OK, so this is day seven with no power: no lights, no heat, no electric juice. Yesterday, I was pecking away in my frosty office on my manual typewriter with a pair of Alex’s gloves on. Tonight, I’m writing this at a Dunkin’ Donuts in my town which amazingly has: Light! Heat! An electric outlet! Coffee! Donuts!
Just yesterday afternoon, when I stopped in here to warm up with a hot chocolate, I sat next to a woman who spent about 15 minutes or so complaining to her friends about everything she was being forced to do without. You know what? I felt like saying, “Suck it up, lady! You’re alive! Your family must be safe because you’re not moaning over that. It seems like your house is still standing. So you don’t have heat or light. You’ll survive.”
Being the polite type, I didn’t say any of this. But as I walked away, I realized that this lady really did me a favor. She showed me that I could spend a ton of energy being negative about not having lights or heat or worrying about the tree that smashed into my back steps — or I could be grateful that everyone I love and care about has come safely through the storm and my house isn’t smashed to bits. And I could send positive healing energy to those who haven’t been so fortunate — and whatever else I have that might be helpful.
We take so much for granted — so much, in fact, that enriches our writing endeavors. We have life, we have light, we have heat, we have hands, we have minds, we have missions, we have hearts, we have hope, we have friends and family, we have freedom — and we have today to make the most of. And then, if we aren’t blessed enough, we have work that we can do just about anywhere and any time –even under trying circumstances. Here’s something I heard recently: “Every moment you spend complaining or being negative is a moment of happiness that you’ve lost forever.” So let’s count our blessings and write on.