I could be wrong, but I’ve never bought into the notion of predestination – that the cosmic fix is in, and our ultimate fate is set by forces beyond our control.
By the same token, I don’t subscribe to the idea of karma – the Hindu-Buddhist belief that what we sow in one lifetime determines what we will reap in the next.
But I’m not foolish enough to spurn Newton’s Third Law of Motion, the one about every action having an equal and opposite reaction. Old Ike Newton was one seriously smart cookie, even after getting bonked on the head by a falling apple.
With the exception of the rare miscreant whose bad deeds go unrecorded or unpunished, I’m comfortable with the concept that there are consequences to our actions. How else can we teach our children to make sensible choices?
No matter how you wish to phrase it – “act in haste, repent in leisure” or “what goes around comes around” – the piper will eventually show up to demand payment.
My wallet is considerably lighter this week because of one such lesson.
No, I didn’t have to pay a huge fine for driving while stupid, or settle a fat defamation suit for accusing some (alleged) blithering idiot of being a blithering idiot without being able to prove it.
It all came down to my habitual indulgence in the Eighth Deadly Sin: woolly mindedness.
Throw in a propensity for procrastination, the attention span of a gnat and a near-narcoleptic ability to fall asleep at the drop of an eyelid, and the seeds of my comeuppance quickly hit fertile ground.
Let me back up a bit. Ever since high school, I’ve had a habit of pulling all-nighters at least once a week. I try to justify it by proclaiming that a properly-engineered machine shouldn’t need to stand idle for one-third of its existence.
The reality is more mundane. It’s usually because I’ve allowed myself to be swept up in a book (possibly a Facebook), or because I’ve left some project to the last minute, when only a full-court press will save the day.
Skip ahead to my wife’s saucepans. Yes, the ones she’s had since her first wedding nearly 30 years ago.
Lovely pots they were. At least, until each of them got scorched beyond redemption in separate recent incidents while she was out of town. Don’t ask me how; I wasn’t paying attention.
Perhaps I was busy writing, with all my inconvenient senses turned to “Do Not Disturb”. Perhaps I nodded off momentarily.
Fortunately, the only consequence I faced for my negligence was monetary.
On the plus side, the new pots are even lovelier. And shinier. With nice, thick, high-tech bottoms that might withstand a bit of neglect more sturdily.