Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sh*t Happens

Some days are just gonna suck.  It’s a fact of life.

About two years ago, after a series of maintenance problems ending with our landlord refusing to replace a heating/cooling system that no longer worked (yeah, tell me about it!), John and I decided simply to move.  We found a nice townhouse, signed a lease with the owner, who was moving to a larger home, and gave notice.  With only days remaining until the move, the woman who owned the townhouse informed us she hadn’t received the mortgage approval she’d been counting on.  She wasn’t going to move, and we were going to be homeless in a matter of days. 

“But we have a lease,” we said, but she just didn’t care.  Her attitude was pretty much “too bad, so sad.”

Could we have sued her?  Sure.  But what for?  To punish her?  To made a quick buck?  That just didn’t sit well with me.  The bottom line was we couldn’t force her to rent us her house – and wouldn’t that have been a fun relationship to have with our landlord? – and we couldn’t stay where we were. 

Now, I admit I have a bad temper.  And of course I can freak out and melt down and cry with the best of them!  But my point is this: shit happens.  What matters is how you deal with it.

In our situation, we started apartment hunting again that evening and ended up finding a much better townhouse that we absolutely love!  And we moved out of the old apartment right on time.

My other thought is that sometimes things happen for a reason.  My grandfather, another PA Dutch pragmatist, was a big proponent of this idea.  I think he’s right.  How many times has something – usually bad – happened to you that has led to one thing, then another, and finally to something great?

So here’s what I tell myself – while doing deep breathing exercises or blotting tears or downing a mai tai – whenever shit happens to me:
  • ·      Is this really going to matter a year from now?
  • ·      Can I do anything to fix this problem?
  • ·      Remember that things sometimes happen for a reason.
  • ·      How you respond to adversity can say a lot about you. 

After the problem has passed, I’m certainly not above using the drama as inspiration in a novel - and you thought my “don’t make me put you in my book” shirt was just for laughs!

Well, I didn’t mean this blog to come out like a self-help book!  I just wanted to share my thoughts on how I try to deal when I’m having a crappy day.  What are your thoughts?  How do you deal?


  1. Glad you got into a nicer place. Yes, I agree that sometimes it seems things happen for a reason. But in the process, it can be very difficult.

    However, using the experience in a novel is very cathartic. :^)

  2. Hi Penelope! I love to take a bad day and write a scene in which I do terrible things to a character in my books. Hopefully, this doesn't make me a closet literary sociopath... :)
    Thanks for stopping by!