As I sit and write this, it’s 1:00 pm on Sunday. I’m sitting at my friend’s mother’s house in Apopka, Florida...two hours east of my home in Tampa. According to the news reports today, Hurricane Irma is going to hit my home of Tampa pretty hard.
So here we are. My husband, daughter, bird and 13 other friends evacuated to a place we’re pretty sure will withstand the winds, rain (and possibly tornadoes) that we’re expected to get over here later tonight.
I wish I had a business lesson for you here. Something genius I could share with you as it relates to dealing with down time, or focusing your energy, or preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best kind of analogies. But I don’t. My mind is occupied. My body is exhausted. And my nerves are shot.
So I figured I would just reach out and talk with you. To tell you that I’ve been amazed at how overwhelming this experience has been. How emotional. How stressful.
→ I want to share the story about how I really wanted to evacuate early on, how I wanted to escape to Chicago or Arizona or Seattle...anywhere where my family was that would completely remove us from any possibility of being impacted by the storm. “Why even play the odds?” I pleaded to my husband. “If we have the ability to completely remove ourselves from the stress of the ‘what if’s,’ then why not do it?”
He didn’t agree with me and rather than take my daughter and bird and leave, I decided to keep my family together and wait. I spent 3 days ensconced in anger before I chose to forgive and move on so we could focus on being present and prepared and safe with each other. (no judgements here please...just showcasing how "come up with a plan for your family" isn't always as simple as it sounds).
→ I want to tell you how I have been so far removed from being engaged in my business since Tuesday night. I canceled a Master Class that was happening inside the Biz Women Rock Academy and a full day’s worth of 1on1 client strategy sessions. Because I just didn’t have the mental capacity to be fully present. And I knew that so many of the ladies in the Biz Women Rock community were in Florida and showing up to a Master Class or a strategy session was the last thing on their minds!
And thankfully, everyone was so gracious and understanding.
→ I want to tell you about how angry I am that this damn hurricane has paused the incredible momentum my business has had lately! After doing my own Mid-Year Reset and focusing in on what impact I want Biz Women Rock to have through the end of 2017, I was seriously ON MY GAME and loving every second of it! And now all of that awesomeness is just standing there. Waiting to see what my home city will look like after tonight so I know how I’m going to be able to move forward. Will my house be flooded? Will I be able to live there? Will we have power? Will I be spending my time helping my friends and neighbors to get things straightened out before I can dive back into my work? Ugh! Screw you, Irma! ;)
→ I want to share with you how I’ve spent days completely wrapped in anxiety over this storm. Thinking of all the best case and worst case scenarios. Trying to plan and then change plans and then change again. Worrying about all my friends who were leaving their homes and traveling up north and all my friends who were choosing to stay put and ride it out. My time was spent doing nothing but checking in with them on Facebook, constantly checking the weather updates, fielding calls from my out-of-state family and researching flights and airbnbs in northern states while we figured out what to do. I wish I could tell you how I practiced staying in the NOW, how zen I was as I realized what was and what was not out of my control. But I’d be lying. I had to force myself to listen to meditations, do deep breathing and get my thoughts out in my journal and through talking to my sister on Voxer in order to stay sane.
→ I want to tell you how much I LOVE YOU. How overwhelmed with love I feel and how quickly I’m reminded why I do ANYTHING in this life...because I want to give love and I want to receive love. And holy moly, have I given and received so much love! Texts, voxers, messages, social media posts, calls, emails...everyone reminding each other how much we love each other and how WHO WE ARE MATTERS. I am so lucky. To be loved and to be able to give love.
By this time tomorrow, Hurricane Irma will have made her mark on my city. I hope we’ll be feeling ridiculous for evacuating because nothing big actually happened. I hope those who stayed in Tampa make fun of us for “overreacting” and “panicking.” I hope my husband looks at me and says, “see? I told you it wasn’t going to get us!” and is right.
I hope so. Because it’ll be much easier to deal with a bruised ego than a destroyed city.
But until that time comes, I just ask you to keep us, your fellow Biz Women Rock community members and all of those who have already been impacted - and who are expected to be impacted by Hurricane Irma - in your thoughts, your prayers and in your hearts.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for reading this and being here with me. You have no idea how much you mean to me.