My usually talkative, loud client was sullen this morning. I could tell immediately that something was amiss. Every pore of his body was excreting worry and don’t-talk-to-me-I’m-introspecting.
Finally, right before he left, he shared with me that his wife had been walking home when she was struck by a car twelve days ago. For the most part, she’s fine. Her patella is broken and doesn’t appear to need surgery. She was fortunate. I immediately thought of my friend from my Regrets post. He, too, was walking in a crosswalk when he was struck by a car, and he was killed.
Usually I don’t see the wife unless I go into their natural food store. She is already at work when I come to their house, and she doesn’t leave the store until an hour or so after I’ve finished. Our communication is typically done via email. I got the rare treat of talking to her casually in her home today though. Because of her injury and the fact that she is still caring for her grandchildren after work, she came home early to take a quick nap in between her duties. Her body is healing, and she needs the rest.
I was actually quite surprised that she is already back to work and is still caring for her grandchildren. If I had just been hit by a car and had a broken kneecap, I’d probably not be moving from the sofa.
I expressed how sorry I am that she has suffered this experience. She looked at me a little incredulously and responded, “It’s just an inconvenience.” I don’t know what my expression said to her, but I was feeling shocked by her response. I think she read me well. In her typical gentle manner she stated, “Really. It’s just an inconvenience. So many people are worse off than me. Look at that girl that got hit up by the high school. She’s in really bad shape. This is just an inconvenience because I have to deal with it, and everyone’s coming home [for the holidays].”
I felt a little ashamed. How many things in my life right now are truly horrible? And, how many things in my life right now are actually just inconveniences?
The legal messes that my husband and brother keep creating are not life threatening. They are merely inconveniences because they interfere with me doing what I want, which is getting on with my life. Being six weeks behind in my rent could seem a little daunting, but no one is threatening to kick me out. Even my current state of financial destitution is just another inconvenience because I’d prefer to have my bills paid early and be able to buy clothes for myself and the kids. Instead I am inconvenienced by running to the bank quickly before I’m overdrawn. I’m inconvenienced by calling to pay by phone the day the bills are due when I’ve worked all day and just want to sit and hold my daughter and sip some tea. I’m inconvenienced because we don’t have enough clothing, so I’m forced to wash a load of laundry before bed in order to have something to wear the next day.
Are my issues fair? Heck no. Is my life fun? Heck no again. Have I experienced the justice I long for? Nope. Am I enjoying the peace that I crave? Nada.
However, is the drama of my life going to kill me? Not now that he’s moved out! Do we still have at least one pair of pants to wear? Yep. Do we have food in our bellies, power running our computers, and wood in the stove to warm us? Yes, Siree.
Hmmmmmm…………just an inconvenience.
When I close my eyes and think about my husband as a threat to my safety, as the ruination of my life, I panic. When I open my eyes and disregard him as being just an inconvenience I breathe deeply. I giggle a bit, too. He told me that he was going to ruin my life. I’m certain he takes great delight in my panic. I giggle this evening because I think he’d hate it if he knew that he’s becoming nothing more than an inconvenience to me. That discounts him.
I have been blessed with the company of lovely friends, sweet family, and kind and generous clients. I’ve especially been blessed by their sage words. Everything else is just an inconvenience.