Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thank you Sandy, For Making Me Thankful

So most of you readers and fellow bloggers may have been following the news and the progress of Hurricane Sandy, which has blown through the east coast in quite the fury. I was a victim of her progress, but luckily, I was fortunate. We only lost power here for about a day or so. While at first it was exciting, I quickly realized how much we rely on electricity for everything- lights, heat, entertainment. It begs the question, what did we ever do before the invention of electricity, cable, internet, Netflix? 
We attempted to play Monopoly, but I had to give up after a half hour because my eyes were straining so much in the candlelight. I guess I wouldn't have made a good pioneer. During the daylight, I actually began to enjoy it (only a tiny bit). I had no distractions to give me excuses not to journal or read my book. I had a whole day stretched in front of me of nothingness. With my phone battery slowly draining, I took in my settings and got to it. I cleaned the entire apartment, washing dishes in cold water, sweeping the dusty floor. We had a little reserve hot water in the sink so I filled up a couple buckets of that and washed my hair. I was actually quite proud of myself for that one, especially since I was dreading taking cold showers. Thank goodness we have town water, so at least that is one thing the storm didn't take. 
Watching the news, all you see are pictures upon pictures of streets completely flooded, trees that ripped through homes, people who were killed. I think of how extremely lucky I am that my biggest woe was lighting a candle instead of flipping a switch. I find that death and natural disasters always seem to put things into perspective and show people, or at least me, what is really important. As we spent the first hours without power with our neighbors drinking beer and watching the storm, I realized this is really all I need- good friends, laughter, and love. All the rest is just excess. I mean, of course we need to pay bills, drive cars, go to work, but when all of that is taken away temporarily, what are we left with? The people who surround us, the entertainment we make for ourselves, the love and friendship we share with others. 
So my advice for today is when you're feeling down or overwhelmed by everything in life, think about what it is you really need. Think about life being about the bare necessities, think about all the excess being taken away, and what are you left with? Those people or those things or those activities that lie very near to your heart are the ones on which you should focus all your time. Electricity flickers, cable may go out, hot showers may no longer be a possibility, but does it matter? Surround yourselves with things that matter and daily life will prove a whole lot sweeter and a lot less complicated.

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