Instant karma is a thing and I got smacked down once again

I have moved. I am still surrounded by boxes. I am learning how to live with another person. It’s hard.

I’m not making excuses for my bad behavior. I behaved badly and I own it. I’ll just tell it.

[I’m tossing in a couple of photos of my beautiful new environment; they have nothing to do with the story, but hey, I’d love to share the beauty with you too.]

Visuals and vibe

There’s a backstory; this has happened more than once. Twenty-ish years ago and then again on the day after my big move, I sank into the arms of my old friends enemies entitlement and deprivation and took something that wasn’t mine, or tried to get over on someone who was helping me (same crap, slightly different actions).

As my friend Andrew said when I told him these stories, some behavior is just baked into us. And in moments of forgetfulness, we just go to what we know. I’m embarrassed. I’m flawed. I’m learning.

Story #1 — 1995-ish

I took a road trip to Wilbur Hot Springs and then Mendocino.

Got to Wilbur and realized I forgot my flipflops. Asked if they had any spares at the desk. “Of course; check out the lost and found box. If you find some, please make sure to return them when you leave.” I agree — “Of course I will!”

When I left three days later to drive to Mendo, I decided I really needed those flipflops. Must have them. So I wore them and drove away. On Wilbur Road, about a mile from the hot springs, I decided to change into my brand-new $200 (in 1995 dollars) Havana Joe boots. Stopped the car, looked in the backseat where I had tossed the boots, and I only had one boot.

I arrived in Mendocino with a pair of $3 flipflops (which weren’t mine) and only one of my Havana Joes.

I met someone who was on her way to Wilbur at a 12-step meeting (where I told my sad tale). I handed her the flipflops and asked her to please return them, to take them back before I got any more smackdowns from the universe. I took someone else’s advice and called Wilbur to see if anyone found my boot. The gal at the desk said “Oh yeah, I’ve been driving by a single boot. Call me tomorrow; I’ll see if I can find it.” When I called the next day she told me the boot was no longer visible on the road.

Instant karma.

quieter sounds

Story #2 — moving day and the day after

The movers made a lot of mistakes when they packed the truck — they damaged a mirror, two lamps, my keyboard tray, and my dining table.

They were awesome. The operations manager and repair guy came the next day and promised to take all the broken stuff away, fix or replace all damage, and bring everything back to me all better. They even adjusted the amount due back to the original estimate even though the foreman wanted $300 more the day before. They want me to be satisfied; they want to retain their 5-star Yelp rating and they will.

But I couldn’t resist. Uh-uh, not me. There was an opportunity to try to get over and I took it!

I took them over to a box that was labeled Lampshades — Fragile — Do Not Stack (which means don’t put anything on top). I had left it sealed. My words: “Your movers stacked this on the truck and then stacked it here in the garage (this was true). It has lampshades. Let’s make sure nothing is damaged in here, okay?”

I said this knowing full well that I had a broken glass shade in the box. When they pulled it out and asked me if it had been broken before, I told a big fat lie. “Nope. Never broken.” They took that with them to replace as well.

After they’d gone, I took the other smaller unbroken glass shade that goes with that lamp and attempted to screw it in place. I screwed it in upside down and broke the lamp.

Called them up and told them there’s no need to replace the shade.

Instant karma, yo.

Where do you end up when your out of balance?

What not-so-loving behaviors seep through? What’s baked, or hard-wired, into your brain and psyche?

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has had episodes like this. I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Blessed be!

Take a deeper dive — more articles like this one...

Do you see obstacles to your happiness? Who put them there?

What obstacles do you put between yourself and your happiness?

Sometimes Mercury retrograde can be merciless


Farewell 2015, an obituary


The gifts in the silence


What needs a little love and attention? Start with your chakras.


Sharing birthday and Day of the Dead happiness — a gift for you!



I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Sue, you inspire me with this combination of transparency, humility and wit… you really are a great story teller, and your willingness to own the places where you f*@Ck up, in big or small ways (and surely these are small) might just be your greatest strength.

    Thanks for this offering that I hope we can all learn from.

    Today I’m wishing you a heart full of natural Gratitude for what is rightfully yours, and for the gifts life brings you.

    Love Yollana

  2. Sue, I love your courage in telling your story. We all have moments that we cringe about. Thankfully by the grace of the Divine, we can forgive ourselves and choose differently in the present moment. Hugs! xx

    • Lisa, yup, those cringe-worthy moments. I’m just glad I’m at a place in my life and work where I can’t tolerate hanging out in that mindset for long.

      Thanks for the hug!


  3. Sue, you wove this story beautifully. Love the transparency and humor. It has happened to me. Figured nobody will know if I tell a small lie, lo and behold it comes back again. Sending you hugs

    • Tricia,

      Lo and behold is right. I love seeing myself, with acceptance, and that “oh no not again!” recognition.

      Thanks for shining your take on this my way.

      Love and light,

  4. Sue, oh my… I actually had to laugh but it wasn’t really funny I guess. Quick story, years ago… accident happened in front of where I worked. A car jumped the curb and hit a bunch of other cars in the parking lot. A friend had a VW Bug in the parking lot that had dents ALL over it. The police asked him if it had been hit or if it always looked like that. After he said yes it must have been hit, the policeman scratched his head and said he couldn’t figure out how it got hit way over there. My friend shrugged his shoulders and said… well.. you can’t blame me for trying! I think of that moment often. Not that I am perfect, but I sure do try to keep the karma boomerang effect down to a minimum. Because it sure does suck. Hope the new place grows on you and you feel at home soon enough. Photos are beautiful!

  5. I love your honesty, Sue. Just realizing you have a tendency to this kind of action will make you stop next time – obviously the Universe wants you to heal whatever wounds have caused you to want to take advantage in this way cuz you’re not getting away with it 😉 My recent one was getting really angry over a comment in an email that in retrospect I’m sure was an innocent remark. When I really examined my reaction I realized how the comment triggered something deep seated from childhood. Once I ‘got it’ I didn’t feel angry about the email anymore. We got this, Sue – hang in there! Hugs, Sara

  6. Sue I just don’t know what to say. If lived nearby I would come over with a special cake and make a pot of tea and sit with you to help you clear this negative energy that you are allowing to envelop you. You said it in the top of the post! From afar I am sending you positive love and healing hugs, you can break free big love and hugs Suzie xxoo

    • Suzie, thanks. I’d love some special cake and tea!

      I’m okay; don’t worry. I am luckily not stuck and also luckily I am noticing when I lose my balance — this has been quite a journey and I’m hitting my bumps, that’s for sure.

      Thanks for the love.


  7. Your post makes me wonder, “Where is my instant Karma showing up today?” There’s no hiding, is there?
    Hope things are working out with the roomie!


    • Hey Josephine, I’m so happy to see you here; welcome!

      I keep thinking of you and your gentle eye-roll when I said something about the adjustment period. I think at this juncture that the adjustment period may never never end.


      Love and light,

  8. Lessons are all around us, but often we don’t see them or notice. You are open to the spirit’s guidance or you would not have learned from these experiences. You are special!

  9. This was one of my favourite posts of yours, Sue. I love the honesty of it…and your openness in sharing your human-ness with others.

    So easy–for me at least!–to retreat into patterns we don’t like but which are very comfortable in their familiarity…when our world is somehow out of whack. But the seeing and naming of that retreat to the familiar is a major shift in and of itself. And causes things to change…maybe not straight away, but slowly, slowly…

    • Dana, thanks, your input means the world to me. And you are absolutely right, slowly slowly slowly!

      Love and light,

  10. Wow I am thoroughly impressed by your courage to share your stories Sue! I gave up confession when I left the Catholic church, and in fact that influence had a lot to do with me growing up Miss Goodie-2-Shoes. But I digress, while I am no longer religious or even spiritual for that matter, gotta admit that I do believe in karma so I can absolutely relate to your post!

    • Marquita, thanks. I get my courage from the amazing examples I see around me, including yours. So… back at’cha.

      Love and gratitude,

  11. You gotta love it (even when you don’t). The Universe is so awesome at supporting us to stay on track. We just have to follow the signals and try to get the right message. Thanks for a truly authentic story!

    • Kailean, I love the way you framed this. One of my favorite 12-step sayings is “What you resist persists.” The magic formula that reduces suffering for me to is follow the signals more, and resist less. I’m so relieved and grateful, phew!

      Blessed be.

  12. Sue, I have had karma bite me in the butt more than once in my lifetime. Each time it is the Universe reminding me to be a better person AND to to live as a caring human. Thx for the reminder!

Chime in!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *