The penguin in the park

I know that much of what happens to me, the disasters that befall me are self-created, I mean, I get that, I really do. 

I let things build up and when they consequently explode, I am left in crisis mode and then have the guilt of knowing it was all my fault that it ever got so bad.

But, I have not had the easiest life and some of the coping mechanisms I have developed have come from necessity … I often didn’t have the money to pay bills and couldn’t cope with the added guilt of making a call to explain why I couldn’t pay to a stranger only to feel judged and therefore, even more guilty and ashamed.

But things do happen that are outside my purview – shit just happens to me at times. Add this to my predilection for creating shit happening to me and well … it gets crazy around here.

This past week (for example) I had this weird thing happen with my wages. Actually it was a couple of weird things: first of all, last Friday was payday but my employer underpaid me by around $900 – they had screwed up my time sheet. It wasn’t a huge deal but I had to spend the day emailing back and forth and it was stressful for a few hours worrying that it wouldn’t get sorted.

At the end of the day they emailed to say that they had indeed paid me incorrectly and would send the money through on the next business day.

I had more than enough money to pay my rent and buy what I needed etc, as I said, not a huge deal, albeit a bit stressful.

As it turned out, that Monday was a public holiday here in NSW so, I waited for the money to come through Tuesday .. it didn’t. I called on Wednesday morning and the financial officer told me that he had been away sick and so would be sending the money through that afternoon.

All fixed right?

So .. Wednesday night the money came through around 7pm, I purchased a bottle of vodka and recharged my phone credit and that was that. On Thursday morning, I got a call from the vet where I still owe a couple of hundred dollars and so I gave them my card details over the phone to make the payment.

It wouldn’t go through – which was crazy as I had more than enough to pay. I was also needing to get ready to go to work for the afternoon so this was happening as I was getting dressed. I checked my banking online and the account was empty. Everything was gone – and the transaction history showed an ATM withdrawal the night before which emptied all funds. I was left with around $7.

I completely freaked.

I called the bank while walking to the train station and was on the phone with them for the whole trip to work. The concluded that my card had been skimmed – most probably by the taxi driver I had used to get me to a 5am shift the previous Saturday.

By the time I arrived at work I was a mess. The bank was saying that it would take up to 40 days to get the money reimbursed and I only had about $40 cash – nowhere near enough to live on for a week until my next pay.

My friends at work were entirely lovely and even gave me some cash to get through a few days. My branch manager also called while I was at work and told me that he would give me an overdraft of whatever I needed to get through .. so, it wasn’t as bad as what I thought it was going to be, and here I sit with enough money to get by until my pay goes through or my funds reimbursed; whatever happens first.

But in order to get access to the overdraft, I had to go out into the world yesterday … I also needed a referral for my new psychiatrist (who I am seeing on Monday) and so I thought I would get both done on the same day because .. well, the chances of me getting my shit together to get out the door twice in one week are negligible, zero actually.

When I went to the doctor (after spending an hour at the bank) I was asked for my medicare card (a card we use here in Australia that is needed for all medical appointments) I explained to them that I don’t have one – haven’t had one for years – but I do have my number and that is usually OK with most doctors.

Now, the reason I don’t have a card is that mine got lost and I haven’t gotten my shit together to get a new one – entirely my fault.

This doctor however was insistent upon a card and sent me up the road to the Medicare office (there just happened to be one). I had a 1.5 hour wait there (and it took me 20 minutes to find it), I got my temporary card and went back to the doctor to be told that there were now 6 people in line ahead of me and so … long wait at the doctor.

I eventually got through and got my referral and did some food shopping and got home some 6 hours after I had left. I was exhausted and stressed and marvelling at the ongoing combination of crap that happens to me and crap that I bring on myself all colliding to ensure that my life is an ongoing stress-fest.

I had to take my dog to the park and when I got down there, I was feeling proud of myself for having gotten through the ordeals of the day without cracking up … I put the issue of missing money aside and decided to try to relax.

And there it was.

Sitting on the edge of a low wall, exactly as pictured, was a penguin. I’m not sure if it had been put there or left there, I have no idea what it was even doing at a park, it didn’t look like a dog toy and it seemed too ugly to be a child’s toy (no offense penguin) … but it just made me laugh to see it sitting there and the stress of the previous few days just kinda evaporated into the little guy …

Sometimes things happen that are entirely my fault, sometimes things just happen to me and sometimes, life throws you a penguin.

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2 responses to “The penguin in the park

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