As I sit back and reflect on the past couple weeks, I can’t help but just be overwhelmed with gratitude.
It all started with the coverage of Hurricane Harvey. I’m not sure what it was that made me obsess over it but, for some reason, I was glued to the news and social media watching the outcomes of that storm. I have family scattered around Texas and a part of me was sincerely concerned for their safety. As luck would have it, they made out just fine but, it’s still scary being far away from loved ones when things like that are happening (I am sure all of you can relate).
Once Hurricane Irma popped up on the map I became instantly terrified. I’ve lived in Florida almost my entire life and I don’t ever recall being this stressed out about an approaching storm. I remember being in the 3rd grade, home sick with pneumonia as a Hurricane was coming (my parents couldn’t take me to the hospital because of the storm) and even that didn’t phase me.
I’m not sure if it was the overwhelming sadness I was feeling after watching the outcomes of Harvey, or maybe it was just the stress of having my own house and things to take care of prior to the storm.. whatever it was, I’ve never felt that anxious or stressed for that many days in a row.
My husband, pets and I evacuated to Tampa to be with my parents for the storm. At first it seemed like we had dodged a bullet but, then realized Irma was coming straight for us regardless of where we were in the state.
I was in full on panic mode by then. I couldn’t eat or sleep and literally laid in the fetal position for hours. My stomach was in knots and I seriously thought we were doomed.
I know what you’re thinking – WAIT, you’re a pilates instructor. Shouldn’t you have been foam rolling, practicing mat exercises or doing things to de-stress yourself? – Answer: NO. I physically couldn’t do anything and I remember thinking that if this storm really did come I was literally going to have a heart attack. I don’t think my heart has EVER continuously raced for that many days straight. It was insanity. I was insane (maybe still am).
Luckily, this storm was much weaker by the time it hit my parent’s house in Tampa. My mom and I still slept in the bathroom (our “safe room”) but, we didn’t even lose power. Aside from tree branches laying in their yard, nothing happened to their house. As for our home in Miami, we had a broken fence but, everything else was just fine.
Now, as I sit and watch coverage from Hurricane Maria, my heart aches for those in Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands. My heart aches for those in Mexico who have been hit by two major earthquakes in two weeks.
I am sitting in awe thinking about how overly stressed I was for something that was so minimal. I cannot even imagine what these people are going through. It seems so stupid and petty that I was so worked up for almost no reason. That I can’t even begin to believe how blessed and lucky I am to have come out on the other side so unscathed. And that for the 800th time in my life I have once again been reminded of the lesson: DO NOT STRESS ABOUT THINGS YOU CANNOT CONTROL. I literally wrote a blog post about that a few months ago. How have I still not learned this?
But, mostly I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Grateful that this week I could get back to a mostly normal routine, that I am sitting in AC, sleeping in my own bed, surrounded by my loved ones and tomorrow will go to a job that I love. So let’s all count our blessings this week and always because so many don’t have that luxury.