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The Forward Momentum of Standing Still

The Forward Momentum of Standing Still

The temperature hit 103 degrees the day the storm hit. Thunder and lightening, wind and rain… and the dreaded power outage. It was 9:00 p.m. and dark, so we had no idea what was going on outside our own home. Not much to do now but go to sleep. Hot, sweaty sleep it was.

The morning light woke us with its intensity, beckoning us to survey the damage. Downed trees, debris, and power lines littered the landscape of our little neighborhood. In fact, the only street leading into our corner of the world was now passable only by the width of a single car. It was going to be another scorcher and the powers that be said it could be days before they reached us.

Bad timing, that’s for sure, but I suppose there’s never really a good time for these things. We’d been thrown a lot of curves these past few months, and the troubling chain of events apparently wasn’t done with us yet.

Our “To Do” list for the weekend was a lot longer than usual, and we had planned to put every moment to good use. But the temperature was threatening to reach triple digits again, we had a yard full of debris, and no power. Our plans would have to be changed. Worse yet, we both make a living from home and, without access to the internet, we could not work.

Now I won’t say I was stressed, exactly, because I’ve certainly endured a lot worse than this. But I was feeling anxious…stubbornly tackling whatever chores I could in the stifling heat and humidity…anything to make me feel forward momentum. I didn’t want to be stuck!

It took well into the first 24-hour cycle of our little disaster to let it sink in, to accept that my plans had changed. I know all about the big changes that come with multiple sclerosis and cancer. Certainly I could not allow this minor inconvenience to make a fool of me.

So out came the board games and the playing cards. Out came the novel I’d been meaning to read for ages, and I read it all, in a single sitting, aware that I was savoring each word like a fine wine. It was hot, stifling hot, and humid, too. Even the cat was a bit off her game. Ah, a lazy afternoon nap seems in order.

Forty-eight hours. That’s how long it took for our power to come back on. Just in time for the beginning of the work week. It’s still difficult to drive around the tree-strewn neighborhood, the yard needs extra TLC, and the “To Do” list has grown even longer. So what?

We played, we read, we relaxed, we engaged in a bit of lazy daydreaming. We let it be. And it was good. Our weekend of standing still turned out to be forward momentum after all.

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Photo credit: Zoonar/Thinkstock

Read more: Blogs, Family, General Health, Home, Inspiration, Life, Living with MS, Self-Help, Spirit

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

15 comments

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2:22PM PST on Feb 4, 2014

Great inspiration for anyone that needs to switch gears in their lives. So nice that you found a way through the storm. Thank you, Ann!

8:39PM PDT on May 14, 2013

We have lost our pioneer spirit and we expect someone else to take care of us.

5:29AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

I had no power for 72 hours once. It was fun listening to a transistor radio again, playing cards, going without the internet and tv. Not.

3:28AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

Thank you.

10:11AM PST on Feb 26, 2013

Thanks

3:18PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

If you respond to rush with rush it just becomes a never ending cycle, great post!

7:15PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Thanks for the article!

6:04PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

I have been watching the news, and my heart goes out to all the people who had flooding, wind damage, trees down, and no power. I know how it is, because I live in Florida, and have had similar experiences. The bands after the hurricane are not quite as bad as the hurricane itself, and you are always thankful that you're alive.Just the mess to clean up, if you still have a house.Even a tropical storm like Debby can play havoc.There is no accounting for something that's beyond your control, I'm glad you are all okay. thanks for the post

11:50AM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

I had a similar experience of this weekend. We had family in town to help tackle a bathroom rennovation, and ended up scrapping that, enduring the heat and the darkness, and just letting go of our plans to accept the reality of where we were. Personally, I dusted off a pile of comics, took lots of cold showers, and we talked a lot, but it's important to just accept the world as it is, when we are not always able to change it.

10:13AM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Thank you so very much for this beautiful post! It came just at a time that I needed a reminder that it's okay to not be go-go-go all the time, to sit back and enjoy life once in a while. Thank you for sharing this inspiration :)

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