Saturday, September 17, 2011

Detached from the outcome.

Today I experienced a life lesson so valuable, I have to share. The insurance adjuster was coming to add up the damage from Irene. I had already been told that my biggest loss, a beautiful weeping cherry tree that bloomed every spring was not covered. “We don’t pay for trees,” they said. Let’s face it when insurance is involved we don’t just want to cover our loss, we want something extra.
In subsequent days I had the following thoughts: I’m not going to make my deductible and then I won’t get any money but my rates will still go up. The adjuster will find some awful thing wrong with the house that has nothing to do with Irene and they will drop me and I won’t get any money and also have no insurer and no weeping cherry tree. If I drop the claim and pay for the repairs myself, I will avoid both of the above.
I didn’t think these thoughts just once. In my adorable pathological way I thought all those thoughts several times a day. I called the catastrophe center (yes, that is what they called it) and told the man who answered that I was going to drop the claim. The man implored me not to do it. He looked over the damage listed and said “You’d be surprised how all of this adds up. Let the adjuster come.”

I was told to make a list of all the food I lost because of the power outage and it was an incriminating dossier on my eating habits: I eat enough cheese, butter, sour cream, Stouffer’s frozen lasagna, ice cream to put away The Hulk. Maybe Irene was my wake-up call to get off the highway of clogged arteries and onto the moving sidewalk of green leafy vegetables.

The night before the adjuster’s visit, I matured emotionally about twenty years and had this thought: Why don’t you let go of the whole incident and let what happens happen. Instead of orchestrating what might happen, let go and be satisfied with the outcome, whatever it is. This was so simple a solution, I almost fell down because I finally relaxed all of my muscles. In the morning, I made my bed, cleaned the bathroom, straightened up the kitchen, took a shower and went to do some work at my computer.

When the adjuster arrived, I offered him water and use of the bathroom. He accepted both gratefully. After that, I left him alone to do whatever he had to do and did my work. He was gone for about forty-five minutes. I was so detached from the outcome, I didn’t even ask any questions when he came to say good-bye. He told me I would hear from him in a few days and added this: “I think you’ll be happy you didn’t withdraw the claim.” I have no idea what that means but it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I learned something I can use. If you detach from the outcome, life sorts itself out in the best possible way.


  1. Oooh! Maybe he decided you need shiny new gutters with leaf guards!

  2. Yep, I think he might have that in mind. We will see.