Tropical Storm Micheal was one for the books, at least my books.
As a little background, I moved to the East coast, to Virginia, about a year and a half ago from the West coast. On the West coast we have storms but nothing like a tropical storm or a hurricane, at least in the time that I lived there, we got a TON of rain but nothing crazy. So when Hurricane Florence came through I was feeling anxious about what may happen, fortunately for the small town I live in Florence just sent a lot of rain, though the surrounding areas had quite the run in with tornadoes. Unfortunately tropical storm Micheal was a completely different story.
Our little town was wrecked by the storm, I’m talking trees down, power lines across the roads, flooding, tornado warnings and the works. We lost power on Thursday and didn’t get it back until Sunday night. This was our front yard the next day (see the picture).
I am okay with a power outage for a few hours, maybe a day, 4 days was a whole other story. I was upset, because we had a long weekend and I couldn’t do anything I wanted to due to no power. The food in both the fridge and freezer were now rotten, with the exception of a few items. Living on your own, you realize just how big a deal it is to lose all your refrigerated food aka money down the drain. I now had a ton of yard work to do, I just was not happy. A few thoughts going through my head? “This is the worst” “I need power” “I can’t believe I have to figure out what to do without power”, these are thoughts of someone who needed to be knocked down a few notches from her britches. I wish I had realized this when the power was actually out rather than on Monday when our power was fully restored, but I was glad I came to the realization.
I am currently doing the #last90days challenge that Rachel Hollis created. Everyday we are supposed to write down 10 things we are grateful for. When the power was out I didn’t do this at all, because I was so mad, grumpy and I didn’t have anything to be grateful for (at least I didn’t think so when we were in the thick of it). This is where the realization came in on Monday. I sat down to write what I was grateful for and I said to myself “Kathyn, what good came out of this weekend that you can be grateful for, there’s got to be something or you’ve wasted your entire weekend whining?”
I started to think and realize just how ungrateful I had been during the weekend, and began to write down the things I was grateful for over the weekend:
- The men working to restore power. Here are these men that are miles from their own families (we had about 100 power line trucks in our small town) working to restore not only your power but power to the ENTIRE town. What makes me so special that my power should be restored first, nothing. NOTHING.
- No damage happened to my house, my car, or myself. Did any damage happen to my house? No. Did others have damage to their houses? Yes. So why am I complaining? I should be grateful that I was spared the damage and all I had to do was clean up the trees that fell in the yard.
- I did yard work. I know that this one seems insignificant to the first two, but had their been power my weekend would of consisted of baking, or binge watching friends (which I’m now doing after work… why haven’t I watched this sooner?), instead because of the power outage I worked outside, the weather was amazing and had a fire with friends that evening. I felt accomplished, but yet I was irritated with myself that it took the power going out to actually do some yard work.
- POWER. As simple as this one is, it is everything. These things that we have every day, power, running water, heat, we forget to be grateful for because we are so used to having these things. We should be grateful for these things every day, because there are individuals who do NOT have these things. This was a big realization for me because even the everyday things we don’t think to be grateful for are some of the things we should be the most grateful for.
While the list goes on I wanted to share these specific things I’m grateful for because these had the most significant impact on my thought process and perception of situations that I’m not a fan of, or make me immediately grumpy. These items made me realize when I start complaining about the power going out, or even something small, that I need to also find the good that’s coming from what’s happening. If I keep focusing on the negative I’m going to be in a horrible mood and I’ll just be ungrateful. BUT if I can find the good from the situation, instead of being upset and irritate with those that are around me, or the situation, I’ll be grateful and willing to go with the flow, like doing yard work without an attitude.
I’d like to challenge all of you (I am challenging myself to do the same) that the next time you find yourself in a spot where all you can think are negative thoughts, ask yourself these questions: What can I be grateful for in this situation? What have I done that I necessarily wouldn’t have? Has anything good come from this situation?