In case you haven’t been watching the news, Seattle got hit HARD this week with a boatload of snow, ice, and wind. In the area south of Seattle where I live (by Olympia), there were over 200,000 people without power for greater than 48 hours. (My readers in New England think that’s nothing because they lose power for days, but around here that’s way outside of normal.) At my house, we were lucky enough to keep power even though LITERALLY people one street over were without for greater than 3 days. I did, however, lose cable (internet/phone/and television) for 4 days. While annoying and inconvenient, it was far less of an inconvenience than some of my friends encountered. Several are still without power, and don’t expect it back until Wednesday!
The picture above shows about 80% of the branches that dropped into my tiny yard due to the storms. It took a saws-all (is that how you write that?) and a chain-saw to get it all into moveable parts. We lost part of our fence, three trees, one bush, and are waiting for the snow to melt to see if the other bushes recover from its weight. It was a real mess. Mother Nature definitely took out some of what she considered clutter around here. It’s amazing how dangerous nature can be when it decides its time for a change. Violent, and deserving of respect, these storms are no joke.
On the upside, this storm also gave me an awakening. It showed me how much screen time my family spends on a daily basis, and how much it impedes our ability to spend quality time together, attend our responsibilities, and maintain focus. Without the ‘net, I got my house almost completely cleaned up, cleaned out, and organized. I read more to my kids. I talked to my husband more. I got ahead on my work. I thought on a more strategic level so that I could accomplish tasks without the aid of the internet, so that when I DID go online (in my car in front of Starbucks), I had a ton of stuff ready to go. When I was working, and the internet wasn’t available as a distraction, I completed my projects much faster. Now the trick is to take these lessons to heart, and unplug my DSL cable from my bloodline a little bit more. Information is amazing, and the internet is fantastic, but it’s the relationships with the PEOPLE in our lives that count the most to me. Going forward, I’m going to bring that more into my everyday focus. Rather than checking the sites I deem necessary to check on a daily basis, and instead check in to what is really going on around me. Oh, and step outside to smell the roses more often because Mother Nature really is beautiful.