Monday, November 5, 2012


First let me say that my heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of those who have lost so much because of Sandy. Second let me thank all of the first, second and ongoing responders for their continuous help and assistance to the many people in need. These moments of crisis help give us all perspective on what is important, and now, while it is fresh in our minds, is a great time to contribute to the cause of recovering and rebuilding. Donate to the Red Cross, your local fire house or police station or find a way to volunteer your time, if you have it, or cleaning supplies, water and canned goods to those in need.

But now is as good a time as any to recognize the huge roller coaster of emotions we've all been on this past week. The constant see-sawing of moods and mindsets is a nice reminder of not only what kind, beautiful human beings we can be, but also what huge selfish jerk-holes we are too. These varying personalities are in most of us, but we casually glide from one to the other seamlessly during an otherwise calm period of time. During crisis mode we switch back and forth from incredible hulk-like bursts of righteous indignation to flower child prayers for spreading peace and love like the precious power switching off, then on, then off, then finally on for good.

I felt like a bit of a hypocrite through my many changes in mood and outlook. I spent a week careening from feelings of guilt for the people that had it so much worse to feelings of exasperation that only a few blocks from my apartment everything was business as usual as if nothing was wrong. My feelings of euphoria that everyone I know was safe quickly switched to feelings of depression that my apartment became too cold to inhabit. And during about half of these mood swings I found myself thinking that I was a grade A jerk.

For example:
In my jerk head: I'm bummed that I have to cut my first weekend away with my husband short, pay to change our flights and fly home early.
While in reality: We still got to have dinner before we flew out, thereby missing nothing but a night sleeping in a hotel room, as we were leaving the next morning anyway. And we did make it home safe to our little one before flights were cancelled.

In my jerk head: I'm all prepared and stocked up on essentials. It's Sunday night... where's the damn storm?!? They said it would be here by now!!
While in reality: The scientists have managed to not only predict that a bad storm is coming, but have taken to the airwaves to warn people to prepare so we are not caught off guard. Pretty incredible.

In my jerk head: The people in the evacuation zones on the beaches and in the direct line of the storm who are going to try to "ride it out" are jerks and they really should evacuate and not put other people's lives at risk by staying.
While in reality: Our apartment was in evacuation zone A and we were meant to evacuate before the storm even hit. We didn't because we figured we could "ride it out."

Back to my jerk head: I can't believe we lost power. It's New York Freakin' City. Surely they will get it up and running immediately, they can't just leave us all here in the dark for a week.
While in reality: We were meant to evacuate... remember?? Only the place we were going to go had lost power too... now what??

Back to the jerky thoughts in my jerky head: I really despise the sensationalist news and their panic producing coverage. How are people supposed to remain calm and get ready if they are practically having seizures while telling us how bad it's going to be.
And then back to reality: Now I have no power and no tv or internet and I want to know how crazy and bad it is out there!

Still in reality: The power finally comes back on and we are restored...
Back to my jerk head: Where's the cable? The internet? The heat? Hot water? I figured the power took so long that everything else would be good to go by now. (*eye roll aimed at you, Time Warner!!*)

I've seen the Day After Tomorrow... I knew that high tide wouldn't get us on our higher floor and after the storm surge subsided, we only needed to make it up to the public library to go hang out with Jake Gyllenhaal... I had a contingency plan!

But all plans and calm were out the window. No power, phones, internet or cable was pretty jarring. I'm pretty sure this was a bit of a wake-up call to many folks how attached to technology we are and how difficult things are without it. But again, all perspective is lost until you sort your own sh!t out.

I think everyone had a least one moment to take stock of what is truly important, and if you're like me you also had moments to fret about the utterly useless and absurd. I think that's what we all do... teeter between the saint and the villain and just hopefully spend more time on the good side. It is during these moments of crisis that we show who we really are and what we're made of. Thankfully, I only acted on my good thoughts, not the jerky ones.

If you haven't acted on your good thoughts yet:

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