"How long is a day in the dark? Or a week?"...Katharine, The English Patient
I seriously love The English Patient and this quote gives me chills right now. I try to mix up my quotes and not repeat myself as I used both this movie and this character before but nothing seemed to fit Hurricane Sandy better. I took an unintended week off from blogging and it feels good to be back today. Last week, we were all still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and I think everyone in my area is struggling with getting back into a routine. I was lucky and unscathed through the worst of the chaos. I was in Austin visiting my boyfriend right before the storm barreled down on the tri-state area and ended up extended my stay so we got to spend a lot of extra time together. Plus, I never even lost power in my apartment at home. It was like a guardian angel was watching out over me. But my family was not so fortunate and had been dealing with the loss of power and waiting for it to get restored. It finally was turned on the other night but now there's a plumbing issue with he pipes. Why is it always something?
It all made me think of how everyone responds differently to this type of adversity. What's the worst part? The emotional devastation of feeling displaced or the physical difficulty of just getting by day to day? For me, I have always been a person who values a daily routine. It might make me a little rigid but it's how I function best. I remember last year when we had a much smaller hurricane and lost power. I felt confused, upset and overall anxious. I cannot imagine how I would have felt after a week in the dark. My boyfriend said then that one day without power could be fun or romantic even, but more than 24 hours and you want to go crazy.
In my opinion, as we all move on from this I think the most important thing you can do for yourself is to
be kind to yourself both mentally and physically. No matter what the circumstances, try to eat the best you can, always minimize or manage stress the best you can and try to get adequate sleep. These are basic things but easily forgotten when push comes to shove. It all feels so hard that you are apt to do the easy and quick thing which is not usually the best answer. As we approach the holidays I think it's best to keep these things in mind as well. Know your limits both physically and mentally and monitor your actions accordingly. Don't overspend and then decide to worry about it later and dread your credit card bill coming in the mail. Don't overeat with the idea that you can start over. Don't give up the gym because it's cold and dark and a bikini seems like the last thing you'll be needing. All of these choices accumulate on us over time. Everything you do or choose matters.
Find a way to unwind that helps you manage it all. Everyone has so much on their plates these days that it's key to identify an outlet that allows you to distress. Write, meditate, dance knit, it's time well spent because it's relaxation for the soul.