to inquire as to her ETA. She phoned almost immediately, acted as if she had not seen my text, and said she would soon be on her way; as soon as her daughter unloaded her stuff from the car. She said I ought to wait just a few minutes, then leave to meet her (I live closer to the rental place than she does). After a few minutes, I started to leave, got out the door, and decided to go back in to grab a pen, I just had this feeling that when I got to the rental place she would not have one and would not be able to write me a check (it turns out, I was right).
I resumed my exit, and as I was locking the door to my house, heard this tremendously loud BOOM, and as I turned my back to walk down the few steps that lead to my front door, a huge, brown, SUV type vehicle was just past my house, waving and weaving at a pretty good speed down my little one-way street. By now it was 9:15 pm or so, and even if I had thought that the car and the boom were related I doubt that I could have gotten the plate number in the semi-dark, anyway.
I rounded the corner to where I had parked the car earlier (it is not legal to park on my little street), after returning from dropping the daughter at the friend, and lo and behold! Her car was entirely smashed in. The front door on the driving side looked like it had been hit by a huge lead globe. The window was shattered, the exterior mirror torn off, and the mirror from the other car was lying in the middle of the road, a few feet away.
So, I spent the next several hours with her, the AAA tow guy, and finally, the not very helpful nor sympathetic police officers that ultimately showed up shortly before midnight. And the first thing she wanted to do after surveying the damage? Write me a check! Of course, and she did not have a pen! Well, I did, I said, and I reached in my pocket and pulled out the pen I had paused to grab on my way out the door; the pen that I had acquired while staying at the Hotel / Musee Premieres Nations, Wendake, Quebec the week that my second mother, Madame Heather Bastien, passed away this past winter. By this time, the woman and I were sitting in her rental car, and she dropped it between the seats! I had my one moment of extreme emotion the entire evening at that point. My eyes welled up with tears, the woman thought it was because of what was going on there and then, but I knew it was because Heather was close by in spirit, and I had no good way to explain this to my current companion. I just HAD to find that pen in the total disarray of her rental car. The pen that had saved my life.
Had I not listened to my own inner voice and returned to my house to retrieve a pen, I would most certainly have been seated exactly where the front door of the wrecked car was now totally smashed in. By this time I would have been dead, or if not, I would, most surely, have been in for a long and difficult hospital stay.
Maybe you do not believe in the protection our beloved deceased provide, but I do. I did long before this past Thursday evening, and I do, even more so, now. Heather called me back into my house and caused me to get that pen. You can bet that I believe that, whether or not you do is immaterial. My point here is not to convince you of that, but instead, to encourage you to ALWAYS listen to your own inner knowing. It just might save your life.
Oh! By the way, I will not be taking on any new free-lance work in the foreseeable future. The time has come for me to enjoy my retirement. While I still can.
This page, like all the others in THE FOXFILES is my work alone and except for the contents of any external links I make here, I alone am responsible for its opinions and content. Comments, corrections and additions many be sent to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org