Saturday, July 2, 2011

Money in, money out and what does faith have to do with it?

So, here's another example of the universe's balancing act. On Thursday, I put in the paperwork for additional hours that people at NASA asked me to do (more money coming in). On Friday, I had a car wreck (money going out). I have good insurance (helps pay for repairs/new car or whatever=money coming in). We had also just bought plane tickets for an actual vacation (money going out and I've spent some time worrying about paying for it in the last 24 hours since at least a few thousand will need to go into buying another car if what the insurance company gives me doesn't cover replacing Xephyr with the same type of car). The mail carrier just brought an envelope that contains a check for a few hundred dollars that had been sitting in my old account for medical insurance (money coming in, completely unexpectedly).

Somewhere in there, a balancing act is being maintained, and it isn't by me. The new hours at NASA were a gift both because it's more hours/money and because it's work I totally *love* to do. The car wreck, well, I'm trying to make the best of it even though I am so very sad that the car is likely totaled. The vacation is something that we planned before any of this stuff happened and I was stressing about it quietly. And yet, I truly do believe that if I don't get away every once in a while, I'll be no good to anyone in any of my various jobs.

I feel like the old farmer in the Chinese tale. You know the one I mean.

At this point, I am just trying to maintain a sense of equilibrium that everything is going the way it's supposed to. Or, at least, I'm trying not to stress about what lies ahead. So much of what we know/learn is unexplained. We are constantly taking things on faith. Even those of us who are atheists or who may not believe in faith, take certain things on faith. For example, when driving we take on faith that other people on the road know the rules and will adhere to them. Or, if they don't, then at least we hope that we will react quickly enough to avoid accidents (This, btw, is a bigger than being on the road today, or tomorrow, etc. It's more about the grander, everyone agrees to some sorts of rules of behavior in a society or else the society ends up not working in the long run).

On Friday, when I saw that the accident was unavoidable, I still tried to avoid it and I had a certain amount of faith that the other driver would do the same. I veered away and so did the other driver. As far as I'm concerned, fate smiled on both of us and neither one of us was badly hurt. If my car had spun just a bit more, he might have hit me on my side and I could be badly injured. As it is, it will take a while before I am back to normal but I believe I'll get there soon.

There is a lesson for me to learn from this accident and from these balancing events. I am still not sure what it is, but I am actively seeking an answer even as I write these words.

This sort of financial balancing out has happened to me many times in my life. I've gotten some extra cash and suddenly the car dies, or the dog needs surgery. I've often look at these events as a "Just when I've gotten some extra cash, it has to go right back to pay for whatever emergency occurs." And I said it to Rich yet again. "Just when I started getting some extra cash, *this* has to happen." And then I said, "On the other hand, when this happened, I happened to have the cushion of some cash with which to pay for it."

And Rich replied, "Hey, your glass just went from half empty to half full."

He was right.

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