Day 4: Gratitude is Not Fussing Over the Timing

ProcessingMy friend asked to give voice to my gratitude for three things, once a day for a week. Today I found my inspiration at the last minute.

Day 4. Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Today has been all about time.  I usually don’t worry about how my day goes unless I have an appointment and well, today I did not.  Yet, somehow, this entire day has been spent checking the clock once an hour.    I absentmindedly looked at the time and then just went about my business.

I fed the cat that is not ours. I gathered up clean laundry left in a basket to be put away. I fussed with the dog that for whatever reason decided today was the day to pull the stuffing out of every single toy, or pad she could get her grubby, giant paws on.  I gathered her toys determined to sew each hole shut in an effort to get some more wear out of them. I stretched and used the foam roller in an effort to ease the pain in my back. I cleaned off the “desktop” on the computer that was cluttered with pictures from hikes, memes, PDF’s of online receipts, travel confirmation notices, etc. I upgraded my phone to iOS8. I yelled at iTunes for duplicating all my music…again. That seemed to take forever! Meanwhile, I continued to make mental lists of all the things I need to do to prevent my life from falling apart, using only one arm, and still make time to write an essay on gratitude.

And the computer’s Asynchronous Progress Indicator (yes that’s what they call that spinny-thingy that tells you to wait while the computer is doing something) just kept spinning like my brain.

I used to tell the staff at the parole office that God gave us time so that we wouldn’t have to do everything at once.  This statement often lead to a discussion about prioritization, planning, and preparedness and a caution against too much worry. I thought about this today.  Yet, I allowed myself to get overwhelmed with all the “stuff” that I have to do.  Actually, I don’t have to do anything but it seems I invent lists of things that if left undone will cause the decline of civilization.

Take the gray kitten, now cat, that I discovered in the backyard last summer, a little over a year ago.  That cat grates on my every, last good nerve.  He won’t let us pet him, yet he sits on the fence demanding food everyday.  Ok, he doesn’t demand, I just feel guilty.  A couple weeks ago, before I even considered that this cat might be a male, my sister Lennie gave me the Kindergarten Teacher look when she said, “You need to get that cat fixed or you’ll have kittens.” I’m pretty sure I WILL NEVER HAVE KITTENS, I wanted to yell back, but I’m afraid of her.

Great one more thing I have to do.  You see, that cat won’t come near us and it will require being trapped.  So, I chose to worry about moving my son to college first, then deal with the cat. Although, I have worried about kittens every single day since Lennie told me that.

Upon return from dropping off my son, we were met by the site of our Crazy Cat Lady neighbor walking into another neighbor’s front yard with a small bowl and some cat food. Then she stopped and yelled at two cats, “our” gray one and a black one that apparently doesn’t like the gray one.  We discussed the cats, and she let us know that she traps and releases (post sterilization) cats that are wild on the levee.  I asked her if she would mind trapping ours, so that we could get it neutered. She said she would and told me that he is a boy, since by now we would have had kittens. I wish I would have known that two weeks ago…think of all the worry I would have averted.  Things just seem to have a way of working themselves out don’t they?  I am grateful for the Crazy Cat Lady and the fact that she loves animals so much that she would be happy to help them, even if they are not hers to worry about.  It was perfect timing.

I mentioned before that we discovered a leaky toilet in the house.  Well, like everything else that requires two arms, I haven’t been able to fix it myself, and I haven’t had the inclination to call the handy man who will charge me a bunch for what I know will be an easy job.  You see, I know how to install a toilet, so I thought I would replace the leaky one with a newer more water efficient model. I’ve been wanting to do this all summer, but you know how it is when “The mountains are calling…” Any way, as I am sitting waiting for the iPhone to sync with my computer, the doorbell rings.

Beating the dog to the door is impossible. Holding her with one hand and trying to open the door at the same time is also impossible.  I manage to peer into the peep hole to see my favorite cousin-in-law, Jaime on my front step.  He has just finished a hunting trip up north and thought of me when he saw a local fruit stand on his way home. He came wearing camouflage under armor and bearing bags of fresh produce.  Yay me!!

As we talked he came to learn of my toilet problem.  He offered to take a look and fix it but I of course, said no.  (Why fix something when you can worry about it for at least another three weeks?) In his typical tone he chastised me and we went to Home Depot to get a new commode.  It took us longer to pay for the toilet than it did for him to carry it upstairs and install it.  I was able to help a little.  I cleaned the floor after he removed the old apparatus.  And then I realized that like any good plumbers assistant, I was revealing my half moon smile at him.  Really?  We laughed until we cried.  He left a little while later and well, I flushed the toilet three times, just because I could.  I am so grateful that God reminded Jaime that I like fresh produce and that he saw it in his heart to help a gimpy sista out. It was perfect timing.

I went about the rest of my evening worrying about what I was going to write about in my gratitude journal today. I made dinner, cleaned up and procrastinated the obvious a little longer.  Then I said, I better get started or I’ll run out of time.

And it hit me, everything has its time and worrying about it won’t help.  I am so grateful that God takes the worry out of me in one way or another.  It was perfect timing.




About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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