It was not the weekend we’d planned. Husband Bob got off work early, and we decided to take on the project of rearranging our living room, which hadn’t been done in more than a decade. It involved moving the entertainment center, with the multiple electronics/devices/computer and all the many wires in our complicated setup. The living room was soon a mess of stuff piled on the floor, the couch upended. In the midst of this, a wicked windy storm blew in. And our power went out.
The chaos of the weekend went on to include our sump pump not working and half of our basement flooding (an unfinished storage room, ankle deep in water), a wedding to attend, hauling all the stuff in the storage room into the back yard to dry everything out and throw some away, mopping up water, putting the living room back together, and one of our cats peeing on the couch and pooping in a laundry basket, upset by all this upheaval.
Yeah, it wasn’t great. It was exhausting. But even in the midst of being sweaty, tired and sore from the extra work, I could feel an undercurrent of gratitude. There were actually several nice things about this experience:
–After the power went out on Friday night, we sat around the kitchen table and each read our books by candlelight, which felt quaint and special.
–The neighbors facing us had power, so several of us strung long cords across the street and were able to get our sump pumps, refrigerators and freezers going again.
–A wonderful neighbor with power got up early and made muffins and coffee to share. She and her little girl brought them door to door, and this brought neighbors outside to talk and share stories, an impromptu gathering.
–We were only without power for 18 hours, whereas some in the city were without for 4 or 5 days.
–Due to the severity of this storm, many people had much bigger problems, like these neighbors a block away. Hundreds of trees are down all over the Twin Cities. Our big old elm in the back yard is still standing (whew!).
–We may not have wanted to do it this weekend or in this way, but we’re doing the much-needed cleanout of the storage room. It’s needed a major decluttering.
In the scheme of things, our weekend was an annoyance– there are really much worse disasters going on in the world. Tornadoes decimating cities, unrest in Turkey, people with loved ones sick or dying. We have our health, our home and each other. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the “this is awful! why me?” negativity of my own present-moment experience. Yeah, who wants to rewash a bunch of clean laundry that was sitting near the sump pump? Or work on getting cat pee out of a couch. But if I can step back and take a deep breath, sometimes I get some perspective.
We are lucky.