Sunday, October 16, 2016

This (storm) too shall pass…be prepared but positive.

It’s funny how Mother Nature can teach you a lesson without even trying.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the bulk of the western side of Washington was preparing for the worst…a storm of “epic” proportions, to quite possibly match that of a storm that occurred even before I was born.

Going to the store for a plain ‘ole gallon of milk became a chore, as shoppers had to swim against the horde of frenzied consumers who thought they needed enough food and water in light of the possibility that they might be stuck in their houses for…I honestly don’t know how long people thought we’d be buried under wires and trees.

If the storm were as bad as they thought it might be, we knew we’d possibly be without power for 2-3 days or maybe even a week.  It’s happened before at least a handful of times over the course of at least two decades.  Because of where I live, in a remote, rural area in a small town, we are usually the last on the list when it comes to how soon we might finally get to see those heroes we call linemen.

The predictions of weather forecasters gave us a good scare as they portrayed Mother Nature in a diabolical way and warned how much we may be assaulted by her.  So everyone hunkered down, waiting out the storm, hoping it would just pass on by.

For us, it did just that.  We were pelted with some heavy wind for a short bit, and a whole lot of rain, but hey…we live in Washington so it’s to be expected.  There are some who weren’t so lucky but we did not lose power or a single tree and we had removed danger trees away from our house years ago, for fear of what might happen if we didn’t.  But I had prepared myself for the likelihood that it might be worse than when we were suddenly, and without much warning as I recall, hit by a storm on my oldest son’s birthday almost five years ago – the amount of trees we lost during that unexpected storm was a sight to behold.

January 2012, what was left after a storm of "epic" proportions
We tried to stay positive, but it’s always good to be prepared.  We had hoped for the best, but we braced for the worst.

There is something to be learned from Mother Nature – maybe she is like any woman who doesn’t like being told what she’s going to do and she’ll go about doing just the opposite.  Maybe, but it’s also how we can all go about living our lives with optimism, courage and confidence, even in light of the possibility that epic storms may occur.  It never hurts to be prepared…that’s a given, but I let the words and predictions of others keep me in a state of mind that left me anxious.  I’m mad at myself for watching the news as much as I did while they kept going on and on about the epic storm we might be up against – those are wasted minutes I can never get back.  We can all act like Chicken Little and claim the sky is falling, but why live in a constant state of panic and pessimism?  If you’re familiar with the fable, not the Disney version, you know most versions of the story don’t commonly end well.  Besides, if the sky were to actually fall, all the time we spent fearing the worst takes away from time better spent in the present. 

This may be well beyond what you got out of this storm or any other, but for me, it just reminds me that we should all do our best to make a habit of being optimistic and expect the best, while remaining confident that if the worst actually happens, we’ll have enough courage in order to handle it.  

Have a great week!

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