Anticipate | The Good, The Bad & Hurricane Irma

IMG_0300NOTE: This post was written in response to the September 6th prompt from The Daily Post: Anticipate. 

I realize I’m late but wasn’t able to finish and publish the post before Hurricane Irma arrived.

Once the storm was over and the dust cleared we were without electricity and Wi-Fi for five days. I think that’s the longest I’ve gone without my computer! 

When I first read the prompt my immediate thought was of all things positive. Like a special event that we’ve been looking forward to or that cherished entrée at our favorite restaurant. 

According to dictionary.com when we anticipate something, we realize it beforehand; we foretaste or foresee it.

Speaking of taste, the noun anticipation always reminds me of the Carly Simon song and this classic Heinz Ketchup commercial from 1979. I graduated from high school that year and don’t remember much, but the fact that this commercial stayed with me makes it a prime example of effective brand marketing.

I’m not sure why the word anticipation evokes pleasant things in my mind, but it does.

However, anticipate/anticipation works both ways. It’s possible to anticipate something in a negative way like the results from a diagnostic test, or the sudden appearance of flashing lights in the rearview mirror. There are circumstances that arouse fear from the mere anticipation of them.

This is currently the case for many people regarding Hurricane Irma. Seeing the recent destruction in Texas was a grim reminder of the damage these storms can do. While the passage of time allows our memories to fade it hasn’t been two weeks since the last storm. To witness the video and images from the Caribbean this soon after Harvey has stirred feelings of panic for many.

I have family in Florida and am currently house sitting in the central part of the state… on a barrier island, no less. Watching this tropical storm develop into a monster Category 5 hurricane has created some major negative feelings of anticipation. 


Interestingly, my unease isn’t nearly as bad as it was last year when Hurricane Matthew came through. I was far away from storm surges and damaging winds.         

But, when you’re worried about loved ones there’s a certain level of comfort in being with them, even if that means being in potential danger yourself.    

With Matthew, I felt helpless to do anything. Being here now gives me the opportunity to do something.  And there’s always comfort in action.

I’m pretty sure this has to do with control. We always want and need to be in control. 

So, I’m preparing for one of two scenarios: to stay or evacuate. Each plan involves a separate list and there is some overlap. There are many details in securing the house, as well as making sure I have the necessary supplies for myself, my daughter, and four cats!   

I’ll be busy over the next couple of days exercising what little control I can. Once the storm arrives the anticipation phase is over. Hopefully, we’ll manage the actual events without the fear escalating too high!

It’s impossible to predict how things will go. I do anticipate that proper preparations and security measures will increase our chances for riding out the storm safely.  

Wish us luck!

The Daily Post: Anticipate


 

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Kindness Challenge|Week 7: Grateful For Kindness

Person feeling gratitude looking at the sunrise with extended armsBeing “Grateful for Kindness” was the topic for Week 7 of the Kindness Challenge. 

And who isn’t grateful when someone shows us goodwill?

It could be another driver giving us the right of way at a four-way intersection. Or, the person with the overflowing shopping cart who lets us go ahead when they see we only have a loaf of bread. 

These are the small kindnesses that make us feel good for a few seconds and then are forgotten, lost in the business of our day.

Then there are the big kindnesses we witness in the world: selfless people who undergo surgery to give organs and the chance for life to others. And those courageous folks who risk their own lives and health to help citizens living in war zones and abject poverty.  

Often we’ll hear about these acts of kindness in news reports and online. However, I suspect there are a lot more we don’t ever hear about because bad news attracts more attention than good news. Tragedies, crime, and the worst of humanity sell more papers and get more follows.


I believe that gratitude is a learned attribute. Most people master the art of please and thank you early in life. But, many others simply don’t appreciate the kindnesses they’re shown. Often times they seem to expect the generosity of others.

The qualities of a good person are discussed in this recent New York Times opinion piece. Tiny white shell on sand with the quote I was quite touched by the story. One of those conditions is performing acts of good will without expecting anything in return (which happened to be the challenge for week #6.) 

Another one is respect for others, regardless of their title or position. I believe kindness and respect are symbiotic; if you feel one, you feel the other. 

We should always express our gratitude to people who show us kindness. When a driver stops and lets me cross the roadway, I nod and wave. When a family member goes out of their way to help me, I thank them.

And I’m grateful when that driver waves back or when the relative smiles with satisfaction knowing their good deed is appreciated.

These small gestures remind us of our humanity and mutual respect. If we want to make the world a better place we can’t take these things for granted. 

To do so would spell the end of civility and we’re already seeing too much of that now. If we’re truly grateful for kindness

If we’re truly grateful for the kindness we have an obligation to demonstrate our appreciation by paying it forward!


 

 

 

 

Week 7: Grateful for Kindness