As you folks might have noticed, I was a little preoccupied by Hurricane Irma last week. The good news–and there really was a lot here, all things considered–is that despite the storm’s eye wall passing over or right next to my neighborhood, I got through the night without losing electrical power, communication, or the structural integrity of my apartment. That’s worth losing a little sleep over. Still, while I’ve been multiply blessed, others here in Florida and in Texas will have a lot of recovery work to do to get back to normal. Today I’ll share a few thoughts on that process.While I’ve not lost everything in a natural disaster, I have had several occasions where I’ve “started over” thanks to moving to a new city or facing a new circumstance in life (e.g., new job). The sense of dislocation is real, as you are thrown out of the familiar environment you’ve grown accustomed to and perhaps prospered in previously.
Drastic changes to one’s life can be terribly humbling, as you might have lost a great deal of money, material affluence, or prestige compared to your previous circumstances. It’s also humbling because you’re having to learn some of “the basics” over again, like finding where to find food, shelter, and clothing nearby. With that circumstantial humility comes anxiety and fear as well: can I get back to normal again? Will I restore my previous sense of security or self-worth?
It’s been my observation that the folks who believe that things can and will get better and who are determined to build or rebuild in place–wherever they are–will go on to lead productive lives as soon as their circumstances and efforts allow. Likewise, those who are convinced that they will never adapt to a specific place or set of circumstances are also correct. I’ve observed these results in myself. The best, most healthy attitude one can have when faced with a radical change of circumstances is to make an honest assessment of where you are, determine what assets or opportunities you have on hand, and then work with those as best you can.
I wish all who have been seriously affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma a quick road to recovery of their former lives…with the goal, as always, of a heroic improvement of your circumstances.