Breathing Through Irma


OK, so here is the real test of my new found composure. Hurricane Irma. I, and millions of other Floridians, are directly in its path. As a resident of Miami, I briefly considered driving out of the state on Wednesday, but many service stations were already running out of gas, and those that remained had lines for blocks. Getting stuck without gas somewhere around Orlando was a real possibility. Instead, we have made all possible preparations, and we are simply waiting it out.

By we, I mean myself and my roommates. Because my roommate owns a home that survived Andrew, some of her adult children will be staying here as well. The house is boarded up. We have food, water, and gas in our vehicles for when the storm is over. We’ve taken pictures of the property, inside and out, incase any insurance claims need to be made. I have even disseminated my “please contact” numbers, should the need to contact them on my behalf occur. Thanks to my usual low doses of medication, I am able to due all of this without being overwhelmed by anxiety or becoming paralyzed by panic attacks.

I am also attempting to take the advice I gave my own students: “Focus on what you can control instead of worry about what you can’t control.” Today, I have done some basic cleaning. Tomorrow, I will go through my neglected file cabinet and purge outdated information. Finally, if I can force myself to concentrate, I have a presentation synopsis to write and an academic article to revise. It might sound like an ambitious list of tasks during a state of emergency, but it’s only Thursday and Irma is not projected to make landfall until Sunday. That’s a lot of time to overthink if I don’t stay preoccupied.

Of course, there are also movies (while I have electricity), and books (which can be read by my Coleman battery powered lantern, if necessary). Then there’s blogging. As long as I have power, I will try to post. Right now, I don’t have much to report except for the calm before the storm. This morning a beautiful full moon hung in the early, pastel colored sky. As the morning grew into day, the harsh sun beat down on exhausted locals. I hope everyone is able to get a good night’s sleep before tropical winds start to kick in. We all deserve it.

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