Appreciating ‘The Pause’ ((by Olivia))

(cc) via Flickr user Downtown Traveler

For the last two weeks my life has been a series of traffic jams, waiting in line/on hold, putting together purchases, and breaking down cardboard boxes. In a word, hectic. I must shamefully admit that I’ve felt much too busy to acknowledge the emails, texts, and voicemails accumulating from curious friends checking in after my move.

When I discovered that Mother Nature was providing us a not-so-subtle reason to slow down, I felt grouchy. New York  is known for snowstorms not hurricanes! And I have way too much to do before Orientation begins!

Sitting down in a huff, it dawned on me: I was experiencing, as Alice Walker coined it , a “pause.” I had successfully completed a goal (moving my worldly possessions from South to North) that I had been working towards for months. Instead of grumbling about delays, now was a the perfect moment sit back, relax, and to reply to those messages, especially since many of my friends were in the projected path of Hurricane Irene.

Though I would never wish for a natural disaster to provide a much needed ‘pause’ in my life, I must say it has been a positive reminder to put aside petty worries and focus on the needs of others. It has been very eerie to see storm pictures posted of home and the flooded boroughs of the NY in the NYTimes and on Facebook. I feel so useless stuck in my apartment!

Stumbling my way through the net in pursuit of information on the aftermath and ways to help, I found this neat blog called zen habits by Leo Babauta. He has a great post about small ways to inject compassion into your day-to-day and break the cycle of self-absorption.

I love the quote from Shakespeare he uses at the end: How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.  I might just have to add that to my inspiration board!

Keeping all of these things in mind, I’ll be searching what contributions I can make here locally, making the most of where I am and what I have to offer, hoping that the rest of Hurricane Season remains quiet.

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