I recently had a situation, that had it occurred even just a coupe of years ago, would have thrown me into a state of panic and despair. But it was very noticeable to me, that my reaction to this situation was so markedly different compared to how it would have been, that it has prompted me to write this post and share the experience.
I have made no secret of the fact that the current economic situation in the UK, and indeed the whole world, has made life quite difficult to say the least. However, since the dark days of my depression, acute stress, and excessive intake of alcohol, I have learned quite a lot. One of the most important things that I have learned is that nothing is as it seems, who I really am is far greater than anything I will encounter in this life, and in a nutshell, what I’m trying to say here is that it is not our circumstances in life that determine whether we are happy, sad or panic-stricken at any given time, it is how we deal with them. And so, after much rambling I will tell the story in question.
I’d had a couple of things go wrong with the car and also recently paid out for a service and MOT, so my finances had taken a bit of a hammering. Add to that a couple of other bills that needed taking care of, and you can imagine, I wasn’t exactly Mr Happy from Tetbury. So, one morning recently I decided to put the washing machine on, went through the motions, and when I hit the start button; nothing! Just the sound of the washing machine motor seeming as though it really would love to be pumping water into the drum of the machine, but no action. A couple of years back, having already incurred considerable expense, my first thought would have been, THE WASHING MACHINE IS BUST, HOW AM I GOING TO FIND THE MONEY FOR A NEW ONE WITHOUT GETTING FURTHER INTO DEBT, and a blind panic would have ensued; during which the world would surely have come to an end.
This time however, things were slightly different. I did at first think that the washing machine was bust, but in a very calm way and on closer examination, I decided that in all likelihood the problem was in the pipe taking the water to the machine; otherwise why would the motor be humming? My thoughts then were that there was a blockage in the pipe. Now, a couple of years ago my next thought would have been OH NO! THERE’S A BLOCKAGE IN THE PIPE! HOW AM I GOING TO BE ABLE TO PAY FOR A PLUMBER WITHOUT GETTING FURTHER INTO DEBT!. But, as already stated, times have changed. It occurred to me that my landlord may be responsible for fixing such problems, so maybe it won’t cost me a penny to get it sorted. But nonetheless, I had a look in a couple of directories to see what I had at my disposal as far as plumbers were concerned. Next, I decided that either way, it wasn’t the end of the world and that I would have a little meditation.
Whilst I was meditating I was reminded that my neighbour, Alan, is a retired plumber. So, I gave him a shout and in no time at all he had grabbed his trusty bag of tools, diagnosed a very simple problem and fixed it. In fact, it was such a simple problem that I could have fixed it myself. So simple, that it would not have even occurred to me to consider it. Alan refused to take any payment from me and I was able to do my washing. It just goes to show that it really does pay to stop and consider what is going on beneath the surface before getting stressed out.
Thank God for good neighbours.