Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Sometimes change is so incremental, or so long in transition, that when it finally happens it sneaks up on you unawares and without any fanfare, there it is.  You look back and it’s hard to fathom how you got from THERE to HERE.  Other times, however,  you find yourself in an untenable situation and have to make a choice.   But what if you don’t want the change and what if there there is no good choice.  It’s Shitty Choice A versus Crappy Choice B?   Or “I don’t want this change at all?”

“Between the devil and the deep blue sea is an idiom meaning a dilemna, ie to choose between two undesirable situations”  Thanks Wikipedia

This week I power-read through Cheryl Strayed book “Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” her memoir of hiking the PCT from California to Washington state solo.  

  

It’s about how she found herself one day with a pack that weighed more than half what she did, walking down a scorching trail in the Mojave Desert in California and realizing that she was wholly and completely unprepared for what she was about to undertake.  As the days and weeks of what was, truly, a pilgrimage in the oldest sense of that word –  a difficult journey involving sacrifice and often pain – passed, she realized that, on a daily basis, she really only had one choice to make.  Go forward or go back.   Here’s how she describes it: 

“The thing about hiking the PCT, the thing that was so profound to me that summer – and yet also, like most things, so very simple – was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. No numbing it down . . . or covering it up . . .I considered my options. There were only two and they were essentially the same. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go. . . And so I walked on”. 

Having to do the thing you least want to do.  I hate that.  

My gut reaction has always been  “I can fix that”, combined with “if I just persist and work long and hard enough, I can create the outcome I want”.  Maybe that’s a good way to deal with some situations, but I can say, with the most heartfelt conviction, that it can also lead us (read – ME) to stay in situations long after I should have high-tailed it out of there, maybe a bit beat up and scarred (metaphorically speaking) but considerably more intact than I eventually ended up being after hanging in long after the writing was on the wall.  

A recent imbroglio with my landlord has brought a long simmering situation to a head.  A supportive call from my partner to see if there had been a resolution to the most recent drama show with her (there wasn’t) ended up with me sobbing in the aisles at Costco – wow I wish it had been somewhere dramatic and evocative, but Costco it was.  As he calmly pointed out that what I wanted was not possible – all evidence of the past year was against it – we got to the point in the discussion where I realized I was faced with Shitty Choice A or Crappy Choice B – and I didn’t want to do either.  I wanted what wasn’t possible.  FML.  

I spent the next day hiding out, escaping reality in a good book – another go to place for me – books are always reliable escapism.  Not only was it escapism this time, it was also a life lesson.  As I followed Cheryl down the trail I was with her every time she was faced with a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, and every time she chose to go forward, because standing still wasn’t an option and going back unthinkable.  

So forward it is for me too.  And if anyone knows of a great place to rent in Kitsilano, let me know!!  

  

I also learned while researching this post that “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” is a jazz standard, orginally recorded by Cab Calloway and covered by everyone from Thelonius Monk to George Harrison.  This Ella Fitzgeral version caught me. 

Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea Ella Fitzgerald

A great surprise this week – one of my favourite bands dropped an unexpected new record.  Wilco’s “Star Wars” got a lot of airplay at my house (well at least it’s my house for now!!).  And because Jeff Tweedy and the bank are just supremely awesome people, it’s available as a free download for 30 days.  http://wilcoworld.net/splash-star-wars-links/  That blinking cat GIF is just spooky!
  
Here’s a live stream of the whole album from Pitchfork Music Fest a few weeks ago.  Enjoy!  Can’t wait for their Vancouver show August 12th.  

Wilco Star Wars Live at Pitchfork

Dear Sixteen Year Old Me

Three years ago I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. I was lucky; by sheer chance I had been at my doctor to have a small cyst removed and asked her about a little mole on my thigh that was irritated. She decided to send in a biopsy sample and that made all the difference.  It meant it was caught early, when melanoma is very treatable and has a high recovery rate.  Melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer and if left untreated has a low survival rate – early detection is key.  Still reeling from the shock of hearing that I had a malignant skin tumor, I truly didn’t understand the seriousness of the diagnosis until I found myself in surgery 10 days later having a wide excision performed on my thigh to remove the tumor and a sentinal node biopsy with three lymph nodes removed.  The nodes were thankfully negative, the cancer had not spread beyond the primary site and although the scar still aches when I am tired I fully recovered from the surgery.

I have been faithfully going to see my dermatologist for check ups, first at 3 month intervals, then 6 months and was looking forward to the 3 year anniversary this summer and only having annual check ups.  The office visit was very routine, right up to the moment he scanned the dermascope over my right calf, paused and went back to check again, and then a third time. I knew exactly which mole he was looking at, in the week before my visit I had noticed a change and was concerned about it. He decided on a excision right there and then in his office and I limped home with stitches in my leg. Telling your family that you have a second suspicious mole is awful, I don’t think they were any less scared then me.  We began the long, terrifying wait for the biopsy results.

We only had to wait just over a week when I got the call to come in and see the dermatolgist the next day.  That night and the next morning were very, very long.  As I feared, the biopsy was positive for a second melanoma. Damn. The positive news is that is was detected very, very early and although I will have to have another excision, it will be smaller than the first one and no node biopsy this time.  That’s very,very good news.  I see the plastic surgeon July 8th and expect to have the procedure done within 7 – 10 days after that – they don’t keep you waiting with melanoma – every day counts. The prognosis is excellent, although I will have to go back to 3 month check ups and start the 5 year countdown again.

One of the interesting things that happens almost every time I tell someone about my experience with melanoma is they say “I have this mole I’ve been a bit concerned about – what do you think?”.

Here’s what I think.  IF YOU HAVE A MOLE YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT, GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.

I would not in a million years have thought I had skin cancer.  It took me two years to say the “C” word.  Early detection is critical.  Don’t delay,if you see one of these make an appointment with your doctor and ask the question.  Here are the early warning signs of melanoma that The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends you watch for, the ABDCE’s and the Ugly Ducklings: 

A = Asymmetry.  If you draw a line through themole, the two halves will not match, meaning it is asymmetrical. 

B = Border.  A benign mole has smooth, even borders, the borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.

C = Colour. Most benign moles are all one color— often a single shade of brown. Having a variety of colors is another warning signal. A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, white or blue.

D = Diameter.  Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than the eraser on your pencil tip (¼ inch or 6mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected (both of mine were smaller).

E = Evolving.  Common, benign moles look the same over time. Be on the alert when a mole starts to evolve or change in any way. When a mole is evolving, see a doctor. Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger.

Ugly Duckling = all the other moles look relatively the same, but this one looks different. It’s the “ugly duckling”.  Go get it checked.

“Dear Sixteen Year Old Me” is a video created by the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund to raise awareness about melanoma that went viral shortly after it was released in May, 2011.  It’s central message – Get to Know Your Skin, Be Aware, not Afraid.  Check your skin monhly for any changes, use sunscreen, and never, ever use tanning beds.  I grew up in Australia, we lived in the sun and at the beach 24/7.  No-one used sunscreen, we used baby oil and iodine to perfect our “healthy glow”.  In later years in Canada I would go to the tanning salon to get a “base tan” before our annual winter vacation in Mexico or the Caribbean.  I didn’t know, or didn’t believe.  Get to know your risk profile and enjoy the sun safely.

One of the ongoing conversations I’ve had  is about how being diagnosed with cancer changes you, how it affects on a very profound level how you live your life. I am very, very lucky. But hearing those words, and going through that surgery, absolutely changed me.  Now I’m walking the path a second time.  I wonder (actually I don’t wonder, I’m pretty sure) that the intensity that I bring to my life is tough on friends and family. I don’t believe in wasting time, I don’t believe in compromises. I believe in wringing the absolute most out of every single experience and moment. It’s not that I don’t plan for the future, I do that in spades, but I don’t put off making that future into my new reality. And if something isn’t working, I’m not wasting time on it, because time is a finite commodity. None of us know when our time  will run out, I just don’t want to get to that day and regret all the things I didn’t do.

No-one ever says “I should have spent more time at the office” or “I had too much fun” or “I took too many trips”, but they do regret time not spent with family and friends, dreams and aspirations unrealized, not saying I love you often enough and not realizing soon enough that happiness is a choice.

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No Bad Days in Baja

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Maids of the Mist at Niagara Falls

Choose happiness, make time, make love and say the words, it all counts.  This isn’t a dress rehearsal. 

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Water Isn’t a Commodity, It’s a Basic Human Right

Water Isn’t a Commodity, It’s a Basic Human Right

At a time when we are facing water restrictions, I can’t (well actually I can, sadly) believe we are selling one of our most precious resources, water, to a multi-national corporation for $2.25 per MILLION litres. If a resident of BC was to fill an Olympic sized pool with water it would cost them $180. It would only cost Nestle $6.25. If you have been in a convenience store lately you will see Nestle water being sold for for $2.25 per LITRE. You do the math on the profit and ask yourself, like I did, why we are allowing a foreign company to make such an outrageous profit on one of our natural resources? The Nestle chairman believes that fresh water is NOT a human right, it should have a market value like everything else. I strongly disagree with that, but if you follow his logic why isn’t Nestle paying market value for the resource?   

 
More information at the link below, where you can also sign the petition from Sum of US asking the BC and Canadian government to review the water rates  and charge fair rates for groundwater. 

Nestle and BC Water 

To read more about Nestle’s water privatization push, check out this article and you can also sign the Petition to tell Nestle that water is a public right.  Nestle has said that it is “is the 27th largest company in the world, the largest “foodstuffs” group in the world with annual “turnover” of $65 BILLION”.   I don’t even know how much that actually is.  

  
Nestle’s chairman, Peter Brabeck, was quoted as saying 

“The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGO’s (non-government organizations, I think he means radicals like Doctors Without Borders, The Red Cross and other nefarious sorts) who bang on about declaring water a public right.  That means as a human being you should have a right to water.  That’s an extreme solution” 

If you’d like an idea of Mr. Brabeck’s opinions on nature, health, organic food and water (he doesn’t get to air, but other than that his corporation has the basic human needs of food and water nailed down) check out this video.  You will also get an uncensored idea of his opinion that “water is our most important natural resource” and that control should be privatized to corporations so that people “understand it’s value”.  And that “a CEO’s most important social responsibility is to maintain and ensure the profitable future of the corporation”.  Now I’m really angry.  And worried.  

Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck Interview

And if you are as pissed at Nestle and their high handed attitude as I am, here is a list of Nestle brands you can boycott. 

Nestle Brands to Boycott. 

Each of us has the power to influence through our every day buying decisions.  Individually we might each think “what I do makes no difference”  but if each of us makes the attempt, it can reach a tipping point.  

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead. 

I can remember as little as 10 years ago when people stared and make jokes because I did “hippie, tree-hugger” things like bringing my own cloth bags to the grocery store, washed cans and plastic for recycling and used a backyard composter.  How the times have changed.  

Be that thoughful, committed citizen.  

Here’s Walk Off the Earth doing an awesome cover of Pete Seeger’s “Little Boxes”.  Ticky Tacky.  

Little Boxes

It’s the Journey not the Destination

Sometimes the simplest actions create big insights into life.  I had a great few days recently visiting good friends in our beautiful Okanagan wine country.  Since I have lots of time on my hands these days (more on that later) I decided to forgoe the fast highway home and take a back road, quite literally the road less traveled.  The trip became a reflection on my life at present, I have absolutely taken a detour off the well trammeled path and strayed into, for  me, uncharted territory.    

I was on a leave of absence from work since April and am now on a permanent leave  – as in I don’t work there anymore.  The circumstances of that parting means that I have the unexpected and completely unknown luxury of an exended period of time to decide exactly what I want to do next.  Wow.  I have’t not worked since I was 17.   The longest period of time I’ve had off was 2 months in my early twenties.   And the big question is, stay on the career highway or use this as my exit ramp to a totally different life?  

I drove the Summerland – Princeton road, 100km of  well maintained gravel and blacktop Forest Service Road through the South Central interior of British Columbia.  The road goes from the well-tended vineyards of the Okanagan valley through the mountains and plateaus of the interior and ends in Manning Park.  I found some great driving advice on a blog called Don’t Get Any on Ya. 

   
 

I was prepared to be traveling alone, but surrprisingly there were quite a few other people out there also enjoying the backroads.  Another metaphor.  Once I stepped out of my designated box in the tower (the much sought after office with a view) I’m discovering that there is a whole world of people who don’t work in boxes or cubicles and who have an entirely different take on their personal journeys.  They wouldn’t give you a nickel for 12 hour workdays (my standard) chained to a computer screen doing work with little intrinsic value that benefits on the chosen few very high up on the corporate food chain.  I wasn’t making the world, or my world, a better place. And I most certainly wasn’t helping the people I thought I’d be helping when I went into Human Resources.   Looking at those words as I type them, they should have been a clue.  People aren’t “resources”  – human or otherwise.  They are real people with real lives, real famlies and real feelings.  Treating them as just another resource, like a piece of lumber or box of paper, to be utlized to serve “the needs of the company” or used up, burned out and thrown away  – is that really how I want to spend my life?  Emphatically no.

Leaving Summerland wine country behind.   

Into the unknown in my little but sturdy chariot – you don’t need much really.   

Looking ahead – I don’t know what it will bring, but it looks amazing.  Anticipation.  

Choosing a simpler existence, at least for a while?  Try it, keep what works, leave the rest behind.  

And it could be that a long rest in a gentle place will restore the soul.

 
Always remembering that it’s the journey, not the destination that’s important.   

Although I love the roadtrips and adventures LK and I share, traveling alone has a few perks – I get to sing out loud as much as I want and listen to whatever ridiculous nonsense takes my fancy.  This song has never failed to make me sing out loud and get up and dance – which you can do while driving – carefully!!

Earth Wind and Fire – September

When is Enough Enough?

Our brains are smarter, and a whole lot trickier, than we might ever suspect.  Start thinking about something, say a buying a new black Porsche, and suddenly the world is full of black Porsches.  This frequency illusion is part of the phenomenon of confirmation bias, the tendency to surround ourselves with information that reinforces our preexisting beliefs.  As fellow blogger and author 

The Misconception: Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis.

The Truth: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information which confirmed what you believed while ignoring information which challenged your preconceived notions.

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After a year of high stress, high wire corporate wrangling I’ve been spending a whole lot of time dealing with the big existential questions like “What should I be when I grow up”.  Seriously, do we ever get over asking ourselves that?  Or does it just go on forever?  Or maybe it’s more like “Now that I don’t have to be such a responsible grown up, what do I really want to do?”  So of course every second blog, story and TED Talk that I stumble across seems to be about downsizing and simplifying life, finding out what makes you really happy then just Doing It.

Two weeks of gypsy travel around Baja reignited a long held dream to put my “real” life on hold, get out on the road and not come back for a very long time.  Blogs like TinyHousegiantjourney fascinate me.  Jenna and Guillaume built their own Tiny House, loaded it on a trailer, packed up what remained of their life and just headed down the highway.   I am living vicariously through their travels, every day.

Another similar blog I followed for a long time was BlinkPacking, about living small to travel large, loading all your worldly possessions into a travel trailer and hitting the open road.

blinkpack

What I don’t want to do is keep slaving away in a corporate wasteland, endlessly pursuing the acquisition of more “stuff” that we have been conditioned to think will make us happy. A bigger house, a leased BMW, a pair of shoes for every day of the year (I know someone who thinks this is a worthwhile goal in life – really).  LK and I are learning how much we really need, or really don’t need is probably more accurate.  And what we are learning, or he is teaching me, is about having time and freedom to do the things you really want to do.  And that’s not sitting in an office 12 hours a day, churning out PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets so some fat cat corporate ladder climber can get fatter and richer.  The setting may have changed, but the theory hasn’t.  The 18th century factory sweatshop

garment-sweatshop-with-moving-men-c-1900

has been replaced by the Middle Class Sweatshop.  As Christoper Fowler puts it so eloquently,

Punishing days, psychotic bosses, unfeasible targets, sleepless nights, zero hour contracts, stress-related illnesses, hours far exceeding statutory regs…welcome to the world of the middle-class sweatshops.

Wageslaves … have no say at all in the decision-making process, are required to answer to bosses they never meet, and are hit with year-on-year rising targets that are simply unfeasible. Their opinions have no value, and they’re afforded no respect. Treated as replaceable units, they’re depressed by their jobs. Their work is stultifying, their pensions are now too low, the chances of a raise unlikely. They’re constantly worried about being able to stay in employment and meet payments. There are hidden currents of ageism and sexism working against them.

middle class sweatshop

As I am fond of quoting to friends, “this isn’t a dress rehearsal, we only get one kick at the can in this life, so we better make it a good one”.  When I’m sitting in my rocking chair (on a porch by the beach of course) will I look back and say “damn girl, sure glad I spent my entire life working to buy shoes and purses and flat screen TV’s”.  Or will I look back at a richly imagined, well traveled life and say “damn girl, you might not be rich, but it was a heck of a ride”.  I know which one I want.  I don’t want “work – life balance”  – I want a life!

Check out this list of 15 Things You Should Stop Putting Yourself Through by Luminita Saviuc on Truth Theory.

Number 1 – Stop Postponing your happiness for the future.  Treasure every moment and remember, time waits for no-one….decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

Number 3 – Stop Arguing for your limitations.  There are no limits to what we can be, do and have in life, except the ones we choose to impose on ourselves.

Number 6 – Stop Waiting for life to begin.  This moment is your life.  And if you waste this moment by waiting for your life to begin, then you will waste your whole life.

I’ve had enough and I’ve got enough, I don”t plan on wasting any more time. My lovely daughter is raised, educated and has flown the nest to make her own life.  I’ve downsized a couple of times and am slowly but surely giving away or donating all the excess stuff that feels like a weight whose only purpose is to tie me down. Having lived carefully we are blessedly debt free and have minimal responsibilities.  Clearly what we need is an exit strategy, because the Road Less Traveled beckons once again. I don’t know if it will be this month or this year, but I’m getting off the treadmill and getting on the merry-go-round of the rest of my life, because girl, time is a’wasting.

I’ve carried around an old book of Robert Frost poems since university, and he put it far more eloquently than I could ever hope to.

“The Road Not Taken”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Home, it’s wherever I am with you.

Domestic Goddess Saturday Ramblings

So the holidays are really, well and truly over.  Starting undecorating this morning, which has prompted a fit of domestic goddessness.  Spent a fabulous morning listening to the entire discography of the astonishingly talented Ms. Amy Winehouse getting my domestic shizz well and truly in order.  What’s prompted this?  Well, I’ve had an unprecedented 4 straight weeks off the road and have slept the sleep of the just and contented in my own bed for more nights in a row than I’ve done since, well . . . February last year.  Feeling rested and ready to tackle 2014 and that’s a good thing cause I get a few more days and then the travelling roadshow gets back out there, hotels will start to feel like home again and airports like my carport. A week each in Montreal and then California coming up before the end of the month.  Montreal in January – who figured that out??  But Laguna Beach at the end of the month will make up in spades.

Here is Amy singing “Love is a Losing Game”, it’s so beautiful.  She was such an amazingly talented jazz singer, I’ll never understand how that piece of crap “I’m Not Going to Rehab” was her “big” hit.   It was rubbish, as my English friends would say and she has such an incredible jazz songbook.  So talented, so troubled, too soon gone.

Other Saturday morning randomness:

  1. A new pair of running shoes will shave 5 minutes off your previous best time and kill any hill the nasty North Shore can throw at you.  Santa said I needed some new running kicks for Christmas, threw in some sweet socks to complete the ensemble.  The new low profiles felt soooo light the 45 minute run flew by and endorphins like that will cure anything that is going on in your world.

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  1. Laughed about this back in December, but the joke is now reality – I’m NOT taking down the twinkly lights!  I love them.  Sitting in front of the fire, good glass of Pinot in hand, reading and listening to some great music AND now I have twinkly lights too – it’s perfect!

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  1. All those odds and ends and left over veggies in the fridge from Christmas and New Year had to be dealt with.  Also I’m sick of eating meat right now,  in need of vegetables, tofu and chick peas.  End result is a delicious vegetarian curry with sugar pumpkin, chick peas, eggplant, green beans, peppers, cilantro and of course, since it’s Vancouver,a big handful of kale!  Mmmm, what wine to pair for dinner, or maybe a trip to the craft beer store?  I’m thinking a Granville Island Winter Ale might be just right.

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  1. There is no age limit on having a dress-up trunk.  All you need are some good reasons to wear those fancy costumes!  Found instructions on Pinterest to make this little beauty – off shopping for faux fur this afternoon to whip up a new costume for next weekend.  That should round out my domestic goddess activities quite nicely.

Fur tail

  1. None of this domesticity gets happening without some serious caffeine.  A friend turned me on to Moja Coffee earlier this year, it’s been powering me up ever since.  The only thing better than a Moja Americano is maybe an Americano from Lava Java in Kihei – but I’m not sure if it’s the coffee or location!

moja

  1. Going to miss not having another one of these this winter . . .

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Got out this week to see Blue Rodeo, a great Canadian band.  It was an interesting format, one that showed a ton of respect for their fans.   They are touring a new record, In Our Nature, and spent the first hour of the show playing almost the entire record.  It’s tough with bands who have loyal fans, all with favourite songs, from a 20+ year career, to play new music. Everyone wants to party to their old favourites.  So after taking a short break, they came out and played another hour and a half, plus no less than three encores, giving everyone exactly what they wanted.  Some new, some old, some favourites, some that are about to become new favourites.  Jim Cuddy pulled out an old song that he introduced by saying he doesn’t usually play it because it’s so sad and brings everyone down.  “Girl of Mine” was mesmerizing, you could have heard a pin drop.

Now your lipstick and your powder
They’re all put away in drawers
But the traces of our love affair
Still hide behind the doors
I lie awake afraid to sleep
Cause I see the face I knew I’d never keep

Wow,  I sure pulled out a couple of love gone wrong songs today . . . too much domesticity – time to go shopping for my furry tail.

My Karma, Your Karma, Whose Karma?

One of the Major Arcana cards of the Tarot is Justice.  In my deck, Justice is a woman and she is formal and severe in appearance.

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The Justice card can be interpreted as dealing with the idea of karma, the law of cause and effect,  that all people and events are connected.  However, an important caveat is that the karma you may be dealing with might not be as a direct result of your own actions.  Sometimes you might have to deal with the results of the actions of someone close to you and this can be as difficult and demanding as dealing with karma of your own making.   The card can also evoke the need for fairness, balance and harmony in all aspects of our life and that we should treat not only others but ourselves this way.

I have always placed a great deal of faith in the idea of karma, both in my life and the lives of those close to, and around me.  In the moment, it’s not always easy to see why certain circumstances are working out a particular way, but in retrospect the balance and karma have seemed evident.  I’ve been saved from my own impulsiveness on more than one occasion by events that made no sense at the time, but in hindsight were the best possible outcome.   So when negative events start piling up in my life, it’s time to pay attention.  What, or more importantly whose, karma is playing out in my universe?   One piece of bad luck can be just that, bad luck, but when they start to add up, I start to wonder what influences are at work in my world?

This past weekend I had my wallet and phone stolen again – for the second time in 3 months.  Now maybe it’s just that “bad things come in 3’s” scenario, but just maybe there is something else playing out right now.  I’ve traveled a lot of the world, back-packed through most of SE Asia and the South Pacific, stayed for weeks at a time by myself in supposedly “dangerous” places with nary an incident.  Nothing lost, nothing stolen, nothing happened.  Now in two perfectly innocuous places at home I have all my important information stolen, not once, but twice.   When it happened in September it was opportunistic and other than the actual possessions, nothing was lost.  This time it was professionals and within an hour several thousand dollars had been siphoned out of my bank account and from credit cards.  Needless to say the police are now actively involved, surveillance video is being reviewed and I’m hoping that the banks and credit card companies will cover the losses.   Thanks to some good friends I made it home this weekend with borrowed cash, but I am once again without ID, credit cards, bank cards etc.  At least this time I didn’t lose anything really personal, oh wait, that’s because it was all stolen the first time.

Annoyed would be an understatement about how I feel.  I’m so angry I could spit.  And the casual comments of people today as I stood in one line after another to start replacing my ID and cards (for the second time) and who said,  “oh, you left a bag in a car” – well it was a locked and alarmed car, with tinted windows, the bag was under the seat and it was the middle of the day in a busy park with dozens of people walking by.  Would you feel safe there?  And the other one “oh you use the same PIN” – well sorry, I’m not Einstein.  I’m actually dyslexic and have a really difficult time remembering numeric combinations, so yes, I use the same PIN so I don’t have to write it down.  It’s not my date of birth, or my address or a pattern on a key pad, it’s completely random, but I do use the same one – my bad I guess.  No-one, not the bank, not the police or the credit card companies can explain how my PIN has been hacked, but it sure as heck was.  So now I just say, oh yes, I did all those things, but you know what SOMEONE STOLE FROM ME.  I’m not the criminal here.

credit card

And back to karma.  That’s two really nasty incidents in 3 months.  I can’t think of anything that would qualify as the 3rd, so does that mean I’ve got more fun and games coming down the cosmic pipeline at me?   And what do I need to clean up in my life to restore some harmony and balance?   Whose karma is this anyway?   Time for some personal reflection and careful consideration as the year turns over.  And maybe a more cheerful blog on New Years Day – that’s my resolution – get over it girl!

And for those of you wondering, I guess I have outed myself, yes I read the Tarot.  I learned from a very interesting and welcoming group of people in New Orleans last year.  I’m still a novice, but learning all the time.  It’s fascinating.

Music tonight, that was a tough one, but how about some Foo’s – nothing like some Dave G to put a smile back on my face.  The Foo Fighters – The Pretender.

What if I say I’m not like the others, what if I say I”m not just another one of your plays?