Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Balance Sheet

Do you ever get the feeling sometimes that somewhere, there is a room full of accountants keeping a ledger or a balance sheet of your life?  And do you ever get the feeling sometimes that the debits far outweight the credits?  I have been feeling that way lately.  My mother once told me that she thought of me as a catalyst. "Cat·a·lyst: One that precipitates a process or event, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences."  How did I get to be that way?  I don't know, but I do know it is tiring.  I enjoy having fun in my life as much as anyone, but fun seems to be towards the bottom the credit column.  In fact, I would say I'm in the red.  I have never been the sort of person for whom other folks like to "do" things.  I am always the one who "does".  A few weeks ago a good friend of mine said to me, "If you ever want to go anywhere on the weekend, and you need a car, please let me know.  I know it's difficult to get around the Lower Mainland if you don't have a car, and I'm happy to help out."  I was in shock.  People just never make offers to me like that.  In fact, I would never feel comfortable accepting her offer, but it's sort of like the Oscars, you know?  It's wonderful just to be nominated.

How does one become an enjoyer of life?  I need some lessons.  What I would really like to do is to quit my job and spend a life of dissipation and debauchery.  Well, maybe not debauchery, but a little bit of dissipation would be nice.  I would love to spend every waking moment, just enjoying the pleasures the day had to offer.  A day at the spa?  Bring it on.  Win a lottery and spend six months on a tropical island?  I'm there.  Hire a housekeeper to vacuum and dust while I sip coffee?  *Deep sigh...*

A couple of days ago I was ~~ yet again ~~ kept awake all night by the noisy neighbours.  A developer by the name of Robert Helgason purchased the house next door and renovated it in 2004.  He split the house into three suites, and then lied to the City of Vancouver Planning department, saying that it was only two suites (a duplex), and thereby got away with renting it out.  It is in fact three suites, and nine very noisy people live there.  It is the bane of my existance.  It is the thing that tipped the balance sheet for me.  Can you see the bay window on the left behind the trellis?  That is my bedroom, and it is less than ten feet away from party central.  The City of Vancouver Planning Department is within walking distance of where I work, and I think I will pay them a visit.  I'm very resourceful, but I'm also sort of like The Incredible Hulk.  "Don't make me angry; you wouldn't like me when I'm angry..."

The balance sheet is long overdue for the credits and the debits of my life to be put into balance.  I'll never be a pampered princess, like one of the housewives of Beverly Hills/Spuzzum/Pouce Coup√©, but I'm ready for some fun.  I'm fairly low maintenance and it doesn't take much to make me happy.  However, right now my account is empty and I'm taking donations.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

You wrote this post for me, didn't you? We are definitely kindred spirits.

Now. You need to pay a visit to the Planning Department and inform them that Mr.Helgason in fact created three apartments in his house, and his tenants are the scourge of the neighborhood. Do it now. Today. Do not pass go. Do not collect $25. There is no reason to suffer silently when you can do something about this. And if they are unresponsive, write a letter to the local newspaper or TV station. Let people know. There will be consequences to him for flouting the law. It may take time, but someone will do something if you make enough noise. And your sanity requires it.

Jo said...

Susan ... LOL...!!! I have visited a very nice man called Dan at the City Planning Department. He has paid a visit to the house, and talked to the residents, and found out that indeed it is three suites, not two, and he is now contacting the owner. I explained to the Planning Department that I didn't care how many suites were in the house as long as the owner kept his tenants quiet. But since he has failed to do so after repeated requests, all bets are off. I am tough, I am resourceful, and I'm not a good person to make angry. *heh*

Paula Slade said...

Jo, you've got a good start on enjoying your life since you've gone to the Planning Department. Now, at least once a day, treat yourself to something fun! It can be as small as a half hour walk at twilight, a luscious pastry, a trip to the hairdresser, a bubble bath, or painting a new picture - anything at all as long as it's just for your personal enjoyment. :)

Jo said...

Paula, did you read my mind? *heh* I just made an appointment with my hairdresser. :-)

jennifer black said...

I could have written these sentences: "How does one become an enjoyer of life? I need some lessons."

When you find out, please let me know. I'll attend class with you.

Great post. Interestingly, I was thinking about this very thing with my own life last night.


Jo said...

Jennifer, I think this is a malady a lot of us suffer from, isn't it? We get so caught up in responsibilities, that we forget how to have fun. But fun is very important. :-)

VioletSky said...

I am glad you got some immediate reaction. So now, that bit of responsibility is done - go have fun. Maybe even have a raucous party at your house.

Jo said...

VioletSky...! What a fabulous idea. Yesss! A raucous party at my house. It's about time, and you're all invited. :-)

Paula said...

Oh, Jo, I feel your pain. It's been 33 years since we lived in a rented apartment, but I well remember the anger and frustration of living close to others when some of the "others" are rude and noisy. So often, the person who wants peace and quiet is seen as the bad guy.Even our first house was in a neighborhood where people were SO close together, and of course some of those people did not respect other peoples' property and did not know how to be quiet. Good for you for putting a stop to this. I hope it is being handled in a manner such that you cannot positively be identified as the complainant by the neighbors.

Being a very orderly, somewhat obsessive-compulsive sort, I've had to learn to enjoy life more. When you enter the realm of "a certain age" you realize it's time to quit worrying about all the shoulds, or what other people think you should be doing. You've earned the right to do as you please. I've eased up on myself, compared to the standards I held myself to for decades. Less perfectionism leaves more time for reading, art, watching the light change,listening to jazz, whatever makes life good for YOU!

Sextant said...

Jo, I sent you a message through blogger. Did you get it? I have no record of it, & have not had a lot of luck with blogger messaging.

Jo there are two types of people in the world the do-ers and the takers. You know which group you are in. But, none the less be kind to yourself.

I have some neighbors who think that loud mufflers are cool and that horns should be tooted any hour of the day. I like the old saying of go quietly through the world but carry a big stick.

Let me know if you got my message.

Jo said...

Paula, yes, I am slowly learning to put "me" first. Everyone else seems to do it, so why shouldn't I? *heh* I have lived in my place here for 14 years, and have put up with the noisy neighbours for seven years. Now I'm very happy to do something about it ~~ for me...! :-)

Sextant, no I didn't get your message. I didn't even know Blogger had a message capability. That's very strange... And, yes, I have neighbours who have car alarms ~~ day and night. But at least the alarms stop after a short while.

The next party they have next door, I am getting out my CDs of Scottish and Irish bagpipe music, and playing it full blast. :-)

JeannetteLS said...

I have a list I turned to sometimes:
1) smooth jazz a crystal liqueur glass of Chambourd (or pick a liqueuer)
2) A facial at my hairdresser's. That included soft music, soothing whatever on my face, and both hands in gloves with lotion, resting on heated river stones, followed by a heated stone massage on my face, neck, shoulders and arms. 1 hour of bliss.
3)Dancing in the most flowing skirt I own, IN THE DARK, to whatever music inspires me to simply dance and forget that I am over 50 and can't walk very well.
4)Going to a shelter and asking to hold and play with one of the shelter animals with FUR.
5)Singing and pretending I am a star
6)Going to a frou-frou (sp?) girlie restaurant with my best friend and playing "I am a lady." Trust me--I'm not so good at that.
7)Walking in an autumn woods, throwing a snowball or three, planting ANYTHING, or sitting by a waterfall in summer.
8)Going to a Chinese restaurant that has a lazy susan with five of my dearest friends, and sharing our meals.
9)Irritating the HE&& out of the old neighbors I had who submarined me out of teaching art out of my house... we all dressed up in flowing dresses and danced in a circle and sang at sunset. Just twenty minutes and not late. We were not loud, nor illegal. Just made them annoyed. Okay, I am evil. They got me mad.
10)Running away to one of three used bookstores I love--they have big chairs--and escaping into a travel coffee table book, or books on the African savannahs, or South American jungles and remembering how to pretend.

Those might not be helpful, but they shake me out of my routines and make me feel more exotic and far less, well, rigid.

Jo said...

Oh, Jeanette, I LOVE your list...! Thank you. I am going to make a point of doing every one of them. And, I am looking after my daughter's gorgeous little cat right now, and we have lots of furry cuddles, and she purrs and purrs. As Martha Stewart would say, that's a good thing. :-)

Rambling said...

You have my support too ... the rest of us have to follow the rules, and it's a developer's job to understand the rules. You are not being unreasonable.

Paula said...

Please keep us informed of the progress on this situation. It is so stressful when bad neighbors keep you from being able to relax in your home.

Jo said...

Navigating Northward, yes...! You are so right. We all have to follow the rules, and I am going to make sure the folks next door do the same.

Paula, I promise to keep everyone informed of my progress. :-)

Alicia said...

Jo...I've always believed that one should pamper oneself. You can't keep doing your job, being a good employee, a good neighbor, a good friend, and excellent blogger and never give anything back to yourself.

I find that if I go through my life being a good mom, a good daughter, sister, employee, friend, etc, etc I eventually start to dislike all the people in my life that I give to. That's when I realize that I have to give to myself.

It's not always some thing big, it can be as simple as a pair of really comfy socks or slippers, or maybe a piece of costume jewelry or a pair of shoes, sometimes a weekend getaway. But I have to pamper myself in order to not feel like I'm being taken advantage of. You need to give to yourself Jo. You are your own best friend! Good Luck!

Jo said...

Alicia, you are so right...! Yesterday I treated myself to a new haircut, and this weekend I am going shopping for clothes.

Let the pampering begin...! *heh*