Weathering YOUR Storm

I've been "gone" a long time, I know.  The forecast of Hurricane Sandy encouraged me get back in the groove.  Anticipating the problems and coverage of such a large scale disaster reminded me of the importance of what we do here at Everyday Providence. You can take simple and effective steps today to take care of your loved ones in a disaster or other chaotic times.

I began National Emergency Preparedness Month (September) with a bang, a conference, and a plan.  And then my life went absolutely crazy.  We had been living in tiny (albeit lovely) temporary housing, waiting for a perfect and permanent residence to be available.  My husband called during the conference to announce that we were moving as soon as I got home.  We're now putting the finishing touches on the move, and I wanted to share a few things I learned (or remembered) along the way.

  • Don't try so hard to keep things interesting in the kitchen during times of change. Your well-stocked pantry can help keep meals going when life gets hectic.  Pancakes and waffles from a mix, canned soup and crackers, hot and cold breakfast cereal, frozen dinners (bought or made in advance), and easy family favorites can help you put familiar food on the table without the hassle and dishes of complicated meals.
  • Give yourself a break! Pick your top priorities and let a few other things go.  We tried to eat somewhat healthy meals (priority #1), but we stopped recycling and we used paper plates occasionally for the few days of the move.  
  • There are only 24 hours in a day.  Know that you have to let something go.  We put packing boxes and relaxation (family) time above cleaning.  When we were out of the old place, we gave it a good scrub.  When we were moved into the new place, a once-over cleaning removed a week's worth of dirt.
  • It's ok to ask for help.  Twice we invited friends and neighbors to help with moving and unpacking.  A fresh set of legs and a new perspective helped rejuvenate us with the overwhelming task.  I love helping others, knowing that I've made someone's day better.  Let someone else do that for you, too.
I used these concepts when we were new parents (2005), when we lost power three times in six months with small children (2007), and in these weeks as we moved (2012).  Got any tips that make your life easier when the seas get a little rough?  I'd love to hear your ideas, too. Share your story with me here.