It’s amazing the perspective you gain when one out of three people in your state doesn’t have electricity and it’s the middle of an ice storm. The things we take for granted easily become apparent: heat, light, water, security. A normal day somehow starts to seem so epic, when you think about the relative ease of life we all experience in this part of the world. Missing things like internet access, entertainment, communication seems almost too much to mention.
The things you have regardless of your access to heat, light and water become apparent, too. Mostly in the form of relationships. People who will let you crash on their living room floor and have a hot shower even though it disrupts their normal day – or week. And when you have this, it’s important not just because it’s what keeps you going, surviving, and approximating normal, but because it makes you realize why people should be your priority.
I find myself looking back on what a normal day was last week, where I spent my time, what my priorities were. Why is it that these days, the ordinary comforts of normal – entertainment, internet access, the phone – so easily take precedent over the relationships that can actually sustain us in the physical, relationships that make us see the better parts of who we are?
I’m still not sure how long my power will be out, how long my return to “normal” may take. And I’m okay with that. Because I’m hoping that by the time “normal” returns, I’ll have a new definition, new expectations to work with. To prioritize my time for the people in my life. To go out of my way to make the effort, regardless of whether or not anyone else does the same, regardless of how much time I have or what my excuses are that day.
Because I want the people in my life to know they matter more to me than internet access, shopping, and television shows. I want them to know I’d like to spend more time on their couch, and not just during an ice storm when my power’s knocked out.
What areas do you need to prioritize for relationships in? Who have you lost contact with that you need to call up, to invite over for dinner, mail a note to? Who do you need to e-mail, chat with, or catch up with on their blog?
And what are you doing that’s so important it keeps you from doing those things right now?