Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Maybe karma is crap.

Several months ago a clerk at a gas station handed me a twenty dollar bill for change instead of the ten dollars he really owed me. I handed it back and told the truth. Last month my employer over paid me on my paycheck by quite a bit. I told my manager and had the difference taken out of my next check. I let people get ahead of me while merging in traffic. I send thank you and sympathy cards when appropriate. I help out friends when they need money or simply a shoulder to cry on. I try to avoid road rage, I've cut down on my anger, I tell the people I love that I love them and I always say please and thank you. Does any of this shit really add up? I'm not so sure.

I don't like to feel sorry for myself because all I have to do is watch the nightly news, look at a stranger on the street or read a book and I know that things could always be worse. However, for the sake of this post, I will list some of the things I have been through in the last few years.

My husband left and filed for divorce. I had to move out of the house I owned and loved. I sold my belongings and drove to Cali to be with friends. I love my best friend. I moved home to Seattle. My ex got his girlfriend pregnant and married her. I got laid of twice from two different jobs (one of which sucked and one that I really liked). I moved home, literally, with family to save money. My dad got diagnosed with cancer. And that brings us to present day.

When I type it all out it seems really silly that I think of these things as tragedies. Just watching the news tonight about the madness that is happening in Egypt makes me count my blessings. On the other hand, at about 2:30 today I wasn't thinking that at all. All I was thinking was"why me!!???" and "what have I done to deserve this??".

I will set the scene. I got up this morning and hit the track. I've been running with my dad on my nights off from work, but without knowing how far he will be able to make it since he is just getting in the game, I tend to workout the morning of as well. I jogged three miles followed by some stair running, sit-ups and push-ups. The sun was shining in Seattle and it felt great to be out in the nice weather treating my body well. Running is my yoga. Running is my knitting. Running is the thing that brings me peace and centers me. I don't do it to lose weight and I don't even run all the fast, but it makes me feel strong and I love it. I felt accomplished after my morning at the track and I planned to spend the rest of the day soaking up a gorgeous Seattle afternoon. Next on the agenda.....the dog park.

I take being a dog owner seriously and I believe that if you decide to have a pet, then you better be willing to put in the work. My little Lucy spends a lot of time with my parents when I'm at work, but on my days off I try to give her tons of attention. There is a new dog park just miles from my house with a huge open field of grass, tennis balls galore and fairly nice patrons. We've been there twice before and although Lucy is socially awkward and rarely actually "plays" with the other dogs, I think she likes it. We had only been there for about 20 minutes when the question about karma popped in my head.
A very sweet older woman was throwing a ball for her black lab (ironically named Lucy) with one of those "chuck-it" things that are designed for lazy people that don't want to bend over to pick up a ball and really can't throw one that far. We had been chatting and even I threw the ball a couple of times for Lucy (Lucy the lab, not my Lucy. My Lucy doesn't know what fetch means). A few minutes later, as I was looking off into the distance at the lovely blue sky, something hit me from behind and a white hot pain struck my knee. Lucy the lab had taken off to chase her ball and ran right into the back of my leg just under my knee cap. The sound of my knee buckeling/dislocating out of the socket/snapping and popping back in was loud enough for several people around us to hear. I swear that as I fell to the ground the only thought in my head was "shit! I can't run now".

Hyper-extending is the technical term and I did it to my other knee back in high school. It takes time to heal and for the swelling to subside, but running is not going to be happening this week for sure. I sobbed most of the drive home; partly from the pain, but mostly from the thought that nothing ever goes my way. I try hard to make good choices, do the right thing and show kindess to others, but something always sets me back several steps. Ugh.

After a several hour pity party for myself which included crying to my mother (that always seems to help no matter how old you are) I came to this conclusion. I have to just keep pushing ahead. I have to take every set back in stride and I have to believe with all my heart that good things are in my future. What else can people do? Giving up isn't an option. At least for me. Karma isn't about doing the right thing so that you can "get" something in return. Karma is just about doing the right thing. With my knee on ice and the hopes that I can at least go for a walk tomorrow to continue my weight loss and my hobby, I have faith that eventually I will take three steps forward without ANY steps back in life. :)

"Whatever we do lays a seed in our deepest consciousness, and one day that seed will grow." -Sakyong Mipham

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