Me, Myself and Irene

Good Thing the Tree Fell AWAY From the House We Were Staying in!

So, whaddya learn?

In Ludlow,Vermont, they learned that rivers can run wild through the main street.

InWesthampton, New York, I learned to prepare for the worst and pray for the best. And the best happened: a few downed trees, loss of power for about 15 hours, a lot of wind and rain…and nothing more.

The lesson I learned was – again – not to project into the future. I was filled with worry, with “What if…?” scenarios. (What if there’s a tornado and the kids are still sleeping on the second floor? What if the roof blows off? What if the wind shatters the windows?) My fears were far worse than what happened. I read somewhere, “Worry Is Like Interest Paid In Advance On A Debt That Never Comes Due.” That was true for me.

Yet the other lesson I learned was that it is appropriate to take action,to be prepared. I’d packed a totally waterproof bag with passports, sleeping bag, survival blanket, first aid kit, toilet paper, paper towel, change of clothes, some canned beans and a hatchet. I was ready if a disaster struck. But I could have worried less and trusted more. Because even if something bad had happened, worry wouldn’t have helped me through it. If anything, I felt far better prepared because I kept breathing deep. Every few minutes I reminded myself that I was OK.  I was a bit jittery but I was fairly calm and ready to face whatever life threw at me.

What lesson did you learn during your last crisis? What can you do better to get ready before the next one?

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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