How Equanimity Works

A lesson from my best worst day

sandy waiting

This is the true story of my best worst day.

It is a modern day version of the Chinese parable of the Old Man Who Lost his Horse.

If you’re not familiar with that story, check out the link at the bottom of the page for another example of how equanimity works.

My sweet girls

I had to leave my two sweet dogs in the care of someone else for several months.

It was heartbreaking.

When I got them back they had been neglected. Their fur was matted. They were infested with fleas.

herding dog sisters wisdom of dogs

Money was tight so a professional groomer was beyond my budget. That was fine with me. I considered this work a sort of penance for leaving them.

Grooming begins

After baths and meds, the slow and tedious work of grooming began. Combing. Snipping. Sometimes only a few strands of hair at a time. Removing the knotted fur, one matted clump at a time.

It consumed an entire weekend and was not nearly complete.

Monday Morning

I woke the next morning with crusty eyes and horrendous chest congestion. I called off work.

I needed meds for myself so I decided to go the drug store. While there, I decided I would buy an electric razor to speed up the grooming process.

I put on my jacket. I headed down the stairs. It was pretty windy. We were in the outer cone of probability for a hurricane later that week.

Oh no!

My sleeve kept brushing my arm in the wind. Then I realized the wind had stopped. And my sleeve was still moving. I ripped off my jacket to find a cockroach inside.

I shook out the jacket and did a little freak out dance.

Then I tried to calm myself. The electric transformer at the back of my yard exploded with loud bang and flying sparks.

Not calming, by the way.


I called the power company. They promised to come out within the hour.

I had to wait for them, so my trip to the store was cancelled.

I used the time to read more about dog grooming and learned that an electric razor was an awful idea for severe matting, especially in the hands of an amateur like me.

The power company came out and fixed the power. Hooray!

The hurricane took aim at us and sped up, so instead of going to the store for meds, I prepped for a hurricane. The storm hit that night.

dogs on the couch

My Beautiful Girls

A lot of bad things happened that day:

I got sick.

There was a roach in my jacket sleeve.

The power went out.

The storm hit sooner than expected.

Upside of Down = Equanimity

But those bad things had good effects:

If I hadn’t been sick, I would have gone to work leaving my already stressed dogs alone in the apartment with no air conditioning when the transformer blew.

If the roach hadn’t violated my space, I would have left for the store without researching the proper grooming equipment. I could have done more damage to my already traumatized dogs.

If my store trip hadn't been delayed, I would not have been home doing my freak out dance when the transformer blew. Being home at that moment meant I had power restored before the storm.

Last, the storm which thankfully did not knock out my power, did close my employer for several days. In those pre-work-from-home days, that gave me several uninterrupted days to groom and re-connect with my dogs.

my beautiful aging girls

Tala old herding dog2

Moral of the Story

Don't freak out. It might just be okay.  

I know, that's not very poetic. But that's how equanimity works.

Here's the promised link to the story of The Old Man Who Lost His Horse

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 © Copyright Suzanne Grosser