The last few weeks of 2013 were quite eventful for my family and I. We were one of the many Torontonians affected by the power outage due to the ice storm. My power went out twice for extended periods on two separate occasions. Obviously, the power outage hadn’t been factored into the plans we made for the holidays. Our holiday plans consisted of packing and moving. Who moves during Christmas? We do. We just bought our first place and we were determined to move in before the New Year and avoid any possibility of continuing to pay rent. A brief internet outage before the power outage exacerbated the stress of what was already present due to the move. I hate moving. We have moved 5 times in 4 years. It’s horrible. Life really threw me a curve ball: exams, internet outage, packing, power outage, more packing, moving and unpacking. I couldn’t blog for 4 weeks! It was all too much at times, but I did get through it. How? Over the years I’ve realized that freaking out during stressful times only makes things more stressful; not just for you but also the people around you. Keeping your cool is not easy but it did help to remind myself of the following:
1. Very few things in life are set in stone: dates can always be changed, events can always be postponed. If sticking to your plan is stressing you out, maybe it wasn’t a good plan? Be flexible and adapt as the situation demands. For example, my plan was to be unpacked within 48 hours of moving in. Unrealistic some? You bet. I relieved myself of a lot of pressure by relaxing that timeline significantly.
2. Honesty is the best policy: in this case I mean being honest with yourself and your family. It may be impossible to continue your Betty Crocker way of life and cook three meals a day. Better to consider take out during this time. There are healthier options available these days. Obviously nothing is better than home cooking, but a six inch turkey sub loaded with veggies (no mayo) will fulfill your nutritional requirements nicely.
3. Have gratitude: be thankful for the wonderful life you have. Many of the obstacles I face are “first world problems” i.e. problems of my mind. I am grateful for the roof I have over my head, for the food I am able to consistently put on my table and the clothes I wear. The majority of people living today do so in extremely impoverished conditions. I am grateful for this wonderful life I have been given.
Did your 2013 end with a bang? How did you manage during the infamous ice storm of 2013? I am looking forward to hearing from you.