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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norton

What a long year this week has been

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

First, let me say, given how much of my readership falls in the area affected by Hurricane Ida, I hope you and your families are on the road to recovery. If you are anything like me, even if you find yourself safe and back at home with the power restored, your nerves are still shot. Here's a little rundown of my last two weeks: Saturday: Hurricane? Pshaw…no big deal, we'll ride it out. It'll stay to the west of us. We probably won't even lose power. Sunday: And there goes the power. But it's kind of fun to play scrabble with my parents and daughter by candlelight while the wind howls! Yikes, this storm just keeps going. That's a lot of trees snapping. Oh dear... Monday: Whoa, looking at the devastation makes me queasy. What were we thinking staying? So much clean up to do. Tuesday: Thank goodness we have a generator for the refrigerator and 20 years of camping equipment. Indoor camping is fun! Thursday: It's freaking hot and clearly the power is never coming back on. Let's go to Houston. Friday-Tuesday: Work, work, work on a grueling emergency response assignment. Try to be a pleasant human being and enjoy being with my extended family in Houston. Not easy, so frazzled. Wednesday-Friday: Yay power! Drive home and work, work, work some more. Try to be a good wife and mother. Not easy, so tired. I think this tweet sums it up:

Unlike Hurricane Katrina, folks from Louisiana went into this one depleted, reeling from world events, politics, and the pandemic. It was demoralizing to see stories about the hurricane fall out of the national news cycle long before our power was even restored. All this is to say, if you are feeling out of sorts, you are in good company. I've felt grateful that we are safe, guilty that we fared far better than so many, fearful of the impact to my work, exhausted from making so many decisions, angry at myself for not handling things better, and jealous of others who look like they are doing this hurricane response better than me. And that was just this morning. My advice, as a resilience expert, is to accept the feelings as they come, acknowledging them without judgment. When you are trudging through hardship as best you can, you don't need to keep score. Give yourself space to feel good and sorry for yourself. And then, when you are ready, make two lists: (1.) the things you are grateful for and (2.) the things you can do to get back into a healthy headspace. Wishing you peace in these challenging times, my friends.


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