And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.
It was a hard week to focus on happy. I returned from my week-long retreat to Indiana on Sunday. On Monday, midway through the day, I suddenly received an urgent email from eBay, saying my account was breached. I figured it was a scam email since I haven’t used eBay in forever, but I went to the site anyway to see what was up. Sure enough, someone bought an $890 Apple iPhone on my account. With my debit card, which was registered to that account.
And so all hell broke loose.
I’ve never been through anything like this and it was crazy. In a freaked-out flurry, I changed everything on the eBay account and then closed it. I contacted Paypal. Figured out how to shut down the debit card which was connected to my bank, and my bank was closed because it was after 5:30. Did I think to look on the back of the card for the little number that says, “Call here if you think your card has been stolen”? No, I did not. I frantically looked around my bank’s website which was no help at all, stumbled across a number, called it, and they passed me on and on until I came to the right place that shut down my card. Then, the next day, I went to the bank for a new debit card, notified the fraud department, then contacted all three credit bureaus to put fraud alerts out and to lock down or freeze my credit, so that no one applying for credit in my name can do so. And…and…and…and now what? I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do, but how do I feel safe ever again? Especially when every other commercial on TV speaks in deep foreboding tones about the “dark web”.
So…frantic. Not fun. Lots of fear.
Early this afternoon, when I walked the dog, I discovered how nice it was outside. In the upper fifties – I didn’t even need a jacket. When we returned, I went around the condo and opened windows and deck doors. The air that started flowing through was Spring. I could hear my wind chimes. I could hear birds. Unfortunately, Ursula and I could also hear the test tornado siren, the firetrucks, the police cars, the street cleaner truck, the frontloaders, and all sort of banging slamming trucks for the Water Department across the street and it freaked Ursula out. I told her to chill out, this was Spring in the City, and she went to sulk and cower on the couch.
I sat myself down at our kitchen island for lunch. The island is in the exact center of our house. It’s the middle of the middle floor. Where I sat, the breeze just fluttered on through, back of the condo to the front.
What, I thought as I sat there, am I going to write about today? What moment of happiness? It’s been moment after moment after minute after hour after week of frustration and fear. Happiness?
The breeze ruffled my hair. My dog, on the couch behind me, closed her eyes and sighed.
What was I going to write about?
Again, the breeze, warm, new, not frosted with ice or snow or a hint of winter, but instead spun with the promise of spring and summer, of sunshine, warm days, sandals, convertibles with the top down, blue skies, few clothes, late nights, laughter, whooshed through the open deck door, down the hall, and all around me.
Like my dog, I also closed my eyes and sighed.
There it was.
If you live in the heavy winter states, there is nothing more uplifting than the first day where you can open the windows and doors. Where you turn your furnace off and turn your face toward the natural heat of the sun. The canned air is chased out by the fresh air coming in. It’s fresh air that’s beyond a breath. It’s a new start. It’s the end of winter. Which has ended like the billion winters before it.
Even in the City. Even among faux tornado sirens, firetrucks, police cars, street cleaners, slamming bamming clanging banging trucks. Even among the dark web and strange skulking people who spend their lives trying to get what you have worked so hard for. Despite that, there is birdsong. And new, new air chasing the old out. There is closing your eyes and sighing.
And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.