#526 Blessing in disguise

As it has been for the last little while, we have been thinking and planning for our upcoming kitchen reno. And as I look forward with eagerness to the new, clean, fresh-looking cupboards and benchtops and appliances and work spaces, one little nagging thought has continually entered my mind…

Will I have any more storage space?

Storage for me, is a big thing. I am not just a hoarder. But in the kitchen, I do like to experiment. Cook like this, cook like that. I won’t ever say no to a different recipe, and if I fear a certain way of cooking/preparing/baking a dish, my curiosity and fascination always wins out and I do it anyway.

Curiosity is a powerful force. I find I rarely fail in these endeavours. I’m not saying I’m a Masterchef… but I do well.

So I have bagged up a few or so items/appliances/crockery/servingware in my culinary adventures. And I don’t intend on parting with them anytime soon… in fact, I plan on ADDING to the family.

Sheesh. Don’t tell Hubbie.

Which is why I look with concern as I scan my kitchen, my old, out-dated kitchen, NOW. I stare at it, squint my eyes, and think of the new kitchen… and I honestly don’t think there will be much additional storage.

This is a concern, because as mentioned in a post late last year, I still have about 7-8 boxes crammed-full of kitchen stuff, that currently does not fit in my kitchen. They have been piled into corners elsewhere, but currently are out of action…

Brow-furrowing issue. Hrmmmm….

Cue the inconvenient “gas heater break-down problem,” A.K.A. Blessing in Disguise.

So today, I found out, it probably wasn’t worth fixing our old heater that broke down on us last Friday morning. Sure, it could be repaired…. but after forking out even more $$$, there was no guarantee that another major issue wouldn’t occur for this almost 40 year old (not even exaggerating) heater that was seriously getting on.

Needing a new gas heater throws a spanner in the works, in that it obviously requires $$$, bills are coming in, we are focusing on the kitchen primarily, and also, it will need to be rejigged and refit outside.

Our current gas heater sits inside our house you see, right around the corner from the kitchen. It’s in the hallway, so almost in the kitchen. Ripping the old one out of the cupboard from there, will…

Leave the cupboard bare.

!!!

Despite the $$$ gas heater re-fit bill looming in my head, the storage lover in me could not help but see the beautiful potential.

The potential in turning the old gas heater cupboard, into another pantry/useful cupboard for my kitchen items.

Ta ding!

And just like that, a little bit like when I started this blog and was grateful that when that car hit me that fatefully annoying day in Feb of ’16, I slowly grew to be grateful for the fact that when he hit me, he hit my side, and so the car was less affected, and more easily repaired with just the removal of the back door.

This new gas heater will be a costly and time-consuming exercise, but when it is done, my kitchen will definitely have ample storage… and that, is nothing to squint at.

Grateful for our dying gas heater. Who would have thought?!

 

 

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#365 A whole year!

It’s officially been done folks – I’ve been doing this insane thing, called ‘an item of gratitude a day’ for a whole year! No breaks, no mishaps, although sometimes I completely forgot to post in the busy-ness of life, but then soon made up for it immediately afterwards… despite all of life’s many ups, and many downs, I’ve nailed this MOFO to the wall.

One year down.

Just the rest of my entire life to go.

Sigh. But yay too!

And it all started with a God-damn car crash.

Not only does today mark a year of this blog, but there were two other significant happenings, on this February 23rd:

  1. I started exercising again. It happened during my new-found ‘me’ time in baby girl’s 5-hour kinder block, and it has been something that has been on my mind for a while. You know when you just aren’t happy with ‘things?’ Well the only way to change it, is to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And I took action today. AND I felt awesome.
  2. I just literally found out that someone dear to me is pregnant. So, it all feels very poignant and happy and memorable, and I am just stoked to the point that I will fall into a heap from the excited exhaustion soon.

That’s it peoples. I am happy. And mostly, I am grateful.

That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

 

 

#106 It’s over!

I surprisingly got some fabulous news today! I had started to believe I would never hear any news back from the insurance company, and if I did, I was sure it would be a bad result… and despite how frustrated and over it all that I was, I knew that if it came out against my favour, I would still try to contest it. It wouldn’t be fair, it wouldn’t be right. Anything other than ‘in my favour,’ was not moral.

What am I talking about you ask? Why, the incident that sparked my whole carcrashgratitude blog, that’s what! My car accident, from 3 and a bit months ago, that now feels like ages ago. If you are new or just need a refresher, my How this all started explains the shit-ass event that happened right after I got my new car.

Anyway. Hours after my Mum asked me earlier today “have you heard anything from the insurance company?” and I frustratingly replied back “no,” adding that she should probably not ask me again because the whole drama just puts me into that negative state of anger and sadness…. I noticed a missed call on my mobile. When I saw who had called, I was nervous. Did I really wanna call back and find out what they had to say? I was feeling spent already from today’s activities… did I want to argue with them that I was in the right, and not in the wrong?

To hell with it. I’d just get it over and done with.

I didn’t even set up baby girl with a DVD as I usually would making an important phone call. I immediately dialled the number provided, and after a little while of waiting, a lady answered.

I explained that I had a missed call from them, and provided her with my reference number for the claim. Baby girl had noticed the pen in my hands with the scrap piece of paper I had grabbed just in case I had to note anything important down. As the woman on the other side checked the notes to see why I had a missed call, baby girl climbed up onto my lap, grabbing the pen and starting to draw long lines.

“Oh!” I heard suddenly. “I can give you good news!”

Before I had a chance for my hopes to rise up too high, she confirmed with the following “We can pay you your excess back!”

“Oh, great!” My mind was whirling. We had paid the excess a while ago in order to fix the car as it had been gathering dust in the garage. It was insured, had registration, and we didn’t want to wait until the verdict was handed to get it fixed. Who knows how long that would have taken. We went ahead and had gotten the door replaced, and had been enjoying the car in the meantime, while we not so patienty waited, and waited, and waited.

And then waited.

And then waited some more.

(Insert more waiting).

Waiting.

More waiting.

And more.

Wait! More waiting.

Some more waiting to rub salt in the wound.

Might as well throw in some more waiting, waiting, waiting.

Wait. Wait.

Wait!

Waiting.

You get the drift.

She started talking about how I wanted the money, and in between all of this, and baby girl’s pen encroaching onto the tablecover underneath the scrap paper, I asked “sorry, can I just ask: does this mean the other driver has been found at fault? Am I getting the full excess? Because we haven’t received any other news regarding the accident other than this call…”

She checked a bit more, and sure thing, getting paid the excess meant that the other driver was being held responsible for the accident.

After all the official stuff was noted, I told her “Thank you, you’ve made my day.” (Note yesterday’s post). She went off to most likely get a mocha, and then I got off the phone to jump up and down excitedly with baby girl, doing high-five’s, and shouting “baby girl! It’s over!” We celebrated with chocolate, and then later, I made myself a coffee, which smelled so damn sweet.

I’m still in a state of disbelief. Is it over? I kind of expected an official phone call or letter from the insurance saying “we are sorry for our initial verdict. We are wrong; you were right. Here is $10,ooo in mental damages” or something along those lines. In lack of that, I’m still pinching myself. I am so grateful and appreciative that the Universe worked this one out. I was frustrated for the longest time, calling the insurance company repeatedly at one stage, to the broken record answer of “we’ve got it under control, you don’t have to call, we’ll call you.” Many times I questioned them: “if you can’t get in touch with the other driver, it comes to assume that he may be avoiding you, because he knows he’s guilty!”

I eventually let it all go, particularly when the car was repaired, and tried to forget. I would let them work it out. I would see what happened. And in the meantime, I would enjoy the car, and try to forget the horrible details of what had happened the first time I drove it.

I am elated. I am grateful. I am proud of myself for sticking to my guns and telling the insurance company on their first verdict, that they were in fact wrong. I wanted another opinion. And I got one, and that opinion was on my side.

I am grateful, that I trusted in myself. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, yet the words of the other couple haunted me, making me doubt my memories and point of view of the accident. But I scared those demons away, focused on the facts, and reminded myself that I was moral. I was honest and he was not. He was lying, and one way or another, he would not get away with it.

It’s been a hard slog, and a very trying, difficult one during those first few weeks. For some reason, the accident happened. Maybe it was to teach me a lesson. Maybe it was to teach the other driver a lesson.

Maybe it was to start this blog.

And now? I will still continue with this blog. This blog wasn’t ever meant to be a temporary event-based blog, only in existence while the ongoing saga of the car accident was in debate. No. I decided, based on that day, that I was going to look for gratitude in each and every day, to try my hardest to seek it out, no matter how hard, or boring, or sad, or frustrating the day was. I would do my damn best. And for as long as I can, I will continue to.

This will always remain, my carcrashgratitude. 106 days in, and the saga is over. (Woo hoo!) But the gratitude journal will continue on, continuing on…

🙂

Damn I’m happy!

 

 

 

#70 My Car

Today, I got my car repaired. Finally, after over 2 months since THAT accident, the one that was the catalyst behind me starting this blog in the first place, the car is now back in our driveway, all shiny and new again.

Yeah, I’m rapt. I’m happy. But I’m not giving my main thanks to it, today. Nope. I’m grateful today for my very first car, my old paint-peeling, brick-dented, though totally reliable car that has been faithful to me ever since I got my Ps and turned 18. So dependable, that I never needed another car in all this time. It is still dependable, but I think after 14 years of driving the same car, I’m kind of overdue for a new one.

We’re still keeping it for the time being, just as a ‘run around.’ But still, as I moved my cds, mints and tissues from my first car to the new one, I couldn’t help but get sentimental over it, and I just sat in the driver’s seat, thinking…

My first car has taken me everywhere. It has taken us everywhere. Who is ‘us?’ Well obviously Hubbie and I, having taken day trips to country, bush and seaside locations within the state.

It took me and my 3 friends on a girly trip many, many years ago  – 4 girls and all their bags and crap that was just for a 3 night stay! It lugged us all there.

It’s taken me from one side of the city, to the other, on many an occasion. I drive far to work, and it has never failed me.

It’s seen all kinds of visitors: friends, work colleagues, cousins, friend’s cousins…

It’s driven people who are no longer with us.

It’s driven Hubbie’s friends, family and his work colleagues too.

I’ve dropped people off, picked them up – a real pick-me-up vehicle it is.

It’s driven my parents, the one’s who got me the car, EVERYWHERE. I took joy on the occasions where I drove my sister around too, as she used to drive me around so much when I was a little girl.

It’s driven animals – oh man, I just remembered my childhood cat. It drove my precious tabby to the vet, where it had to be put down, unknown to me at that time.

It’s driven our bird, as we’ve cooed to it comfortingly so it doesn’t flap its wings ferociously out of fear.

Most importantly… it took a two-year old baby girl home from the hospital, with a couple of terrified though excited parents within it too. It’s driven her since.

It’s seen some fun times too, oh man it has. It’s been a party in that car! We’ve had music blaring, heads sticking out of the sunroof as we drove down Lygon… people have jumped out of the car in traffic to perform songs for the other nearby cars as we’ve waited at the lights. Oh yeah.

We’ve had deep and meaningfuls in that car. Secrets have been told. Memories shared. Betrayals exposed. There have been really decent arguments too. The expression ‘if these walls could talk?’ Well if those seats could spill…

… so I sat there thinking. My eyes welled up a bit as I thanked it for all it had done for me, for us, for our lives, and for looking out for me all this time.

“I will never forget you. You will always be my first.”

Some people may think ‘it’s just a clunky piece of metal.’ It sure is. But that clunky piece of metal has seen and been part of and privy to some life-changing, memory-making, soul-wrenching stuff… that makes it about as important as any other person in my life, wouldn’t you agree?

 

(#42) The A-Z April Challenge: E – Everything

Starting a post saying I’m grateful for Everything probably sounds like my gratitude blog is going to end right here and now. No it won’t. I was thinking endlessly about this vowel letter today, and the word ‘Everything’ came to me… and then I realised, yeah, at this moment in my life, I am grateful for Everything.

I don’t say this in a boastful way. I don’t say this implying my life is perfect. We really wanna move house. It’s getting way crampy where we are. My car (if you want some backstory on that, and the inception of this site, check out my How This All Started in the sidebar) is still damaged, still awaiting repair, while I drive my old car which is literally falling to pieces. And there are plenty of incomplete projects around, from little things like bits and pieces to do around the house, to the fact that we would like to expand our family at some stage this year. We’re always busy busy busy.

But, at this moment in time, I really am grateful for everything. Although our house is bursting with us, our personalities and our stuff – but we’re making beautiful memories. I may have a new car with a dented door, but hey, at least I have a new car waiting for me. I can’t wait to actually drive it. I have plenty of things to do, things to write about, blog posts waiting for me to sit down and get to it, photos to develop, blah blah blah… but these things keep me sane and busy and HAPPY.

I walked in to the doctor’s foyer today to meet with my parents… and hey, we were meeting at the doctor’s, but still it was so lovely to come in and see them sitting side by side waiting for me. The love evident between them, the warmth I felt when I walked over… I loved that moment.

Yesterday baby girl and I visited my sister and her family. Baby girl cried her eyes out when we left her place, she wanted her Aunty to follow us home! She already loves her Aunty the way I do.

I love my family, my husband, my daughter… yes we would like to expand our brood, but the way life is now, where we chase baby girl around shopping centres when she decides to run away from us every 5 minutes, yelling at her to stop jumping on the couch, and telling her to go back to sleep when she wakes 3am in the morning… these are challenges, but I wouldn’t change them for the world.

I have a flexible part-time job, something unheard of for many. It allows me to write in my spare time – that is, the spare time not inhabited by baby girl 🙂 I have great friends and loving relationships with my extended family. True, in recent times I have questioned many of these relationships, and wondered whether we are moving apart more than we are moving forward together.

But when I count the number of people on my fingers who I know have my back, who will always be there for me and my family… I fill up the fingers on both hands. That’s huge. People who you don’t doubt for anything in the world, knowing they will be there for you always… 10 individuals? WOW.

I’m grateful for all of these things, and I will probably make separate posts about all of these people and things when I feel the need, the urge, if I haven’t already… but what I’m talking about here is the all-encompassing feeling of appreciation for all of them combined.

I don’t have it all, my life isn’t perfect… but what I’m saying is, all in my life at the moment, Everything I have, is Enough for me, and I am grateful for All of it.

That’s pretty perfect if you ask me.

 

#10 Coffee

I knew it wouldn’t be long until this caffeinated beverage reached the gratitude posts hall of fame.

Seriously. Today, I was super-cranky, just because, car shit, and lack of sleep due to baby girl suddenly being scared at night and convincing her over a 2 and a half hour period that she should go back to sleep in her cot, with a posse of stuffed animals gathered around her. I went back to sleep after that, but still, woke up with my head in a cloud.

Cranky, cranky, cranky all day. Then 3pm hit. The usual coffee-time hit with Hubbie post his work shift.

And as I took a sip of that home made brew, suddenly, everything was alright. Then Smooth Criminal came on the music channel, and I was like…. shit. MJ will appear in another gratitude post, be assured.

Oh man. I love you coffee. You save my soul on sooo many an occasion. It’s not even funny.

When I was pregnant, (and then after that breastfeeding) and couldn’t drink alcohol, there was coffee. When I’m tired: coffee. Need inspiration? Coffee. Perk before heading out – you guessed it, coffee. Just feel like it on a Sunday morning, because no reason needed?

COFFEE.

I am so grateful for coffee. Life is so much sweeter because of it.

#7 Principles

I’m so grateful I have these.

Basically, I feel like a bit of an Erin Brockovich right now, fighting back against the odds, the big wigs, the final say, and someone on the other side has just said “you may just be right.”

The fight is not over. I’m so happy that I listened to that inner voice in me, the one that told me not to give up, the one that wasn’t content with just moving on and accepting I was in the wrong. Because I wasn’t in the wrong. I know that now more than ever.

It’s hard to stay true to yourself, and stick to your guns in the face of adversity, when people tell you that you’re not right. Your confidence is blown and you feel knocked off your perch, unable to clamber back on. I’ve been under the weather, and had all manner of distractions thrown at me, as if the Universe is testing me…

Well Universe? How did I perform this round?

Despite what happens in the end, I’m so glad I listened to that voice. My principles brought me here, and they will take me out.