The Eye of the Storm

Sometimes we find ourselves totally unprepared for what life throws at us. There is no forewarning, no current of change, no inkling of the storm that is brewing along the horizon.

And then, there we are standing dead center, in the eye of the storm.

We realize that the saying “Life can turn on a dime” exists for a reason… because it is true.

Maybe it is any injury, or a breakup, an illness or the loss of a job or a loved one. Whatever the storm may be, the eye of it is the devastating life change that turns your world upside down.

The enormity of the situation finally sets in. You go through an array of emotions, shock, confusion, fear, anger, depression, anxiety, uncertainty… then innately, you realize that you have no choice but to face it.

Acceptance is the first step in regaining your ground.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. - Joseph Campbell

Slowly you learn to cope with your new circumstances without even realizing that coping is the second step in embracing change.

Problems are not the problem; coping is the problem. - Virginia Satir

So where do you go from here?

This is the part where your adaptability, courage and resilience takes you places you would never have dared to go if wasn’t for the storm and the eye of the storm that catapulted you to where you now reside.

Maybe through your experience, you find a cause that you are passionate about.

Maybe you have an interest in sharing your experience and helping other people who are dealing with a similar situation.

Maybe you are inspired to create in the form of the written word, art or even an invention.

And maybe, you realize that the storm, the turn of a dime that you saw as a setback, is the exact circumstance that gave you the opportunity to see things from a different perspective.

A perspective that not only leads to beautiful and unexpected paths but ultimately leads you to grow and thrive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.O.G.O Before the Big Snow

The threat of a snow storm, or even a snow flurry sends throes of panicked consumers straight to the grocery store to stock up on eggs, milk, bread, toilet paper and a laundry list of enough items to potentially topple an average grocery cart. I’m not judging. I must admit, once before a potentially big snow storm hit (and after purchasing my first brand new deep freezer) I found myself among the frantic shoppers at the classic buy one get one / buy one get two free sale.

Upon arriving at the store, the sky was clear and John and I joyfully grabbed two carts on a mission to stock our new freezer. Together we covered every aisle as the merchandise mounted. Buy one bag of chicken wings, get two free. One package of hot dogs, get two free. Better get some hot dog buns. Also on sale…Milk,  buy one get two free soda, coffee, half and half, eggs, chips, cookies, ice cream… oh,hot pockets…the kids will love that…better get some meat…steaks…wait, buy one bag of potatoes, get two free? This is fun!

Before we knew it two hours had passed and we couldn’t fit another item in either of our carts. “Do you think that we’ll have enough money for all of this?”  I asked John as I dug my heels into the floor to push the cart into the checkout line.

“Sure will we.” John confidently replied.

The cashier looked fear-struck when I stated that we were together, while  I began to place some of our items on the belt.

Finally, the grand total before discounts, $500. I am sure that my expression now mimicked that of the cashiers, as I stared at the total.

John handed the store card to the cashier. Once the discounts were applied, our total was now $250. I was elated and so proud of what we had accomplished. It is no easy feat to feed three teenage boys under any circumstances, any day of the week.

Victoriously, we pushed and pulled, what was now three carts of bagged groceries out into…four inches of snow.

After loading the car to the hilt, we began our slippery ride home. Finally approaching our neighborhood, we took on the first small incline. Our car slid and started to do a 180 as my cell phone rang. Oh God, it was Marc, the youngest and least patient of my children.

“Hello?” I nervously answered as I simultaneously directed John to go another route.

“Mom, mom, mom, where are you guys?” Marc bellowed into the phone.

I replied, “Marc, we’re trying to get home.”

“You’re lying and I’m starving!” Marc argued.

“Marc, I am not lying,” I stated.”We are going to need all of you boys to help with the groceries. I have to get off the phone.”

“Mom, don’t hang up. What did you get?” Marc asked.

“A lot.” I replied and hung up the phone.

On the third try, we made it to level ground but we weren’t home yet. We still had another massive hill to climb. As we began the ascent, our car began to quickly slide backwards. John was confident that with the weight of all the groceries (regardless of our lack of snow tires) we could make it. I was already shutting my eyes, clenching my teeth and fighting back tears as we once again tried to make the crest of the hill. Faced with an oncoming car on a narrow road we slid back to the bottom of the hill. After a brief and stressful argument, John hit the gas and tried to make the hill for the final time. The snow was thick as we slid back down, trying to avoid a car parked at the bottom.

“That’s it!” I yelled, “Park the car!”

John replied, “What about all of the groceries?”

“I don’t know,” I said, “We’ll have to carry them up.”

Getting out of the car we grabbed as much as we could and began a slippery trek up the huge hill.

“I can not believe this!” I said as I tried to keep my footing. “For once in my life I have $500 worth of groceries and this happens.”

John stifles a laugh as he says, “Don’t worry, we have teenage boys to help us. Ya know, they’re gonna to want to eat.”

Once inside, freezing and covered in snow, I yell and try to round-up the troops. True to form on the return from any given shopping day, Kevin is in the shower. Great.

Thankfully, Eric and Marc have some friends over (whom they never asked me if they could invite) but I say nothing, as I’m actually happy for the extra manpower at this moment.

Forty minutes later and multiple slippery trips up our steep hill of a road, all of the groceries are finally in the house.

Exhausted, I have to laugh. My life I swear…