It’s simply out of my control …the hurricane, the empty shelves, the gas shortage. I can’t control frantic drivers, rude shoppers or panicky procrastinators. I can’t prevent fallen trees, power outages or damaged property. And when the storm has finally passed, I am at the mercy of the power company, the roadway crews and clean-up management.
I can’t force neighbors to be neighborly, landlords to care or employers to understand. I can’t predict the safest place to park my car, the best room to hunker down or whether my sleeplessness will exaggerate irrational fears. I don’t know which trees will remain rooted, which might topple on the house or which might dive into the above ground pool creating a tidal wave our sliding glass doors could never contain. I can’t predict what might happen to ‘our’ feral cat or the elderly and sickly couple next door or those we dearly love in more dangerous and flood-prone areas.
The forecast is obvious, the scenario is typical, the possibilities are predictable but the exact outcome is unknown. The individual damage is still a mystery. The recovery time questionable. So much is out of my control, (and your control) and perhaps that is part of our stress (at least my stress) — the extent of unknown damage and the lack of ability to control it.
When uncertainty lingers; when warnings alarm; when darkness surrounds, I shall try to control the one and only thing I have control over – and that is the atmosphere of my mind.