I pride myself on being positive. And when I wake up in the morning, I'm usually so happy to start my day. Yesterday, though, well, yesterday was not one of my finest.
Like any working mom, finding the balance between my clients, writing and kids is a constant juggle, but I love my job and the freedom it gives me to help out at my kids' school and be involved in my community. I love that I get to do what I've wanted to my whole life. But sometimes, life's annoyances get in the way, and I trip. No, actually, I fall on my face.
Our basement has had a flooding issue for a while. We use a handy shop vac, blast the wet spots with a giant fan and hope that every time it rains or snows that our cluttered, full-of-junk storage room won't rise with water we can swim in. This year, Toronto has had an unprecedented amount of precipitation and it has decided to make a home with us.
As I was shutting down from work and getting ready to run to the school for my weekly volunteer stint, I noticed that the water was pouring in. What do they say about best laid plans? They suck. As I bent down to angle our trusty fan before I left the house, I heard a pop and saw flames shooting out of where I didn't think flames should be. Panic and fear set in, and shaking, I raced to the phone to call 911. Then I stopped. And called my husband.
After he calmed me down, he told me what to do and left work immediately to make sure our house wasn't going to explode. Looking at the ticking clock and knowing I had to be at the school in minutes, I cut the power and got ready to go. What happened next? In my sweaty panic, I managed to lose the keys I'd been holding only seconds before and after twenty minutes of searching shoes and my own body, I knew that I wasn't going to find them anytime soon.
Cue husband running in the door, key trading-off and racing to the school to profusely apologize to the vice principal and my children, for scaring the hell out of them when I didn't show up. If I could have called to let someone know what was going on, I would have. Alas, the school was closed.
It would be wonderful if the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day got better from there. In some ways, it did. In my arms, I had my kids, who just rolled their eyes when I told them I'd lost my keys (this wasn't the first time), the flames were, in fact, the pilot light turning on (note to self: learn a little bit about how my house works), and the basement, though not fixed, was going to be shop vacced and fanned any minute.
Yet, just as I had gotten my kids into bed and sat on the couch to watch TV and read, sighing a huge, "Ahhhh," the power went out. Ah yes, it was #darkTO all over again, and huge swaths of Toronto, including my entire neighborhood, had lost power for an unforeseeable amount of time. Really?
I had to laugh. Maybe it was hysteria, but I laughed until I cried. And I did the only thing I could. I lit some candles, curled up on the couch and turned on my e-reader.
If this had happened to one of my characters, I fear that it would seem implausible. Life is truly stranger than fiction. Really, though, I've got it good. The basement is still wet, but the power is back, it's a new day, and the sun is shining. And I'm off to google how things in my house work.