Thursday, 19 April 2007

YesBut was it worth it?

A neighbour’s last ten years has been particularly stressful, including litigation and court cases as she fought what she considered exorbitant charges claimed by her landlord. Last month she had a stroke which has left her paralysed and speechless - there is no hope of recovery, she has now been transferred to a nursing home. Undoubtedly the stress had a detrimental effect on her health. While others shrugged their shoulders and paid up, it was her nature to fight. I am left wondering was it all worth it?

We get caught up in events, which at the time we consider so important. If my neighbour knew that in ten years time she would be lying in a bed helpless, would she have put herself in such a stressful situation.

Some years ago there was a photographic exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, on the topic gardeners and gardening.

One of the photographs was of the aptly named gardener, Alan Bloom, underneath was a quote:

“I have reached an age at which peace of mind and harmony are the most precious of all life’s blessings”

I copied it into my little book of sayings, which I periodically take out to contemplate.


Jenera Healy said...

This definitely makes you think. At times I will fight for things that may seem so insignificant in the grand scheme of things but it's all the prinicipal of the matter. This story though should definitely remind us to let the small(er) things just slide to stay sane.

A Day In The Life

YesBut said...

Hi Jenera
I guess the secret is being able to step back and be able to judge what is really important.

david mcmahon said...

G'day G&F

Perfect perspective. Well put.


Bob T Bear's MUM said...

Yup, that's a good one to contemplate.

My home was repossessed years ago by the Halifax. They then left it empty for a year and a half, whilst still adding more mortgage debt to my account each month, even though I was no longer there. When they eventualy sold it, they did so at auction to a builder for under £10,000. By this time it was worth nearer £60,000.

This did not, of course, pay off the mortgage debt.

When I bought the house in 1987 I had to pay a few hundred pounds in insurance premium to protect THEM from just such a shortfall.

I don't know what happened to this insurance, but for the last few years they keep chasing me for the shortfall, some £35,000.

I don't owe this to them, for lots of reasons, one of them being that the 12 year limit on how long they are entitled to anything has past. But then there is also the fact that they abandoned the property for so long, sold under value at auction, and what has happened to the insurance?

Each year they get a different debt collector to threaten me, and a different solicitor to chase me.

My solicitor writes with all the arguments. They say "OK we'll close the file." and go away.

Then, a year later, they start from scratch, with another debt collector and another solicitor.

I am off work with mental health problems. They know this. I have no asets at all. They know this too.

I'm told that they do this on purpose in the hope that the stress will make people cave in and pay them something to go away.

Last week it started again.

I consider this to be harrassment, but there is nothing I can do. If I ignore the letters I'll end up arguing in court, which would be even worse for me.

So I can understand why the woman in your story fought: I refuse to buckle under to them on principle- I don't owe them anything.

But I can relate to how stressful it is. It makes me very angry, and that is most stressful of all.

Meanwhile the Halifax wastes its customers' money chasing people like me, and making stupid, annoying adverts with ****wits doing stupid dance routines....