I usually try to look at the part I'm playing when there's a conflict. In this case, it occurred to me that the tenant reminded me of my own fear of being a bag lady. To me that meant poverty and homelessless, and it led me to minimize risks in my life whenever possible. These days I'm pretty sure I'll be okay, so I'm willing to be a little more of a risk taker.
The tenant is a free spirit about my age, widely traveled, a teacher and actress who likes to live without being tied down. Living in various places and picking up jobs catch as catch can appears to appeal to her. But it's risky. If she gets evicted by a person like me, she may have to leave the house with the last of her belongings in a plastic sack. A bag lady of sorts.
We met on a website for travelers who provide free lodging for each other. She had cared for house and cat a couple of times before. We'd made arrangements for her to stay with our cat in January when we'll be in Arizona. But I considered the omissions and decided to ask a friend to stay at our house. I let the former tenant know with a couple of weeks' notice. She was surprised and angry in an email to me, and she posted a negative reference on my page on the travelers' website. It took a couple of days for me to respond in a neutral way, being as factual as I could. But that reference remains, with a neutral rather than a negative rating, on both our profile pages.
Now I'm looking at accountability. A good friend tells me to let it go and move on, that not everyone is going to like me. And I am doing that. Still, I feel a bit victimized, my reputation besmirched by someone who's angry with me. On the other hand, when you belong to a travelers' website that offers free lodging, you take a risk. Or when you state your mind and hold others accountable.
I took that risk, didn't I? And now I'm moving on.