Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Karma's a Bitch

I'm not exactly sure what God is, or if there is a God out there, but I do believe there is a higher spirit that keeps things in order. Things happen for a reason, and sometimes, it's not very apparent, but the reasons always become known at some point. Granted, it's a simplistic point of view based on my own experiences, but I also believe that there are lessons that we all need to learn, and there's some greater force that is out there keeping track of it.

Saturday night, Girl and I were driving to the Trail Blazer game, and we'd left the house a touch later than usual because we were busy moving furniture and computers about the house. Our new office location is rather nice, and our cats spend a lot of time sleeping in here, keeping an eye on us when they aren't getting into trouble, plus girl's computer and my computer aren't right next to each other in a corner, so we basically sit back to back to each other in a cramped L shape. But, we got the move done, and then it was off to watch the Trail Blazers versus the Wizards.

Our normal parking spot for the games is in the Lloyd Center Cinemas parking lot. I know, it's supposed to be for the mall and the theatre, but it's very well known that the place is packed full of Trail Blazer fans who don't want to pay $20 for parking, and so they park here for free and then catch the MAX to the game. We pulled into the lot at about 6:35 pm on Saturday, which is a bit later than our usual early arrival, so I knew the competition for spots would be tough. And it was so tough, we never found one there. Seriously, going up and down the rows, it was jam packed, and so it was time to move to another parking lot and see if we could still make the game on time.

It was then that I turned from the cinemas parking to get onto Wiedler and then I turned into the regular mall parking lot. I'm not entirely sure why I just didn't go up to NE 15th, but I ended up going into the mall. I was so focused on trying to think of parking spots and where to park that I didn't even realize that as I sped along, I was passing through a crosswalk near Sears with people to my left as I was traveling north. There are parking spots on both sides of the crosswalk, so really it's a pathway between cars but it's marked as a crosswalk. I went rather slow, but I never stopped for a moment, and I heard the thunk from the back of our car as I sped by without stopping. Apparently, I had gotten too close to them, and they let me know they were there by smacking the back of our car.

Girl told me that I really needed to pay more attention about what was going on, and then I realized my mistake. I never intended on blowing through the crosswalk, but I did and it wasn't pretty. I didn't have a chance to really stop and apologize, but I felt bad for my mistake. I tend to get a little stressed with a compressed time frame because I hate to be late to things. I picked up a very bad habit from my mom, who was 30 minutes late to everything she did, and for years, I was always 10 to 15 minutes late for everything I did. When my friends finally started commenting, I did a 180 and became preoccupied with being early at any cost. Not a smart thing to be, but hey, we all have our hangups.

We continued on to eventually find parking at the Convention Center for $6 and we made it to the game right as the National Anthem was being sung, and by the time we hit our seats, it was only a few minutes into the game. Not bad for leaving so late, but my earlier driving mistake was still bugging me. I don't like to do things wrong, even if I do a few things wrong each day. We all like to be perfect, but being human, we make mistakes because that's part of being human. We learn from our errors so that we don't do them again, but for some of us, that doesn't stop our obsession in being perfect. But I have a feeling that the guys and gals upstairs keep track of things like this, and bring them up as lessons for us. I don't know if you could call it fate, but it's certainly something with a higher power than you or me.

For today, I went to Fred Meyer Wood Village to get the new Franz Ferdinand album, which just went on sale. The weather around here today was a bit snowy and cold, then it turned to rain by the afternoon, so it ended up being a rather typical winter day in Portland. I had an incident on Sunday trying to get to soccer practice on time, and I was late again and running around like a crazy person, so I'm already a bit aware of my most recent actions about time and paying attention. As I left the store with my purchase, I walked from Fred Meyer to my car when I encountered the service road that runs in front of the store. I stopped at the crosswalk, looked both ways, and proceeded to enter because it was safe. I saw on my right a gold SUV that was coming, but I assumed they would slow down as I waved at them that I was walking.

But apparently, the driver's phone call was entirely more important than seeing where they were on the road, because she blew through the crosswalk with me still in the middle. I had stopped walking as soon as I realized that she wasn't stopping, and I just stood there in amazement at her actions. I even saw the color of her eyes as she drove by, and I'm sure she saw me waving at her, but she kept driving by without stopping. I was floored by her actions, and muttered to myself how could someone be that callous about pedestrian safety until I recalled my driving mistake on Saturday.

The feeling of being taught a lesson in a practical but abrupt way stuck with me as I got into my car. Yes, it was a rather dramatic example and one that had a bit of danger associated with it, but it definitely proved a point to me in no uncertain terms. It's important to pay attention to where you are going at all times, because you don't know if the other guys are even paying attention or not. I'm sorry that I scared the shoppers at Sears with my driving, it certainly wasn't intentional, and I don't even have an excuse of being on the phone, I was simply trying to find a place to park and wasn't paying as close of attention as I should have been. And karma or fate or whatever was smacking me on the head today to remind me to pay more attention to what's going on.

And it's a lesson that I can appreciate, because it validates that someone or something is really looking out for us, and trying to make sure we don't do things we shouldn't or trying to ensure that we learn lessons about life that we should. I'm not sure if it was God or Jeebus or whatever making their point today, but they made it very well. So just remember that karma is indeed a bitch, and you should be careful about what you do because things have a way of evening out.

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