Some people believe that everything happens for a reason. Others think every event is purely random and meaningless. I guess my own view is somewhere between the two extremes. I tend to analyze the cause and effect of situations, over-analyze perhaps, but if you look deeply enough, you can usually track down the reason why things happen. For a little while after the fire, I wanted to know more about the gas leak. The firefighters knew where and when it happened but not why, but when they and insurance company eventually dropped the issue, I did, too. There was more to worry about then tracking down the cause.
Now that I’m beginning to prepare for my move back to the house, hopefully in a month, I’ve begun looking back on this whole experience. Has it really been just 3 ½ months since the fire? It feels like so much longer. More than a few people have told me how difficult times make us grow, they teach us about life and ourselves. I think they were trying to comfort me, but truthfully, I’d rather not grow quite so much. This whole experience isn’t over yet, but looking back, I wonder . . . Have I learned anything at all? Turns out, I have. Some of it is important, some is on the trivial side, and a few things I wish I hadn’t had to learn.
In no particular order, I have learned
• about the dangers of smoke inhalation, up close and personal
• how little you really need to live your daily life
• how important the little creature comforts really are
• a lot about how the interior of a house is put together
• how much power city inspectors have
• how little my personal property is worth, at least to the insurance company
• some Spanish vocabulary about building houses
• how to comfort my grown son during a breakdown but also how to let him go when he’s ready (or thinks he is)
• my little girl is not so little anymore (see post on alleged drinking party when I was out of town)
• my friends may be spread throughout the country and world, but they are there for me in a crisis (at least virtually)
• I have generous colleagues (actually I knew this already but it was reaffirmed)
• I knew my dogs loved me but I didn’t know my 2-week separation would affect Rosie so much that she would ‘cry’ for several hours after my visits
• how fast plants die with no water in Texas heat (very)
• how to set up a blog
I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things and know that I’ll have more to learn in the next few months. I look forward, though, to the time when I can coast for a little while and not learn any more life lessons.