Although it is defined as “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences”, most of us think of karma in terms of how we look forward to it holding another person responsible for some serious misdeed. When someone has acted harshly towards us and we aren’t able to exact our own revenge, we look to karma to take the onus to make sure that person is punished. Sadly, we most often don’t see with our own eyes that karma has done her job, we don’t have the pleasure of watching punishment of that person.

I’ve never seen karma in action, so I have no way of proving that it exists – or doesn’t exist, for that matter. I tend to use the word karma as a way of trying to give calm to another person when someone has brutally hurt him/her in an unnecessary fashion. But recently, I have needed to use karma as a way to try and soothe my own being. Long story short, the woman who was my father’s wife at the time of his death, because she was named in his will as “personal representative” to handle his estate, has ignored the other parts of his will which state that she is to receive nothing, and all of his assets should be distributed between all of his living children. In the state of Florida, probate of a will is not necessary, so the will has never been probated, meaning she’s never been forced to process the estate according to the instructions in his will.

The legal costs to fight this are impossible without putting one or both of his living children into serious debt.

I could write paragraphs and paragraphs and even more paragraphs about this woman and her actions, but that’s not my point. After spending several thousand dollars to a law firm to find out that the apparent steps to get his will validated will easily cost more than we have to spend, we’re starting to say we need to let this go and let KARMA take over. And while I want to believe that will happen, I have no true proof that it will. The money is certainly part of the issue, but for me, the number one reason I am upset over this happening is because it disrespects my father’s wishes, therefore disrespecting him.

And the icing on the cake? When her husband of many years passed away, she was set up financially for the rest of her life. In other words, she didn’t need the money because she had plenty of her own. In fact, from conversations with our father, I know that his intent not to leave her anything was because they had both agreed to do the same in their respective wills, since the remaining spouse would not need anything from the estate of the other.

So that’s going on, and has been for several months, and it’s been a constant stressor in my life.

However, my loyal readers will also know that I’d been dealing with a lot of stress, at the same time, over my car dying and the fiasco of buying a replacement vehicle. And it wasn’t but a month ago that I’d blogged that I’d finally gotten a vehicle. I remain overwhelmed by the number of buttons on the dash, as well as having buttons on the steering wheel for the first time in my life, but since I use it for errands – grocery shopping, doctor visits, nail and hair appointments – all within less than 2 miles away, I’m probably not going to use those buttons anyhow.

I was relieved when that stress was over! So, I took the car to be inspected, because the inspection was due by the end of May and since we can have our cars inspected up to three months earlier than the due date, I’ve always scheduled it for March, both to get it done and off the list of things I need to do and also, just in case something needed repaired/replaced, so I had time to have that done.

Well, surprise. In fact, double whammy! The check engine light came on after owning the vehicle for an entire 10 days. Fortunately, it came on during my drive home from the grocery store (a mile drive) and my appointment for inspection was the next week (a mile drive) and I didn’t need to go anywhere in between. The check engine light came on because the catalytic converter was performing at a much lower capacity than is normal, meaning that the air in my exhaust was dirtier than recommended. In this part of PA, we are required to have an emissions test done to make sure we aren’t contributing to the bad air quality we have. The car was previously located in an area that didn’t require the emissions test.

It appeared in the car history, according to my mechanic, that the light had come on for the same reason several times before, but because it doesn’t affect the use of the vehicle and the car wasn’t required to have an emissions test, a mechanic would just turn the light back off whenever it came on.

Welcome back, stress! The warranty I got, because it was a used vehicle, only covered the drivetrain, the motor, the transmission and the powertrain. The cost of the catalytic converter part was on my shoulders. The cost of the part was just over $900. The 2+ hours of labor to replace it was $190.

All of this crap that’s been happening to me, at least one crappy thing going on all the time for the last 6 months, got me thinking about the idea that karma has come to visit me, and this is the revenge it is seeking. I’ve been looking back through my memories to see if there was something so horrible that I did to someone worthy of bringing karma – and what feels like an overload of karma – upon myself. Yes, I’ve hurt some people in my 65 years of life, 99.9% of the time unintentional, and I’ve been quick to own up to what I’d done and apologized during the 0.1% that I did knowing I was doing it. But, even in that 0.1%, I’m certain that it was something I said to someone and nothing I said that caused permanent and lifelong harm.

I’m unsettled about all of this suddenly. Is this karma? If it is, how I wish I could learn what I’d done to deserve it and have the opportunity to make amends, not to avoid the karma but because it makes my heart hurt to think that I’ve hurt someone so terribly to deserve it in the first place.

I know some people would be quick to tell me that “God doesn’t give you any more than He knows you can handle.” I know I’ve certainly used those words to offer some encouragement. And I know that all of this stress is nothing compared to the people of Ukraine trying to get out of the country, in fear of their lives! I even know that the chances are that I will – eventually – get through all of this. But knowing that doesn’t make me feel better in these moments. To be honest, I feel like my spirit has been whipped long and hard enough to be close to breaking. I need a reprieve. More than that, I need something to go right for a change so that it will put some plaster over the cracks in my spirit.

I like when Karma does its work to punish other people whom I know have done some horrific things (Putin comes to mind), but I don’t like it so much when it’s my turn to receive it!

Message received. Now, please go away!


Yep, triggers. We’ve all got them – those things that you see or hear that make you roll your eyes, shake your head in disdain, maybe get a little angry. As a voluntary member of both the grammar and punctuation ‘police’, I get triggered – a lot! Fortunately, those errors are so common nowadays that they do little more than make me roll my eyes or shake my head.

But there are a few things that tend to raise my emotions to include a bit of anger. I thought I’d share a few of mine with you, and encourage you to share yours with me.

Okay, I am seriously triggered by shopping carts left in store parking lots. I’m even more seriously triggered when they are left in parking spaces that prohibit a vehicle from using those spaces. Seriously, are people so lazy that they can walk from the parking lot to the store, stroll around the store, steer their cart full of assorted purchases to their car, unload them into the car, but don’t have the energy to return the empty cart to a cart bin or the front of the store? And, as much as I hate to say this, shoppers with handicapped placards are sometimes the worst! Listen, I’ve got one of those placards. I try not to use it unless it is pouring down rain or the only empty parking place besides a handicapped space seems like it’s in Timbucktoo. I have some hip issues that sometimes make it painful to walk, as well as times that it causes me a sense of imbalance. But the same idea applies – a handicapped person is obviously capable of walking into the store, shopping the store, exiting to the parking lot and unloading into their cars. Many folks will agree with this trigger because of the damage a loose cart ramming into a parked car can create. Me, I just think it is incredibly rude as well as lazy.

I cringe whenever I hear the word “axe” used incorrectly. We all know what an axe is, right? That tool that is used primarily to cut down trees or cut lumber into smaller pieces. So why do some people always want to “axe” me a question? Granted, this misuse is prominent in some cultures more than others. But it tends to irritate me and make me want to stop what I’m doing and give the person a lesson in pronunciation.

Drama queens and attention seeking posts on social media make me crazy. And although I’m sure there is a drama king or two out there, this is primarily done by females. Okay, I get it – your significant other cheated on you. Yes, it hurts like hell and makes you question what you lack to keep him (or her) from needing to cheat. And yes, you have every right to express your anger in an appropriate way. But when I see, for the fifth or sixth time, what an a**hole he is followed by how much you love him and want him back, well, that’s on you. I mean, if you want to be with an a**hole for the rest of your life, then face what the consequences of that choice will be and accept that you have no right to be angry, since it IS a choice. Oh, and then there are the posts that say something like, “I’m totally pissed off right now!” That’s it – that is the sum of the post. There is no reason why or tale of what happened. It’s so obvious to me that these people are craving attention from their social media ‘friends’ and so they create a reason to get them to rally ’round and show they care.

People who make judgements without knowing all the facts trigger me. I explained why that’s a bad idea in my blog article, “Is it what it is?” We tend to do that a lot as we see other people living out their lives as they choose. I tend, for example, to get a little testy in a restaurant when children nearby are behaving poorly and/or loudly and their parents (guardians) are ignoring it. On a deeper level, if we take the time to think about it, bad behavior is often a child’s way to get attention, probably much-needed attention, from the adults. Maybe the adults are just dog-tired after a long day and don’t have the energy to deal with the kids at the moment. Maybe their house was just destroyed by a fire and they are living out of a hotel, so eating out as a family is the only option to getting their kids fed. Probably not, but wouldn’t knowing those circumstances change our sense of judgement?

Traffic swervers and tailgaters make me vent my anger out loud (in the safety of my car, of course!). And I’ll admit that I do, on occasion, get spiteful with a tailgater by speeding up to pass the vehicle on my right before he/she can get in front of me, then deliberately slowing down while I pass that vehicle, forcing the tailgater to slow down. Swervers – people who jut in and out of lanes just to get one car length further ahead – make me nervous. A traffic accident caused by this action is going to not only slow down that driver, but the rest of us as well! How rude!

I’m sure I could keep going on this list, and as times change, new triggers could be added. I’ve got teeth marks on my tongue from the many times I’ve had to bite it to keep from saying something mean-spirited. It’s hard work remembering that everyone has a right to be who they are and act as they please and I have to also look at the situation and tell myself that, unless it could cause harm to themselves or others, it’s really none of my business.

So tell me – what triggers you and how do you handle it?