Thank you Sandy for making me feel right at home. After surviving the big three that hit in 2005 (Katrina, Rita & Wilma) I’m no stranger to downed branches and 80 mph gusts; however turns out this kind of disaster is a whole different monster when it’s set in the streets of NYC.
While I’m in Brooklyn and my immediate surrounding area seems up and running (besides the trains of course), the Big Apple doesn’t seemed to have fared as well. Power outages, subway stations filled to the brim with water and have you see good old LGA?
So what could the up side of this storm possibly be?
Well, as a nearly delusional beam of positive energy I refuse to let the many negatives of this particular “super storm” blind me to the good things I’ve witnessed in spite of inclement weather.
People helping people: The only nice thing about a natural disaster is that people show up for other people. Our neighbor’s shed collapsed and before my sister and I could bat an eyelash they had several other neighbors out and about in the beginnings of a “post-tropical cyclone” to assist them (though the question is raised: what is a shed doing in the city?). Also, as my manager sent out email updates to everyone at our store replies started filtering in from all the Brooklyn residents offering up their couches, air mattresses and bathrooms to any Manhattan residents who needed heat or a warm shower. And my sis and I have taken on three delightful house guests – my cousin, his bomb awesome wife and their beyond adorable baby… bringing me to my next point.
NYC has slowed its roll: This storm has brought NYC to a screeching halt. And while it is most inconvenient for all we workaholics, maybe it’s not 100% awful news. NYC is a lot about rushing to make your train, racing the person walking next to you on a crowded street, cursing your lost cab driver or trying to beat your professional competitor. But with internet access, power and trains down, suddenly we’re all having to step back and chill. My suggestion is rather than fighting the slower pace of the city this week, embrace it. How often do we get to step back and just hang with our friends and family for days at a time? Sure it may be by candle light, but might as well look on the bright side of said candle.
It’s all about perspective, people: Yes, our city has taken a beating, but it’s nothing we can’t bounce back from. Sure, the stock exchange was submerged, but it’s not un-doable damage. We can all thank our lucky stars that Sandy didn’t bring the devastation that Katrina did to New Orleans or that Andrew did to Florida way back when. It’s a logistical nightmare, but it could have been far worse (pardon my obsessive positivity).
What an excellent opportunity to volunteer: If you never took a minute to volunteer before, what’s your excuse now? I’ve seen links all over Facebook about how to help – from donations of money to time, there’s something everyone can do to help the aforementioned bounce back happen faster than ever. Pick up a shift at a shelter, offer a hand to the clean up efforts or simply reach out to your neighbors in no such official capacity. It doesn’t matter if you’re working with the red cross of offering a band-aid to a downstairs neighbor – make a difference.
Just because Sandy was a bitch doesn’t mean life is. Sure as a planet we face these enormous hiccups from time-to-time, but we can’t just throw our hands in the air and have a tantrum… what is it they say about life and lemons?
Way to pull together NYC, keep it up and we’ll get through this thing yet!