Sunday, May 15, 2011

Getting Ahead

Money has been a little tight for us lately as we are working towards more long-term goals.  Needless to say, when May began and I picked up some judging jobs and a gig, I felt the belt loosen a little bit.  I considered what to do with the money - pay some bills, put it into saving, pay a little extra down on debt, or spend it on something frivolous (I probably would have chosen this option quickly five years ago).  The option I didn’t consider was fixing the air conditioning in the house, because that was a surprise.
This past week the house seemed to not feel cool as we slept.  As most of my daylight hours have been spent elsewhere, the only time I seemed to be home was when the a/c should have been dipping down to our night time sleep temp.  As we hadn’t had any recent problems (and the unit is only 3 1/2 years old), I wasn’t checking the temperature at night, attributing my bad sleep to other reasons.  Finally, I woke up one night and looked at the thermostat and discovered the house never cooled to its correct temperature.
We called the a/c people to come check it out, hoping it might be something silly, and they gave us a window of 1-5 on Wednesday afternoon.  Samantha rearranged her appointments to make it work and I promised to hurry home from my judging gig that ended at 5.  We waited for the call confirming they were on their way.  And we waited.  And we waited.  5 o’clock passed and we waited.  6 o’clock passed and we waited.  Then around 6:15, they called.
I blew up at the lady on the phone, complaining about the disrespect for people’s schedules, blah blah blah.  I think I might have hung up on her, but I am not sure - there wasn’t a closing to our conversation, just silence, then I hung up.
Immediately, I felt terrible about it.  Her job was only to call and inform people of the impending arrival of the repair technician and to field calls from customers.  It was not her fault that the appointment was over an hour late.  I tried to call back to apologize, but I only got the automated system.  Upset at myself, I waited for the technician to arrive.
A little while later, the phone rang again.  It was Kara from the a/c repair.  She told me she had spoken with the technician supervisor and since the appointment was late, they would waive the service fee associated with the call.  I thanked her and then took the opportunity to apologize.  I shouldn’t have been rude, I shouldn’t have been so abrupt and impolite as I knew it wasn’t her fault.  She thanked me, which meant a lot.
Anyway, the tech arrived and checked out the unit.  He tinkered around in the attic and took about thirty minutes to look over the system before giving me the prognosis - a leaking coil.  This meant that the refrigerant in the system was seeping out, preventing the unit from cooling.  While the part was under warranty, the labor to install it, and the cost to capture and refill the refrigerant, was not.  The total bill - approximately $1200.
So much for getting ahead, right?
It has always seemed that when we pick up some extra money here or there, it has a way of slipping from out pocket.  Too often, I have chosen to become upset at the situation, seeing it as a lost opportunity.  My elation at catching a break is broken at the thought of being right back where I started.
Not this time, though.  This time I am choosing a different mind set.  I am choosing to see it as the universe providing in a time of need.  Before I knew I needed extra money, extra money appeared.  Of course, my short sighted mind preferred to consider immediate uses for the funds (after all, who could anticipate a $1200 a/c repair), but the universe had different ideas.

I have faith that this happens to people every day, whether they see it or not.  Too often I have found myself wrapped up in the negativity of a situation instead of allowing myself to see the positive.  The silver lining in the cloud is always brighter!  You just have to let yourself see it.  Get out of your own way and look at the bigger picture, see the positive and focus on it.
I could be sitting here stewing that I didn’t get to spend that money on what I wanted to spend it on.  But, I was cool while I slept last night, and I know I have it paid for.  Thanks universe.

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