People spend a lifetime looking for more,
when they could have spent a lifetime enjoying what life has offered.
by Skip Cohen
Nothing could be more predictable than my topic this morning. Sunday Morning Reflections are always miles away from business and marketing, and after a week on edge watching storm maps focus on where I live, it has profoundly impacted me.
I got a little help from Joni Mitchell's lyrics...although they didn't "pave paradise and put up a parking lot." But the sentiment of taking so much for granted and not knowing what you have until it's all at risk came through loud and clear.
For those of you just tuning in...
On Monday, the county next door issued a mandatory evacuation. We knew Sarasota County would follow, and we were in Zone A (closest to the water). So, we headed to a friend's empty house in Vero Beach. Our son and daughter-in-law had the same challenge up in Tampa. We all weathered the storm together.
Our house did just fine - we lost a few Areca palms, but nothing major. The yard is a disaster, along with a dark green pool - but we were so lucky. The yard is almost all cleaned up thanks to my chainsaw and a Tramadol before bed last night, and the pool will take a week to get back.
I'm not complaining - people just south of us took the hit, and it's devastating. It's not just the loss of homes but lives as the surge rolled in and took out everything in the ocean's path. They're dealing with the real tragedy.
When something like this happens, you realize how unimportant most things are is except for what really matters - for me; it was Sheila and the pups! We packed the car and were out of here within two hours, heading east to safety.
A friend asked me what photo albums we took - I didn't take any. Pretty much everything is on the cloud. We packed clothes, food, a camera, my laptop, a few bottles of wine, the pups, an inflatable bed, and plenty of silent prayers. When they declare a "mandatory evacuation," it means if you don't leave, first responders aren't rushing in if you need help. While we had set up an interior closet as our safe room - nothing was worth risking a true tragedy. So, we did our best to get out of harm's way.
And here's my point - if you had an hour to load up your car and escape a potential disaster, what would you take? We spend our lives accumulating stuff, but I'm betting the list is pretty small when you have to narrow things down.
But there's also a sidebar point today - no words describe the importance of friends. Sheila and I were flooded with friends checking in through text messages, phone calls, and emails. And after it was over, they came back to see what we needed. That bond with our little personal community helped so much for us to stay focused.
Wishing everybody a great day ahead. Go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with the people who mean the most to you. Take nothing for granted, and at least once, pause and look around you. What really matters in your life?
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is "thank you,"
it will be enough.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.