Being in a danger zone, like the path of a hurricane, changes your focus. No pun intended, but it is an accurate analogy. It's the life equivalent of taking your camera off auto-focus and shooting manually. Suddenly you have to decide where to focus. You not only change your priorities but realize how wrong your focus might have been.
But, there were a few highlights that got us through the crisis:
- Three companies/organizations stood out this week. Sarasota County's Emergency team and their press conferences, couldn't have been more helpful as the storm approached. Second, Florida Power and Light had our power back on within thirty hours of when it went out, and just six hours after our return home. Third, was Verizon. We had moved inland and had no Internet or television. Verizon waved all the additional data charges, and I was able to use my personal hotspot for hours on end to stay on top of what was going on.
- Erin McLeod kept us plugged into the community. In addition to being a terrific friend, Erin is CEO of the Friendship Centers, and I'm proud to be on their Board. She was like the old town crier, keeping us up to date via email blasts on the status of the community, the storm and the best links to the latest information.
- The "Lifeboat Drill:" In business when things change, and priorities need to be adjusted, I refer to it as a "lifeboat drill." You have to decide what makes it into the boat and what doesn't. Well, as Sheila and I packed up belongings we had to decide what went into the cars and what stayed behind. As expected, two envelopes of old photographs belonging to my parents and grandparents went into the car first. Sheila's jewelry box was more on my list than hers - not that it's filled with expensive pieces, but because so many pieces connect to special memories in our relationship. Several books made it into the boat - Marianne Williamson and Melody Beattie became our preferred motivational writers, not because the books were valuable, but because we anticipated the wisdom they share would help us stay on point.
- Social media played a huge role as one friend after another checked in, sent a prayer and often called my cell to see if we were okay. Facebook was remarkable for keeping track of friends and associates, but the ability to stay in touch went even further than I anticipated. Each comment became a way to keep track of everybody and a multi-vitamin to remind us of how much we're all in this world together.
As we sat in the darkness last Sunday night, listening to Irma's roar the only thing that mattered was our health and supporting each other. I found myself far more spiritual than I would have thought, repeatedly having short conversations with God, not only asking for help getting through it all but repeated thanks when it was over.
So, here's the Sunday morning scenario - Sheila's got her gospel station playing. It's a weekly ritual that goes back to the music she listened to as a kid on Sundays. Molly is asleep at my feet having already been out, brushed and fed. I'm finishing this post and couldn't be more content with whatever today brings. No plans at all - just a quiet, peaceful non-event Sunday.
Dancing with Irma this past week has readjusted my priorities - nothing matters without Sheila, great friends, and our health. Sadly it's taken me 700 words to say that - but then it wouldn't be a blog post! LOL
Wishing everybody a Sunday filled with your top priorities, eleven-second hugs, peace and simply being content. Take the time to write down the six most important things in your life. If you could only take these things in the lifeboat - what would they be?
Happy Sunday everybody!