Reconnecting and Lessons Learned

We have all watched in horror over the past month as the severe weather in the South and Midwest has caused unheard of damage and loss of life. Hardly a day goes by without hearing about another devastating tornado. My heart breaks for the families involved who are struggling to put their lives back together.

I have often commented to my husband about how fortunate we are here in the Southern New England to have relatively benign weather. With the exception of an occasional serious snowstorm (which I love), life stays on a pretty even keel weather-wise and we NEVER lose our power. Amazing.

If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you may have heard me mention the fact that I am a bit of a workaholic. I love feeling productive and I love what I do. Now that my children are grown, it seems that I have become even more work oriented. The afternoon debriefings I gave them (I loved hearing about every little thing that went on in school) have now become  quick chats with my sons by phone once or twice a week and maybe a few minutes a day with my daughter. Although she still lives at home, she doesn’t always want to share what’s happening in her busy life. As for my husband, he’s not much of a conversationalist… especially during baseball season. So, for the most part, there is little to keep me from my computer. I do take time out for walks and Zumba classes, because I know how important it is to exercise, both for body and soul.

You may wonder where all this is leading.

Well, last Thursday was a pretty normal day. I listened to my company’s “Wake Up To Success” call in the morning, which makes me feel connected to my company “family” here at Empower Network and which really does give me a fresh start to my day. I then called a bunch of prospective business partners, three of them who were especially nice and sounded perfect for our company. I made arrangements to talk to each of them again that evening. One at 6pm, one at 7pm and one at 7:45.

I continued checking off my “to do” list. Do some online banking. Make two calls to relatives who are recovering from surgeries. Pay some bills. Put in some time on an ebook I am writing. Check. Check. Check. I was actually feeling quite efficient and proud of myself.

Around 5pm, I was getting a little tired, so I thought I would rest a little before I made my scheduled calls. As I lay on my bed, I watched out the window as the sky grew darker and the trees started to sway. I had heard that there might be a thunderstorm. No big deal.

It began to rain harder and the trees really started to bend. How beautiful it was!

The thunder and lightening came closer and all of a sudden the television went fuzzy. Darn. I knew better than to leave it on during an electrical storm. I thought of how glad I was that I had at least shut down the computers. Well, after a short time, everything subsided. The wind stopped and the lightening moved away. It was over. By now it was about 5:50pm and time to get ready for my calls.

As I walked toward my office, it happened. Everything went quiet. But we NEVER lose our power…right? Wrong. No lights. No computers. No phones. I quickly grabbed my purse and fumbled around until I found my rarely used cell phone. Dead battery. Ironically, I only keep it for emergencies.

“That’s okay,” I thought, “there is still my husband’s cell phone.” Wrong. That also had a low battery, which I realized at that point,  I would have to conserve. Wow. Talk about unprepared! Some business owner. I felt helpless.

What do I do now? Nothing. I realized that there was nothing I could do except step back, be thankful that there was no real damage to our home or property and be thankful that it was summer instead of winter. We would have to make do and figure out how we were going to function here if the power was out for more than a few hours. I had filled the tub needlessly so many times before storms that I just didn’t bother any more. After all, we NEVER lose our power! One hour went by, two hours, three hours…..

That night my daughter and I spent some time together on the patio just catching up on things we hadn’t made time to talk about for a while. My husband and I played cards by candlelight and then slept peacefully with the windows open. There were no sounds other than those coming from the woods outside our window and the fresh smell left by the summer rain. It was wonderful.

It is now two days later and we still have no television, no phones, and no computers. From what I hear on my portable radio, our town still has many trees and power lines down and it might be awhile before services are up and running again. The strange thing is that all of this is beginning to feel less like and inconvenience and more like a blessing. I am actually writing this post with a pencil while my husband sits beside me quietly reading the newspaper. I think I could get used to this primitive stuff!

I watched as a bird snuggled into her nest outside our family room window this morning. Maybe we’ll go for a hike later. Maybe I’ll take that book I’ve wanted to read outside and enjoy an early summer afternoon on the porch. It all feels so laid back. Almost like a vacation…one without a laptop or cell phone.

When my thoughts snap back to reality, I feel embarrassed about my missed phone appointments and sorry that I inconvenienced those people. I can only hope that they will understand my predicament when I explain. Whether or not they will want to be in business with someone who doesn’t even remember to charge her cell phone is another story! But, I firmly believe that there is a reason for everything and if they are meant to join me, they will.

I know that in a matter of days, I will be back to my busy routine and loving it. But, I hope that I will not forget the lessons I have learned from this experience. Aside from the obvious one, being better prepared, I have also learned that there are wonderful things in the world outside my office. There is my family to be enjoyed and appreciated, there is sunshine and momma birds to watch, flowers to pick and card games to play.

I believe that the storm was God’s way of reminding me to reconnect and to remember how lucky I am.




Update: It is now five days since the storm ( who knew?) and I am finally able to get online and post this. I feel renewed and ready to go back to work. I still have to check my email and find out what surprises await, but one thing I do know is that I am so lucky to have my own business. Just one more of my blessings. I don’t have to worry that I might lose my job because I missed so many days of work. Maybe I’ll even take a few days off again soon! I don’t have to ask anyone.

If you would like to find out more about working for yourself or about what I do, go here.

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