Abiding the storms

We are expecting a heavy storm, Sandy, which is even now hitting New York City.  Often, when weatherpeople predict these disastrous storms, I find that they blow themselves out after Boston. We are very lucky that way.   It’s been 5 years, I’d guess, since we had a real catastrophic storm.  So not too much of a big deal.

I am always amazed to see the dither this whole area experiences.  Some have valid fears about their power going down but, if that’s how you feel, why do you buy three or four gallons of milk?  It will spoil.  People pick the oddest groceries to see them through an uproar like what’s predicted, and I’m talking about myself, as well as the rest of the city.

I think I wrote about this a long time ago:  My preferred diet for storm survival is a bag of Lay’s Salt and Vinegar potato chips, and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, either New York Super Fudge Chunk, or Coffee Toffee.  Multiply these foods by the number of days I expect to be out of circulation, and fill a couple of milk bottles with water.  I’m ready — bring on the storm.

Of course, I live in a well-constructed building, and all I have to worry about is food and power, during storms.  I have a number of full size blankets and comforters to bundle in, if I must.

Another part of this is the first snowstorm expected.  Because I am a cashier at the hardware store, I see almost everyone in town in the hours before the storm.  And what do you think they’re buying?  Shovels, (what did you use last year?) and salt/ice melt, (a little late for that!?  Why not consider a radical idea — buy a shovel and some salt a couple of weeks ahead of the start of winter?   If you depend on finding these at the hardware store, and the time is 9AM or later, forget us — Roger’s Ace Hardware will be sold out.

In the same way, I’ve lived decades, kind of floating along until a crisis occurs, and then finding myself without any emotional/spiritual tools to face that storm.  Working on those skills throughout the year is definitely smartest, because when I must live through a storm, I can’t just react off the cuff any longer.  I need, and am finding, all kinds of tools to help me weather my personal catastrophe.  Meditation, candles, incense, my Tibetan singing bowl, a reasonably calm demeanor.  I can survive a storm with these.

Most recently, I was blasted by my dermatologist’s refusal to see my Morgellon’s symptoms.  That day, after she told me to see a psychiatrist, I wanted to object, loudly, and maybe throw something at her, as well.  But the fact is, I had already made an appointment with a nurse psychiatrist in my PCP’s medical group.  Once I was able to cool down and use some of those tools, and by discussing the situation with family and friends, I realized that I was bitching about a biopsy which showed ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong.  Huh?

The most important skill I picked up in the last year or so is the ability, sometimes immediately, sometimes after a couple of days, to think through the problem I’m facing.  I can’t always be the cool, calm personality; in fact, I am almost never that cool or calm.  But I’ve learned not to carry these events in my mind, even I haven’t yet identified a solution.  Instead, I am learning to let go of everything that bothered me about yesterday, and to face my storm armed with tools to control it.

The wind is coming up a little outside, and the rain is falling steadily.  I’m ready for this storm, even though I have no potato chips, and no ice cream.  I should remember to pick up some low carb ice cream surrogate, before the  next storm.  Excluding the ice cream, and when facing personal bad weather, I am ready to put on my flannel PJs and wrap up in a blanket and read a good book.  That is how worried I am now.

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16 responses to “Abiding the storms

  1. I hope it all blows out before t gets too close. I just hope those already hit are safe. We had a big one forecast a few years ago, it was going to still be a category 5 by the time it hit us, 1000k inland. Everyone was super prepared, and what happens, it blew itself out before it really even hit land. The cost had high winds and that was that. This looks a little more, but I hope it settles down.

  2. I hope your tools see you through the storm. You’re right of course, that the anticipation of the storm is frequently more hazardous and frightening than when it hits – both in the real “weather is going to disrupt your day” type storm and the emotional storms that we all face from time to time.

    Stay safe my friend.

  3. Good luck with the storm – I think they always make these much bigger stories than they actually are but I’ve never been through one. My wife lived in New Orleans when Katrina hit so she understands much better than I do. I hope everyone out east makes it through safe.

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