Tuesday 15 April 2008

Problems and opportunities

I really hate it when people say: "There are no such things as problems; there are only opportunities."

What rubbish. Being told some supposedly motivational tripe when what one really needs is a shoulder to cry on - or maybe an offer of assistance - doesn't help one little bit.

I've also been told that witches are supposed to treat problems as times of learning, teaching them the lessons for this lifetime so they can an overcome karma and progress on their personal spiritual journey.

Well, I am a bad witch. I'd just as soon do without those kinds of learning opportunities, thank you very much.

Like many people at the moment, my problems are to do with money.

Mortgages are going up. I've also had huge bills for gas, council tax, car tax and service, a new pair of glasses, my cats' annual vet check up and emergency repairs to my water heater during that recent unseasonal cold spell.

Have I learnt anything? Well, I realise my house could do with double glazing and better insulation, but how can I afford that when I can't pay off my existing bills?

It isn't as though it is the first time money has been tight. I know the procedures: phone calls to try to get the bills reduced or be allowed to pay them in installments; juggling things between credit cards; listing a few unwanted items on Gumtree in the hope of raising cash and cutting down on small luxuries like a morning latte on the way to work.

I realise I am not alone in suffering the effects of the credit crisis. We are all affected to some extent. So maybe the lesson is for all of us - that our economic system isn't working that well and as a society we ought to sort out our priorities a bit better. But that doesn't really help me right now.

To take my mind off my woes I sat down to listen to some music - and then found my CD player was broken. I think I must have reached the point where you either laugh or cry - give up or just accept the situation.

There was nothing I could do - I certainly can't afford to get that fixed or replaced. Then I remembered I had a drawerful of cassettes I hadn't listened to for years - and my cassette player was still OK, just very dusty.

So I did sit down and listen to music after all - Enya's Watermark. It was something I hadn't heard for about a decade because I only have it on tape and I had forgotten how much I like it.

So maybe I have learnt something after all - that, just sometimes, when dark clouds gather you do get to see a silver lining.

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