Winter in Canada is a never truly over. It’s never predictable and it can’t be planned for with any degree of accuracy.
Observe the stages of winter:
You think it’s over, right? How could there possibly be anymore effing winter? But there’s more.
And then it’s May, right? All the crappy weather should be over by now.
Winter in Canada is like life. Just when you think it’s clear skies and sunshine for the next few months, that’s when there is one more snowstorm. Then you have to pull out the winter parka, the scarves, and the mittens from where you so hopefully packed them away and you just deal with it until the snow melts again. Because that’s what you do when you have a freakish twelve inches of snow in the middle of June, or July, or whenever. You deal with it. It’s not like rebelling against the weather by wearing a mini skirt in a blizzard will result in anything other than frostbite.
Life is like that too, isn’t it? Sometimes you’re going along after some stuff has happened and you’re thinking you’re due for some clear skies and sunshine. Life owes you some clear skies and sunshine damn it! Nothing good happens for awhile and it’s only fair that something good happens now, right? Like here, here, or here. Weirdly, it’s not the way it works. A couple weeks ago, we had some heavy rains and our roof sprung a leak. Well, several leaks actually. It turns out that when our house was built six years ago, the builder put the roof on first. Then the other trades came along and punched a bunch of holes in the roof to finish the house without sealing anything up afterwards. We had a beautiful thirty year roof with purposely-drilled punctures all through it. Insurance won’t cover it because it’s human error so we’re left with covering the expenses ourselves.
We did our due diligence and hired an inspector before we bought the house two years ago – he okay’ed everything. We bought a house that wasn’t too new or too old – there shouldn’t have be any big repairs for at least five years. I knew that our hot water tank would need to be replaced in four or five years; I asked questions about the slope of our lot so we wouldn’t be flooded; and I researched and spent an hour on the phone crafting the perfect home insurance policy. It shouldn’t have happened. But it didn’t matter. It wasn’t enough. No degree of planning and no amount of crisis management can account for every eventuality.
At the end of the day, there was nothing we could have done differently. It was just something that happened that was out of our control. We’ve had a very eventful couple of years that have cost us many thousands of dollars, some of that went towards the down payment for the house but most was the result of an unfortunate series of events. And no, we couldn’t have controlled for them. They just happened. We’ve just finished cashing in all the investments so that we could to pay for all the repairs on the house. We had plans this year. We cancelled our trips for the year and we’ll have to cut costs to be able to recoup our losses and rebuild our savings. I think the worst was disappointing my daughter with all the things we can’t do this year.
But then I thought about it. Sometimes shit happens. Sometimes shit happens a lot. I could take this opportunity to wallow in some well-earned “poor me” time. Who would blame me? There are a lot of people that have it worse, for sure, but my recent string of bad luck has definitely landed me VIP passes to the ever-so-exclusive pity party. Or maybe no so exclusive – we’ve all been there at some point.
In the end, it’s not about always being able to do what you want. It’s about doing what you can. If I can’t afford all the lovely trips that we planned, maybe we plan different trips. It’s about resourcefulness. Thus leading to:
When you can’t do it the way you want, do something else and make it better. It’s about opening a window when the door closes. Maybe we couldn’t do everything we wanted to do but we can still have a great summer. It’s about finding fun and free (or almost free) things to do on the weekends. We’ll plan hikes, go swimming at the reservoir; and have bonfires in the backyard. We’ll invite friends over for a barbeque and go out for ice cream; we’ll have fun and make it work.
As far as the money goes, we’ll have to figure it out. We were fortunate to have the resources to pay for the repairs but I don’t know how we’re going to pay for the next emergency. All our “rainy day” money is gone now and we’re going to have to replenish it with something. I don’t know how yet but we’ll figure it out. There might be a snow storm outside but I’ve got my happiest rainbow scarf on. Sometimes that’s enough.