As the hurricane season is upon us and I think about the tragedy and devastation of previous hurricane seasons, I can’t help but realize how much we take for granted.
It’s easy to appreciate life when things are going great. And as the distance of time separates us from the last hurricane season, I realize how easy it is to stop appreciating the simple and most important things in life – a drink of water, my loved-one’s smile.
Why is it that we lose sight of these things until a crisis brings them into sharp focus? Sometimes it’s other untimely events such as a death of a family member, it can force you to face your own mortality.
There is nothing like an impending crisis to make you realize how much you take for granted. During the evacuation prior to Hurricane Rita, people closed their my company and, like many, collected those belongings essential to their life (it’s amazing how few really are essential) and packed them into their car. Many people then took what may have been one last look at their home and drove away from almost all of their material items.
As people drive to a safer haven away from the hurricane, then returning just 32 hours or so later, they realized how much they take for granted. Things that were in short supply before they evacuated were now almost impossible to find after they returned: canned soup, canned meats, bottled water – even fresh fruit. Almost all the gas stations, restaurants and movie theaters will be closed. It’s then you realize how grateful you am for all these things. Something as simple as electricity to run your fridge and air conditioner will now be on your appreciation list. How fantastic it will be to sleep in your own bed upon return to your hopefully intact home and how comfortable it will seem now.
When everything is back to normal, I know that mindful awareness and appreciation of every delicious morsel of life is harder. Nevertheless, last year’s hurricane season should teach you one important lesson – it’s not good enough to celebrate and appreciate only the best things in life. Now you remind yourself to find joy and power in the mundane, simple and routine things.
In honor of all of those people affected one way or another by hurricane seasons, join me in making all of your life your best every day.