You learn a lot about yourself when you’re stranded, house bound, nowhere to go, no one to see and no way to get to see them, even if there were. Sure, there’s the internet and you can connect with friends and loved ones 24/7, but when the possibility of being in their physical presence is completely stripped away from you, you, well I, begin to see life a little differently.
Today’s blog is going to be a little different; it won’t be any kind of a social media training or sales pitch of any kind. It’s simply the story of my last 7 days…and the unlikely metaphor it became, for me, about this stage of my life. But first, the storm; here are some pictures that were snapped on Feb 4 ’17. Need I say more…
As my car became completely buried, no amount of shoveling I did made any difference. I’d shovel away 10″ of snow and 15 more fell. It was a week of walking (thank GOODNESS I’m close enough to a mall that I can walk for necessities) for food and eating it alone as no one could access my street.
You get the idea.
Now, trust me, this is NOT intended to be about bitching about the snow or complaining. Although, and part of why I am writing this blog, I can honestly say that I startled myself at how MUCH I complained during this last week. I got off track, off balance, off centre SO quickly that it startled me to be honest. I felt so completely at a loss of anything good in life because I had zero control over what was happening outside and as a result, my limitations were slapping me in the face 24 hours a day.
I am embarrassed to say that I lost it. A week of snow, sub zero temperatures and “cabin fever” and I lost it. I believe it was a catalyst though..hear me out. I am in this strange place in life that appeared entirely too quickly. At 51 I am essentially an empty nester (the girls come and go as they please as that is just where they are at in life right now with school and work and lives of their own), I am single, I am self-employed and found myself saying “who am I” and “what is my life all about” this week. So you see, I feel that was a good thing. I think I NEEDED this week to happen ( although I would have been equally open to receiving this message via another method ;) ) for me to wake up.
Whatever version of storm / cabin fever / abandonment you encounter, you and I, we must get through it. There is so much more to life than being needed. Children grow, relationships end, clients come and go (as do jobs in most cases). We can’t be so beholden to these things that we lose ourselves to them. We must find our TRUE selves, and I don’t mean our work either. Although, for someone like me my work is a HUGE part of me, but it’s not everything.
Full disclosure, I haven’t completely figured it out yet…but, this “snowmaggedon” helped me see that I needed to go to that place of complete surrender to the things that I thought were important, to see that there is really so much more.
I seek to trudge through this metaphorical whiteout to see the rainbows on the other side. I may not see them tomorrow, or next week or even next year, but I know that I will find what I am looking for … and that is myself.
I know only a few things; that I want to love and be loved, I want to be useful and of service, I want to explore this glorious planet to collect experiences and I want to leave a legacy of kindness, compassion, empathy, tenacity and fun.
So yes, let’s start there. Like Gary Vee always says, take what you want and backwards engineer it.
I know I don’t want to feel as useless, helpless and out of control as I did in this storm, not ever again.
So you see my friends of the internet, I ended up being very grateful for the #bcstorm. It taught me a lesson that I have likely been avoiding for many years.
Here is this week’s video; it is simply scenes from throughout the week from my Snapchat account…
Finally, I have learned to no longer fear the storms. I think that was another huge takeaway from this week. Embrace it, as you don’t have a choice. It’s coming whether (or weather in this case) you like it or not.
As Jim Rohn to eloquently and famously said…
“It’s not what happens that determines your life future. It’s what you do about what happens.
It’s not the blowing up the wind that determines your destination. It’s the set of your sail.
The same wind the blows on us all. A difference in arrival is not the blowing up the wind. It’s the set of the sail.
Learning helps you set a better sail.
What changes is your philosophy. This changes the set of the sail.
Correct the errors of the past. Pick up new disciplines for the future.
You can change at any time “if you wish to.”
Some people don’t know they can change because they never read the book, went to the class, or attended the seminar.
It’s possible to make the next three years better than the last three years.
It’s not the blowing of the wind that determines your income or your fortune. It’s the set of the sail.“